The Technology Category

Basware Connect 2018 Dispatch: By the Numbers and New Developments

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Spend Matters is on the ground in Austin, Texas, to cover the Basware Connect 2018 customer conference. The event kicked off Wednesday with an analyst-focused discussion on where the procure-to-pay (P2P) provider grew in 2017 and where it is adding to its value proposition in the coming year.

From Talent to Category Management: 4 Critical Development Areas for Procurement

Cybersecurity and access to critical talent are the top worries on CPOs’ minds, according to a Hackett Group report, The CPO Agenda: Expanding Procurement’s Influence Through Change and Innovation. The importance of cybersecurity is compounded by the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect May 25. In addition, cybersecurity and access to critical talent are also expected to be “high risk” in the near future by three quarters of procurement professionals who took part in The Hackett Group’s annual Key Issues Study.

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.

What’s New on the Beeline Technology Horizon: BeelineOne

Beeline Senior Vice President of Strategy Colleen Tiner made two important product announcements at the 2018 Beeline Conference Tuesday, providing a clearer technology roadmap for the company following its merger with IQNavigator. The first announcement concerned the completion of Horizon, Beeline’s name for its new underlying microservices platform. The second covered the development of BeelineOne, a user-facing product that delivers a common set of capabilities from both Beeline and IQN’s platforms.

To learn more about Horizon and BeelineOne, we spoke with the Beeline engineering team to understand what is complete, what is available and what is in the works.

Vroozi: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 2) — Strengths, Weaknesses, Customer Perspective, Competition and Summary [PRO]

Vroozi typifies the speed of innovation happening within the broader source-to-pay market in recent quarters. While much of our original Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot from early 2017 on Vroozi remains descriptive of the provider (see Part 1Part 2 and Part 3), Vroozi has picked up its pace of innovation.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides a refresh of our previous analysis of Vroozi. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insight, competitive landscape observations and summary recommendations on when to prioritize Vroozi as a shortlist candidate. The first installment of our 2018 update provides key facts on Vroozi, a solution overview, a recap of its overall footprint, and an update on new features and capabilities.

2018 Beeline Conference: CEO Doug Leeby Talks Integration Hurdles, What Lies Ahead

Doug Leeby kicked off the 2018 Beeline Conference Tuesday with a talk on how Beeline has done over the past year and where it is headed. Given our interest in Beeline’s progress post-merger with IQNavigator, Leeby’s talk was very helpful. Compared with past years, Leeby’s keynote was notably more serious, focused on the here and now rather than technology and innovation. Specifically, Leeby emphasized Beeline’s increased “customer focus” — no doubt of critical importance given the typical challenges that come with integrating two companies.

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3 Reasons Catalogs Can’t Be Trusted to Manage Low-Value Spend

For many procurement organizations, catalogs have become the default way to manage indirect spend. It’s easy to see why. Catalogs offer a simple way to manage recurring, low-value purchases. By grouping previously sourced categories and commonly requested items into a single interface, catalogs promise ease of use, efficiency and, of course, increased savings, especially through the reduction of maverick spend. In practice, however, catalogs often create as many new problems as they solve. To help you understand why, here are three reasons why catalogs can’t be trusted to manage low-value spend — and how you can go about protecting your organization.

Manufacturers Are Moving Toward Digital Supply Networks, Despite Barriers

Manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits digital supply networks offer, but implementation of the technology still lags, according to a new study conducted by Deloitte and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). In contrast to a traditional supply chain, a digital supply network is a “flexible, interconnected matrix that allows data and information to move non-linearly to maximize efficiency to meet changing consumer and market demands,” the study authors write.

Vroozi: Vendor Snapshot Update (Part 1) — Updated Facts, Footprint and Enhancements [PRO]

The e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology markets, which we collectively describe as procure-to-pay (P2P), provide incredible choice to software customers today. Not only are these sectors not yet consolidated, there also are a range of smaller technology providers that are seldom invited to the shortlist and selection dance as often as they should be. Within e-procurement especially, Vroozi is one provider that fits this description perfectly.

Spend Matters originally published a Vendor Snapshot on Vroozi in early 2017 (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). A little over a year since then, Vroozi has made a considerable effort to update its solution, making improvements across its suite, including significant enhancements to its invoice-to-pay capabilities and additional investments in its core e-procurement offering. Most recently, in Q1 2018, Vroozi was among the top performers in the Nimble persona for the Spend Matters E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps — highlighting the comparative progress the provider has made in this period.

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update provides a refresh to our previous analysis of Vroozi. Part 1 provides updated key facts on Vroozi and a solution overview, including both a recap of the previous coverage and an update on new capabilities. Part 2 provides updated strengths and weaknesses, customer reference insight, competitive landscape observations and summary recommendations on when to consider Vroozi as a shortlist candidate.

The 2018 Beeline Conference: What Lies Ahead in a Changing World of Work

The 2018 Beeline Conference kicks off Monday in Amelia Island, Florida, the company’s second annual event since its merger with IQNavigator in December 2016. The conference will provide a good opportunity to review Beeline’s technology and product strategies, to be sure, but we at Spend Matters are also interested in the broader picture. In particular, we are eager to gauge Beeline’s progress as it evolves from simply a vendor management system (VMS) to something much bigger. 

How Procurement Tech Adoption is Changing the Early Payment Game for the Better

The imperative to improve working capital is nothing new. As long as businesses have existed, buying organizations have wanted to hold onto their cash as long as possible, while suppliers have wanted to be paid promptly for goods and services provided. No wonder, then, that one of the oldest mechanisms to alleviate this discrepancy, invoice finance, dates back almost 5,000 years. But even over such a long history, invoice finance changed little. That's why the technological forces that are shaping this space stand to change so much about how it works.

Examining SMB Procurement Tech Needs: Do E-Procurement and SAP Ariba Snap Hit the Mark? [PRO]

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SAP Ariba is making a bet on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) market with its new Snap offering. But to fully understand this bet, some context is in order.

Smaller middle-market companies are generally late to the procurement technology game, especially compared with Global 2000 and Fortune 500 organizations. The most fully adopted procurement technology component within the SMB market, accounts payable automation (inclusive of basic invoice-to-pay capability), is more likely owned by the finance function than by procurement. And while travel and expense software is also valued by smaller organizations, its impact on procurement goals and metrics is generally limited relative to other initiatives organizations can pursue.

So where does e-procurement fit into the SMB equation, and if SAP Ariba Snap does hit the mark, where might that middle-market sweet spot be? This Spend Matters PRO brief explores how e-procurement solutions, including SAP Ariba Snap, fit into the SMB procurement agenda. It also provides a checklist for middle-market firms to think through when it might make sense to prioritize procure-to-pay (e-procurement and invoice-to-pay) investments relative to other areas such as strategic sourcing, analytics and supplier management. (For a full introduction to SAP Ariba Snap, read our Spend Matters PRO brief on the solution.)