The Solution Providers Category

Technology Analysts and NDAs

Yesterday Coupa published a press release announcing that Thomas Kase, a former Spend Matters analyst, joined the cloud spend management vendor. I had the great pleasure of working with Thomas for many years and wish him the very best of luck in his new endeavor. In light of the news, I wanted to take a moment to highlight the confidentiality clauses that a technology analyst must adhere to, a requirement here at Spend Matters and Azul Partners as well as at other firms.

Trade Extensions Dispatch: Templates on Sourcing Steroids or Just An “App” By Another Name?

Trade Extensions co-founder Dr. Arne Andersson just previewed the next release of the Trade Extensions platform (TESS 6.0) this afternoon at the Trade Extensions U.S. customer event in Atlanta. TESS 6.0 (coming this spring or early summer) marks a giant step forward. The entire user experience is transformed. More on this from us later, but one aspect of the new release is “apps.” These are essentially templates on steroids. Yet they’re simple and powerful at the same time.

Trade Extensions: Redefining E-Sourcing (Coupa and Beyond)

There are only a few events left that focus primarily on strategic sourcing over broader procurement topics. And there are fewer still at which you can learn something new in every presentation. Trade Extensions customer events have always done just that. The Spend Matters team has attended half a dozen or more of these events over the years. Earlier today I continued the tradition, touching down in Atlanta to attend “Redefining E-Sourcing,” Trade Extensions’ U.S. customer event, which so far has lived up to its name, albeit with a current chapter in the history of the provider's story coming to an end with its acquisition by Coupa -- and a new one about to begin.

Spend Matters 50 Providers to Watch/50 Providers to Know to be Released at ISM2017

Spend Matters will release its fourth annual “50 Providers to Know/50 Providers to Watch” lists on May 22 in conjunction with the annual ISM conference. In addition to taking an active role in the programming, the Spend Matters team will be handing out recognition plaques to vendors on the exhibition floor. Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell will also also co-host a Q&A webinar on Wednesday, May 31, at 1 p.m. CDT, to explore what you should know about vendors on the 2017 lists.

Ivalua Raises $70 Million from KKR: First Take Analysis

Ivalua, a procurement technology suite vendor, announced Wednesday it had raised $70 million in a minority investment round from private equity firm KKR. Originally a France-based firm, Ivalua moved its headquarters to the U.S. in recent years and has continued to expand globally. While terms of the investment — nor Ivalua’s revenue — were not disclosed, Spend Matters estimates the transaction values the firm at less than the price/revenue multiple of Coupa and more than what Accel-KKR paid for Jaggaer (when it took SciQuest private).

EcoVadis: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

For many industries and regions, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability are de rigueur. In several cases, there is also legislation to back them up, and there are no signs the resulting regulations are going away anytime soon.

Despite this, may companies pay CSR little more than lip service. There are numerous reasons for this. For one, CSR often has a hard time competing for budget and investments relative to other “hot” projects focused on short-term cost savings. This is a shame, because when CSR is extended to the supply base, it can actually be used to demonstrate not just regulatory/customer compliance but also to tap supplier innovation, lower costs, reduce supply risk and increase brand leverage.

The bigger tactical issue, however, is that extending CSR out to suppliers is simply hard to do cost effectively — especially if you want to do it properly. Getting hundreds (or thousands) of suppliers to adhere to basic contract terms and a vague supplier code of conduct document is one thing, but getting them to comply with more impactful and enforceable clauses for CSR/sustainability is even more challenging. If you’re a buying organization that’s truly concerned with de-risking your supply chain and looking beyond “check the box” compliance, you need to have a way to engage your suppliers in a more compelling way. Suppliers have many demands on their time and investments, too, so offering them something more than an edict is necessary.

But perhaps the most vexing question begins with measuring success. When you get down to it, how do you even define sustainability and responsibility? How do you measure it? And how do you know whether your performance against those measurements is good or bad for your industry or overall, especially when core requirements for CSR and sustainability differ across dozens of industries and hundreds of categories?

It takes expertise, and not just software. EcoVadis knows this, and that's why it has more than 150 CSR experts on staff to evaluate supplier profiles, documents and third-party audits to objectively gauge the corporate social responsibility of a company against a benchmarked numeric scale. It integrates this expertise into a unique combination of automated supplier surveys, certifications (gathering, analysis, validation, and publishing), benchmarking and training across 21 major CSR factors (with potentially hundreds of atomic level questions) derived from a combination of major global CSR standards — and augmented by best practice. It’s pretty cool when you see it in action.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll dive into EcoVadis’ company background, its solution offering and some recommendations on how the firm is best used to maximize value. Part 2 of this analysis will focus on strengths, weaknesses and production selection guidance. Part 3 will then wrap up with SWOT Analysis, competitive analysis, shortlist guidance and final commentary and recommendations.

Vendor Summary Report: Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap℠ Q2 2017 [PRO]

This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of procure-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q2 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring e-procurement and invoice-to-pay solution providers individually (including an expanded set of providers in each area).

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest procure-to-pay providers, specifically Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Pool4Tool, SAP Ariba, Vroozi and Zycus. We will be adding additional providers for the Q3 and Q4 2017 updates (as well as in 2018 and beyond).

