The Sourcing Category

WNS Acquires Denali: Acquisition Summary and Market Analysis [PRO]

Tradeshift Baiwang

Earlier today, WNS announced it had acquired Denali Sourcing Services, a procurement solutions provider. Denali was one of the pioneers in procurement managed services. But more recently, the firm has expanded its broader practice in such areas as spend analytics, market intelligence and training. Not all of these capabilities will transition over to WNS — some will remain with the original Denali group, which will be rebranded in the coming months.

Denali brings a number of capabilities to WNS, including a center of excellence (COE)-driven managed services capability for spend analytics, strategic sourcing, category management and supplier management. In short: It adds many “baited hooks” to chum the waters for the broader business process outsourcing (BPO) and outsourcing nets WNS is casting in the market.

But perhaps most important from a market perspective, the transaction will put pressure on other offshore BPO firms, including Genpact, Infosys, HCL and Tech Mahindra, looking to accelerate penetration in North America and Europe through the addition of onshore expertise and capability. For this reason — among others — Spend Matters believes this deal is likely a harbinger of more acquisition activity to come in 2017. In the near term, however, Spend Matters believes the acquisition will do little to blunt the leadership positions of Accenture and GEP for procurement BPO and managed services.

This Spend Matters PRO First Take Analysis provides an overview of the capabilities Denali brings to WNS, key takeaways, an overview of procurement managed services and insight into select additional acquisition candidates that could contribute to further consolidation in this market.

Ethical, Critical, Strategic: All Sorts of Sourcing and Supplier Management in Best Posts of 2016

In many ways, the Sourcing & Supplier Management space is the broadest- and farthest-reaching of all the categories Spend Matters covers. There are a ton of aspects to consider when defining “sourcing” (of the “e-” variety or otherwise), while supplier management is a catch-all description for a set of activities and technologies that are often carried out in silos across an organization. Using this admittedly loose rubric, we’ll take a quick spin through some of the top posts on Spend Matters in 2016 that dealt with the challenges of — and best practices behind — sourcing and supplier management.

Ivalua: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) –– Commentary and Summary Analysis [PRO]

With apologies to the late comic, Ivalua is the Rodney Dangerfield of procurement suites (that is, if Rodney Dangerfield had an IQ of 160 and was a software engineer). If we add up the differentiated combination of its architecture/platform, industry enablement, functional/modular capability (across the source-to-pay continuum), analytics and “overlay” process support capabilities, the sum of the Ivalua package stands out from all others in a true “deadpan” way – albeit with no laughing involved. In short: Ivalua deserves much more respect than it gets from a market that is typically less familiar with it compared to larger peers such as Ariba, Coupa, GEP and BravoSolution.

Not that the parts are bad! There are even surprises. For example, there is unexpected capability, including bill of material management, asset and tooling management, accruals, and procurement project management. The cost breakdown analytics, new product introduction (NPI) management and the ability to get data in and out of the platform on a daily basis is deeper than one might expect. Granted, Ivalua is not perfect: the user interface and experience may leave the business (or the average procurement user) wanting. But anyone who invests the time to get to know the solution on a product level will come away very impressed if they have the same technology-centric proclivities as the Spend Matters team (even if it’s not the right “fit” for some, as we explore in this series).

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot on Ivalua provides an objective SWOT analysis of the company and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Ivalua and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider Ivalua’s suite or individual modules. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Ivalua as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Ivalua: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

What Ivalua lacks in brand and market awareness along with sales/marketing infrastructure and prowess, it makes up for by delivering a source-to-pay platform designed to emphasize functional depth, suite-based capabilities and industry-specific enablement scenarios. Ivalua delivers a no-compromise set of capabilities and an underlying platform that is most likely to appeal to procurement and IT organizations that want greater flexibility in executing a procurement technology architecture and strategy than what is offered by standard suites.

Those reading Part 1 of Spend Matters’ Vendor Snapshot on Ivalua (which includes a detailed solution overview, company overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it) and those demoing the suite on their own will likely either be attracted to the solution or overwhelmed by it – with very few opinions in the middle. By way of contrast, Ivalua offers a counter suite approach to Coupa, its neighbor in the Bay Area, in both philosophy and capability, and it is likely to appeal to a different set of organizations that might consider both.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Ivalua’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Later in this multi-part series, we will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

In this analysis, Spend Matters explores Ivalua’s platform strengths and weaknesses in depth to further flesh out whether the solution is a likely fit for your procurement technology requirements.

