The Sourcing Category

So You Want to Buy Strategic Sourcing? Key Differentiators to Consider [PRO]

In our previous installments of this series, we focused on some of the key differentiating aspects of contract management and spend analytics solutions. As you may recall, rather than focusing on the features and functions that most providers deliver, this series is focused on highlighting areas that pop up as differentiators in the eyes of the more progressive practitioner organizations that we speak with. The idea is to help separate the wheat from the chaff even though we don’t know what exact flavor of bread that you’re baking.

Within the sourcing area, we will also take some additional liberties by highlighting some key functionality that might perhaps better fall into an “extended sourcing” category that transcends just traditional sourcing strategy and execution. For example, project portfolio management, savings management, performance management, stakeholder management, and other processes clearly transcend just sourcing, but from a pragmatic “on the ground” standpoint, these are often prioritized by sourcing and category management teams. They are trying to drive short-term value while trying to scale their efforts with a form of knowledge management that will support their longer-term transformation outside of episodic sourcing events and into a more end-to-end lifecycle view of progressive category management.

There are also some provider-level differentiators that transcend software feature-function nuances, and we’ll highlight these as well. OK, let’s dive in.

Q2 SolutionMap: 40 Procurement Software Companies, Ranked

Spend Matters today released its Q2 2018 SolutionMap, ranking 40 procurement software companies across nine different solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management and Contract Lifecycle Management, in addition to end-to-end suites and their capabilities. So what's new this quarter? Read on to take a peek under the hood.

Q2 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Source-to-Pay (S2P)

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release for Source-to-Pay, reviewing the process that we followed for this inaugural release.

The providers in the Q2 2018 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, SynerTrade and Zycus. All of these providers were required to participate in SolutionMap for each underlying module, as well. These individual areas include Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay. All of these providers are also included in the individual Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite views.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional considerations in the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release. The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 700+ individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q2 2018*.

*Customers using more than one module that a vendor provides can opt to fill out a single survey within each individual suite area (e.g., a customer using two modules for P2P and four modules for SPT would only need to fill out two surveys).

Q2 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Sourcing, Spend Analytics, SRM, CLM and Strategic Procurement Technology Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release for Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite SolutionMaps, reviewing the process we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

Within the individual areas covered in this brief, the following provider has been added to the Q2 2018 release: Bonfire. Additionally, providers such as EC Sourcing, Ivalua, and SynerTrade have received updated scoring following the submission and demonstration of new capabilities based on production releases of individual modules. (Non-GA capabilities are not considered in SolutionMap scoring.) Perhaps most important, over 100 new customer references were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas for Q2.

This SolutionMap Insider release note explores these and additional changes in the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release.

Sole Sourcing and Lack of Weapon Design Experience to Blame for Pentagon’s Munitions Procurement Woes

The U.S. government is facing considerable challenges with its munitions procurement, as reported by Defense News in an article memorably headlined “The U.S. is Running Out of Bombs — And It May Struggle to Make More.” According to the latest annual Industrial Capabilities report from the Pentagon's Office of Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy, sole sourcing and a lack of weapon design experience are crippling the U.S. industrial base.

Coupa’s Customer Conference and Earnings Continue to ‘Inspire’ — But a New Competitive Battle is Looming [PRO]

A few weeks back we attended Coupa Inspire 2018. The event left us with a perspective that Coupa is not only doing some things extremely well but also that it would do well not to make the same mistakes of those that came before it with a similar rise to fame (i.e., a healthier dose of competitive paranoia is always more effective than getting punch-drunk on the fame of continued growth and capital market success).

In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, we provide a summary of a number of key announcements made during Coupa Inspire 2018 and over the past 18 months at Coupa. In addition, we’ll trace the history of Coupa’s product launches and introductions to provide context on how new offerings may evolve.

We’ll also offer perspective and opinions on the trajectory Coupa has been on — including whether it is sustainable — and conclude with comments on what has become arguably the most important procure-to-pay (P2P) battleground on which Coupa is positioning itself against competitors: how to enable as close to 100% of spend under management as possible with a P2P solution at the core. Incidentally, this is a topic that Oracle and SAP (inclusive of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and Concur) also have been doing quite a bit of thinking on of late — not to mention Coupa’s partner, customer and frenemy Amazon Business.