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a solution and customer value perspective. It provides a breakdown of solution scoring for each vendor on the category level (e.g., catalog management, shopping/requisitioning, ordering/order management, receiving, supplier network, configurability, technology/architecture and services, invoice structure/capture, invoice collaboration and compliance, additional invoicing technology components, financing/payment, supplier network, configurability, technology/architecture and services). It also provides insight into how customers scored procure-to-pay vendors (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation).

Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth tech reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI, and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).

While Spend Matters does not recommend that existing and potential customers of providers use technology and customer scoring alone to shortlist or evaluate technology providers, the insight, along with SolutionMap’s persona-based ratings, provides a point-in-time perspective that may be useful as either a starting point in an evaluation or a contributing factor to a formal software selection process.

More detailed information on comparative technology subcategory-level scoring can be found in individual Spend Matters PRO SolutionMap Vendor Analyses (publishing in April 2017). Spend Matters reserves its most granular level of scoring and analysis for its practitioner advisory clients, and we invite procurement organizations to contact us for more information.

AnyData Solutions: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

spend analytics

AnyData Solutions competes in a fragmented market for spend analytics. Yet unlike many of its peers, it is not a common procurement vendor name. But with better awareness, it could be a strong analytics competitor globally, especially considering how the solution packs a powerful one-two functional and pricing punch.

From a functional standpoint, AnyData’s rapid visual development framework can enable customers to go beyond spend analysis use cases to create custom, domain-specific analytics solutions (e.g., analytics centric contract lifecycle management and supplier performance management reporting and capability). Combined with AnyData’s low-cost pricing models (a fraction of the cost of other solutions under most scenarios), it should make the solution a shortlist candidate for just about any size organization needing a spend analytics platform that wants the option to move beyond the basics.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering AnyData Solutions provides an objective SWOT analysis of AnyData and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to AnyData, and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering AnyData. Previous installments provide an in-depth look at AnyData as a firm and its specific solution capability (Part 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience (Part 2).

AnyData Solutions: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

Analytics

AnyData Solutions is not just a standalone spend analytics toolset that includes “the basics.” Rather, it is a standalone platform for capturing, managing, sharing and collaborating on structured datasets of any type.

As an end-to-end analytics platform, AnyData is quite different from other approaches to spend analytics on the market today. On many levels, AnyData is closer to the data-centric heritage of BIQ, as it is fundamentally a self-service analytics solution, compared with the vast majority of spend analytics providers, which prefer to handle cleansing and classification activities “as a service,” even if they offer to sell the classification engine separately (which rarely happens).

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores AnyData’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations and other customers decide whether AnyData is the right fit for their need. The first installment provided a company and solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering AnyData. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

AnyData Solutions: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

There must be something in the procurement climate in the United Kingdom that encourages procurement technology entrepreneurs to start spend analytics businesses. Coming on the heels of Spikes Cavell (acquired by Xchanging), Spend360 (acquired by Coupa), Simfoni and Rosslyn Analytics is the newest upstart, AnyData Solutions, which was founded in May of 2013. AnyData is yet another spend analytics vendor with strong capabilities, even some unique ones. But like many of its peers, it has been undercapitalized from the start and as a result has not invested in the type of sales and marketing efforts necessary to make it a household name. It has also lacked the channel and business development prowess of Spikes and Spend360, which helped drive significant, yet behind the scenes, growth.

Perhaps most important, as chronicled by Spend Matters previously (see: Exploring the Customer Experience of a Spend Analytics Provider that Should be On Your Shortlist), AnyData’s broad claim around the delivery of broad, powerful analytics is not the typical smoke and mirrors marketing that many vendors put forth. Our analysis suggests it delivers a true end-to-end analytics platform (unlike just about every other spend analysis solution) that is extensible across functions, industries and different use cases both inside and outside of procurement.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about AnyData Solutions and whether its capabilities are a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and a detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider AnyData in the procurement technology and solutions area. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Jaggaer Beyond the Rebrand: Building an Integrated Procurement Suite and Industry-Specific Capabilities

Earlier in the year, Jaggaer (formerly SciQuest) announced a new release Gazelle (17.1), which marked the largest set of enhancements to the solution set since Accel KKR’s acquisition of the company and the subsequent changing of the product development and management guard at the vendor. While the Spend Matters team is looking forward to getting a full deep dive of the latest product releases as part of our SolutionMapSM efforts in the coming weeks, we recently spent time with Jaggaer to understand some of the product philosophies and investments the new team is embracing, as well as to take a cursory look at some of the suite's new capabilities and new stack-level investments

Vendor Summary Report: Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap℠ Q2 2017 [PRO]

invoice

This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of invoice-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q2 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring invoice-to-pay solution providers and procure-to-pay suites.

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest invoice-to-pay providers, specifically Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Invocus, Pool4Tool, SAP Ariba, Taulia, Tradeshift and Vroozi. We will be adding additional providers for the Q3 and Q4 2017 updates (as well as in 2018 and beyond).

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a solution and customer value perspective. It provides a breakdown of solution scoring for each vendor on the category level (e.g., invoice structure/capture, invoice collaboration and compliance, additional invoicing technology components, financing/payment, supplier network, configurability, technology/architecture and services). It also provides insight into how customers scored invoice-to-pay vendors (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation).

Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth tech reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI, and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).