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

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Ivalua is one in a very small group of providers that has built an end-to-end solution on a single technology stack (from the ground up) with sufficient breadth and depth across all key functional areas to enable it to serve as a single technology suite for procurement organizations. Its entire suite was built in-house on a single platform over the last 16 years. For organizations looking to improve overall procurement performance beyond sourcing-led savings and P2P-led compliance, a single platform approach, which goes beyond just functional enablement, can be a major advantage.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Ivalua's source-to-pay capability, its suitability for specific industry segments, and other offerings that an organization may want to consider as an alternative (or alongside). Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Ivalua in the procurement technology area. The rest of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Directworks: An E-Sourcing Tool for Direct Materials and Manufacturing — Year-End Tech Review

manufacturing

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we’re highlighting a company in the direct materials sourcing space.

Founded as Co-eXprise in 2004 with a goal of building a new type of direct sourcing solution not yet available in the North American marketplace, Directworks has since evolved. What started as a solution to integrate the new sourcing tools of the day (RFX, auctions, project management, dashboards, etc.) with bill of materials, supplier management and collaborative workflow management has been evolving into a direct materials sourcing workbench.

Per Angusta: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

FM Global Resilience Index

When Pierre Laprée was trying to manage his sourcing pipeline, projects and savings projections on a daily basis in Excel, he found that it was incredibly time-consuming, constricting and downright painful. The amount of time it took to consolidate, normalize and analyze data was enormous and the end result was not always reliable. Finding no solution in the market designed specifically for sourcing pipeline management, he decided to form Per Angusta and build one.

And that's exactly what Per Angusta is — a SaaS platform to build and manage sourcing pipelines, track savings for organizational validation and make procurement's impact visible to the organization — which, as per Sigi Osagie (author of Procurement Mojo) is the key to building your procurement brand.

This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the Per Angusta solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Per Angusta: An Escape From ‘Excel Hell’ — Year-End Tech Review

suppliers

This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we continue to highlight companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

The amount of time it took Per Angusta founder Pierre Laprée to consolidate, normalize and analyze data in managing his sourcing pipeline, projects and savings projections on a daily basis in Excel was enormous — and the end result was not always reliable. Finding no solution in the market designed specifically for sourcing pipeline management, he decided to form Per Angusta and build one.

Keelvar: From Upstart to Tackling Large-Scale Sourcing Optimization — Year-End Tech Review

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This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review series, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This week, we’re highlighting companies in the sourcing (including e-sourcing) and supplier management spaces.

Sourcing optimization solutions today have supported some of the largest and most complex sourcing events ever conducted. Yet overall, adoption has lagged the market for general-purpose e-sourcing tools and suites. Keelvar, a four-year-old firm that started as a spinout from a research lab at a university, is hoping to change this.

Table the Trump-Talk: Our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review is Coming

Before you know it, you’ll be sitting around the Thanksgiving table, very likely staring down the prospect of hearing your grandmother and your cousin-once-removed debating How Trump Happened, wishing you had something — anything — else to think about. Well, how about selecting the right type of procurement technology? That’s why, as 2016 draws to a close, it’s our chance to provide procurement practitioners a birds-eye (re)view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. (You know, in case you missed it.)

High Performance Procurement: Learn from the Best — Webinar Tomorrow!

webinar

Expectations, along with evolution of role, have procurement and sourcing teams scrambling to be the best that they can be at their jobs in order to perform better, improve agility and become a trusted facet of their organization. Join Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer, managing partner at Spend Matters, and Brett Cornell, vice president, value consulting at SciQuest, tomorrow, Nov. 10, at 11 a.m. EST, for Benchmarks and Best Practices of High Performing Procurement Teams.

GEP: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths, Weaknesses and User Interface [PRO]

In the race to deliver integrated procurement technology suites, a number of vendors have focused 80% of their effort on certain areas or groupings of products (e.g., analytics, sourcing and supplier management or eProcurement and e-invoicing), while underserving others in functional depth. Yet the future of source-to-pay (S2P) solutions will not just be measured by how strong, on a relative basis, the individual components are in a handful of areas — or even collectively.

Rather, Spend Matters believes we will measure future suites based on a more holistic approach, in which functional comparisons become only part of the equation. These variables will include the points of intersection between modules; the ecosystem that each provider can foster overall; decision guidance and decision support that comes from market intelligence and related insights; and, of course, the underlying capabilities of the solutions themselves.

This future bodes well for GEP from a solution perspective, and it’s why, in part, the provider has been so successful in winning business (including from the largest incumbents at some of the largest Fortune 500 customers) in the market in the past 12 months — albeit without making much noise about it. Granted, the modules within the “SMART by GEP” procurement technology product suite are not without both strengths and weaknesses (which we explore in this research brief). But overall, the combination of the individual components within SMART by GEP, the broader suite capabilities on both a collective and holistic basis, as well as the consulting, market intelligence, managed services and BPO capability that GEP delivers makes the solution set stand out in the market.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explore GEP’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface as well. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.