Category Archives: Technology

New Purchasing Technology: Using Tools That Delight Rather Than Distract

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi. Before smartphones, many mobile phone models required you to push big, bulky buttons in order to dictate an action on your phone’s screen. There were no touchscreen capabilities. There were few graphics. There were few bells – and even fewer whistles. Today’s phones can render beautiful images from Internet sources and advanced digital cameras. They make it possible to voice chat, text chat and video chat. They can store vast amounts of music, video and photo files. Digital personal assistants can input or retrieve information from your phone for you, or they can search the web on your behalf.

I’ve Joined Twitter! Stay Tuned for ‘Less Filtered’ Findings

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At Spend Matters, at least with our @spendmatters handle, we’ve admittedly done a rather superficial job at using Twitter. Yes, we tweet our stories and research. And yes, there’s even an occasional witty angle to it. But to date, it’s been a channel for Spend Matters, one that’s been secondary compared to our other editorial priorities. Perhaps this won’t change on the site side of things – and maybe it shouldn’t. But personally, I’ve decided to toss my hat into the Twitter ring. I signed up for a new Twitter handle (@jasondbusch) earlier this week and have already had quite a bit of fun with it, the way I used to when Spend Matters was bit less edited and filtered.

Exploring Work Market: Market Context, Customer Experience and Recommendations

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Today we conclude our analysis of Work Market by examining both the customer experience (from a user perspective) and final recommendations for those companies considering a freelancer management system (FMS) either alongside or separate from a vendor management system (VMS). In recent discussions with Work Market and other services procurement customers, we have been hearing some consistent patterns. It seems companies are hiring more non-affiliated freelancers and independent consultants, and the decision to use an “out-tasking” service or marketplace versus a mode that allows greater control and compliance from a FMS standpoint – for onsite ICs or otherwise – is often based on the category and strategic importance of the activity. Additionally, traditional e-procurement, VMS and MSP solutions are typically not up to the task or purpose-built for the effort. But the question remains: Will Work Market (independently or in a competitive environment) be a key provider to fill the void?

A Procurement Manifesto: Article 1 – Technology in Our Personal Lives

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I spent the better part of the first few months of the year wracking my brain to distill a lot of ideas – with the input of the Vroozi team – on a new procurement manifesto that spoke to how procurement and procurement technology will change to reflect the world we are living in today. The list of articles in the manifesto (which we may expand with further input in a second edition) currently stands at 20. In the coming weeks, I’ll share each of the articles on Spend Matters and also offer up some additional thoughts as well. In the meantime, you can download the full essay here: Declaration of the New Purchasing.

How Technology Helps Take Category Management to the Next Level – Category Management 2.0 (Part 2)

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This second part of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoy it. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced category management 2.0 as “the lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and began discussing approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and introduce some approaches to make this happen.

CSR: Do You Use Environmentally Friendly Laptops? Can You Replace Batteries?

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My Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display (aka MBPr) is losing its charge – otherwise it's largely been a champ so far since Jason and I each bought one the very first day they came out in 2012. There have been some bugs along the way (e.g. WiFi and Bluetooth don't always like each other, and some unexpected crashes), but overall it has been a good relationship. As is expected with all battery-powered devices (remember that prospective electric car buyers!), eventually the charge doesn't last. Early on, I got a solid 8 hours out of my MacBook battery, maybe even 10 hours or more sometimes, especially on dark planes with the screen dimmed down. Now, however, 3 hours or so, and it’s shutting down.

Elegance And Simplicity of New Purchasing: Mobile Payments

Spend Matters welcomes this Sponsored article from Vroozi. Are you still working harder, not smarter? Are you still drawn to solutions that make procurement and other business functions more complicated than they need to be? As Vroozi professed in a recent article about its jointly produced paper with Spend Matters, called Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto, “complexity will yield to elegance and simplicity.” But, how does that “elegance and simplicity” lead to innovation? In this post, we’ll explore how even the concept of payments has become more elegant in the world of New Purchasing.

Exploring the IBM Emptoris and Coupa Partnership: Opportunities, Potential Challenges and Customer Recommendations

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Earlier this week, IBM announced it is formalizing a deeper partnership with Coupa. As part of the relationship, IBM Procurement, aka Emptoris, is gaining access to Coupa’s procure-to-pay (P2P) capabilities including supplier network connectivity to be able to more effectively respond to RFPs that require a full source-to-pay suite capabilities. Through the partnership, Coupa is gaining access to a full-featured sourcing, contract management and supplier management capabilities from Emptoris IBM, but the reality is that Coupa is adding deeper suite capabilities in these and related product areas with every release cycle. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides perspective and commentary on the opportunities and potential challenges the partnership between IBM Emptoris and Coupa will bring – as well as recommendations for prospects and customers considering an integrated solution from the two providers. But before delving into these areas, we will first explore the history and context behind the partnership, going back to the original Emptoris (pre-IBM) and Coupa partnership.

Four Questions to Ask if Microsoft Buys Salesforce (or During Any Mega-Acquisition)

Spend Matters welcomes another guest post by Jeff Muscarella, Partner, IT and Telecommunications, from NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. Will Microsoft buy Salesforce.com? It’s a $50 billion dollar question stemming from Bloomberg’s recent report that Salesforce has been approached with a solid acquisition offer. The prospective buyer remains a mystery, but names like Oracle and Microsoft have been floating around. Out of these 2, Microsoft appears to have the most to gain. The company has been very vocal about its cloud and mobility ambitions as of late, and there are few IT vendors out there that complement these ambitions better than Salesforce. Of course, a buyout may never come to pass, which is fine for many Salesforce fans who would like to see the Force.com platform remain unencumbered by Microsoft, Oracle or any other “legacy” vendor.

Why Enterprise-Wide Software Deployments Are Not Always ‘Enterprise-Wise’

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Jeffrey Jones, account manager at with CobbleStone Systems Corporation. The thought of an enterprise-wide software deployment is alluring for both sides of the deal. You have the opportunity to employ a transformative and efficient change in the organization. The sales representative has the opportunity to gain recognition from his or her employer and a likely large commission check. Enterprise-wide appears to be a winning strategy from the outset – a silver bullet. Some organizations are able to pull it off without a hitch. Unfortunately, just as many organizations find this strategy ending in gridlock.

CloudDDM Gives Boost to 3D Printing Supply Chain – Opens 100-Printer Factory in Louisville

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CloudDDM is disrupting the 3D printing industry by setting up a 100-printer factory in UPS’ worldwide supply chain solutions campus in Louisville, Kentucky. A leader in additive manufacturing, or 3D printing as it’s more commonly known, CloudDDM is currently operating the high-tech 3D printers running 24 hours, 7 days a week in the Louisville campus. CloudDDM’s founder Mitch Free said the factory has just 3 employees – one for each of the 8-hour shifts throughout the day. UPS handles packaging and shipping of parts and prototypes created using CloudDDM. Free said the facility can turn around orders that typically take a week to complete in 24 hours.

Bringing Elegance and Simplicity to Problem Solving and Enterprise Technology Adoption

Spend Matters welcomes this Sponsored article from Vroozi. There’s an old expression, “Don’t work harder; work smarter.” Old as it may be, this is one of the adages of New Purchasing: The answer to complexity does not have to be more complexity. Is this not the reason for enterprise technology? Organizations adopt solutions that enable their employees to work more quickly, more efficiently and with better organization. Really, this is the same reason that many people adopt technology in their personal lives, as well.