As a follow-on to this research brief, we will later share our thoughts on Coupa’s Q1 2019 earnings report from earlier in June, including how traction (and competition) in the market is translating both to wins and losses depending on customer requirements, channel/partner influence and competitive price pressure in select circumstances. Yet it would not be the Spend Matters way unless we wrapped this commentary around five reasons to bet for or against Coupa to maintain a “top three” position in the market.

For those wanting a primer on Coupa, we encourage you to check out our Vendor Snapshot on the provider (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) as well Coupa’s latest Q1 2018 SolutionMap performance in the e-procurement, invoice-to-pay, procure-to-pay and sourcing areas.

Cyber, Political Resilience Rankings Shuffle in Latest FM Global Resilience Index

MBO Partners

FM Global released Wednesday its 2018 Resilience Index. While overall resilience rankings have remained largely unchanged from 2017, cyber and political resilience rankings have shifted. The Global Resilience Index is an annual ranking of 130 countries and regions according to 12 economic, risk and supply chain factors, which include supply chain visibility, supplier quality and rate of urbanization, in addition to the aforementioned cyber and political risk.

Sponsored Article

How a Source-to-Pay Migration is Like a Home Renovation

As with any home renovation project, your expectation is that you are going to wind up with a better home at the end. The same should be true for a move from one provider to another.  You should expect a serious upgrade at the end of your source-to-pay renovation. If you’re about to undergo your own S2P renovation, consider the following when making the move.

Sponsored Article

5 Tips and Considerations for Your Next Spend Analysis RFP

spend analytics

In a rapidly changing market of technology and service delivery providers, it has become increasingly challenging for many of today’s procurement leaders to both keep up with the pace of change to find true differentiation across the evolving vendor community. Most of the leading procurement organizations we have worked with in the past 12 months are focused on the following strategies: fold more spend under management, more quickly identify and tackle savings opportunities, and drive more value to internal stakeholders. Spend analysis is core to meeting these strategic goals. 

From Watch to Know in 2018: How Scout RFP Helps Procurement Put the ‘Strategic’ Back in Sourcing

Each year, some companies on the Spend Matters 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch lists push themselves beyond simply a standout performance. They earn the recognition that they are not only bringing innovation into procurement organizations but also leading the charge to change the way we do business for the better. These are the providers who shifted from Watch to Know in 2018.

To learn more about these providers, we reached out to the four such cases in our 2018 50/50 lists, asking how they’ve changed over the years and what differentiates them from the competition. Today’s Q&A features Sean Michael, senior manager of content and communications at Scout RFP, a provider of sourcing solutions.

Bonfire: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

Bonfire is one of our most anticipated new participants in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Sourcing SolutionMap. Based on what we have covered in this deep dive analysis of Bonfire thus far, we suspect that the provider will personify many of the requirements of the Nimble persona, providing a compelling functional alternative to top-ranked Value Leaders including Scout RFP, Coupa, EC Sourcing, Keelver and Market Dojo (not to mention Nimble Solution Leaders including Ivalua, Zycus, Scanmarket and SynerTrade, as well as Nimble Customer leader SAP Ariba).

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

Sourcing Technology Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison: Coupa vs. Jaggaer Advantage (Q2 2018 Preview)

With the acquisition of Trade Extensions, Coupa catapulted into the ranks of the sourcing elite almost overnight. Similarly, in acquiring BravoSolution, Jaggaer gained the prize for provider that balances depth and breadth across its sourcing capabilities most effectively. But how do the two providers stack up to each other in a head-to-head bout?

Join us in this unfiltered head-to-head SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, a preview of our not-yet-published SolutionMap, along with commentary from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch. These recurring Head-to-Head columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception.

If you need to know how these two top-ranked sourcing providers compare to each other, look no further. Here’s a preview, for those who have not yet subscribed to this new Spend Matters service: In certain sourcing capability requirements — including opportunity analysis, project management, supplier portal, spend analysis (lite), RFX, auctions, optimization, contract management (lite), post-event execution, technology, configurability, services and the summary sourcing average — Jaggaer Advantage puts a chokehold on its foe deep into the battle. But in at least one area, Coupa sneaks in a stealthy nunchuck blow in the first round. And at the final bell after multiple battles, we can declare a winner here — but only by the slimmest of margins.

The Q2 2018 Sourcing SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 16 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist sourcing technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new sourcing product, want to augment current solutions with specialized capabilities or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.