The Sourcing Category

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.

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

The market for best-of-breed sourcing solutions continues to take off. Bonfire, which was founded two years before Scout RFP, is the newest provider in the sector to build significant momentum in North America, leveraging a similar playbook as its better-known competitor, emphasizing ease-of-use, adoption and the user experience. With more than 230 customers in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean, including market penetration in the public sector that rivals larger providers, Bonfire is becoming a more frequent shortlist candidate in an increasing number of sourcing buying scenarios in which suite capability is not a prerequisite.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Bonfire’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 of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Bonfire in the sourcing technology area. The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Bonfire: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Just when you thought the sourcing technology market was mature and the competitive field had narrowed down to fewer choices, along comes a new contender. And not just any provider, but one that could prove a real thorn in the side of competitors, especially for those focusing on public sector, those targeting the “Nimble” SolutionMap buying persona or those targeting the middle market. This new rose — or thorn, depending on your vantage point — is Bonfire. Scout RFP customers and prospective customers, in particular, should pay particularly close attention to Bonfire, as should those considering Market Dojo, EC Sourcing, Scanmarket, SynerTrade and similar providers.

Larger procurement teams that desire Nimble providers, as well as smaller organizations, often need point-based solutions that can be implemented quickly, at an upfront cost they can afford and with a quick ROI to justify their selection. Bonfire fits this description closely. However, your organization won't know if Bonfire should be on your shortlist without some deep insight into what the platform does, where its strengths and weaknesses are, and what its customer base looks like (to understand if they are used to serving your industry). That's what this PRO series is designed to help you understand.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about whether Bonfire, as a standalone sourcing solution, is a better fit than both alternative best-of-breed and suite-based tools. 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 Bonfire. The remainder of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

BidMode: Vendor Introduction (Part 2) — Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and SWOT [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction continues our initial coverage of BidMode, a recent entrant in the sourcing optimization sector. If you’re curious about how BidMode stacks up on a comparative basis to Coupa, Jaggaer, Keelvar and others in the Sourcing Optimizer persona, you’ll need to wait until our Q2 2018 SolutionMap release, in which EC Sourcing — with BidMode pre-integrated — features its optimization capability.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction provides a candid take on BidMode and its solutions. This second installment analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of BidMode’s solution, as well as offers an overall SWOT analysis and summary perspective on the provider. Part 1 of this brief includes an overview of the BidMode, describes its capabilities and provides a checklist for those that might consider the provider.

Sourcemap and BRAC U to Launch a Digital Map of Every Garment Factory in Bangladesh

We were intrigued to learn recently about a project to create a digital factory map of Bangladesh, a joint effort from BRAC University, Sourcemap and the C&A Foundation. Officially called the Digital Ready-Made Factory Map of Bangladesh, the project is set to launch this summer. A team of data collectors from BRAC University and Sourcemap are currently visiting every garment factory in Bangladesh and gathering GPS-linked data points on workers, factory facilities, certifications, types of products manufactured at the factory, and companies that source from the factory.

bidmode: Vendor Introduction (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

Those who think the sourcing optimization market is wrapped up by incumbent technology would be wrong. For at least the last few months, procurement organizations interested in sourcing optimization have had their choice of five different providers: SAP Ariba, Coupa, Jaggaer, Keelvar and SynerTrade. To this list, we can now add a sixth option: bidmode.

Among the first five on the list, currently available choices and capability vary significantly. SAP Ariba, the newest entrant, has big ambitions but limited capability. SynerTrade, which has not invested much in optimization since a few customers demanded the capability a decade ago, is in the same boat. The remaining three all offer differing degrees of more advanced capability.

But now to the sixth option. Without even a single mention in the media yet, bidmode, which launched this year, already has a few customers and a pipeline of about a dozen prospects for its new, low-risk entry model called "bidmode Inside," in which it serves as an extension to third-party sourcing capabilities.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction provides a candid take on bidmode and its solutions. Part 1 provides an overview of bidmode and its capabilities, as well as a checklist for those that might consider working with the company. Part 2 offers a perspective on what is comparatively good (and not so good) about bidmode’s solution, including a SWOT analysis.