Category Archives: Technology

Choosing Procurement Technology That Grows With You

As a procurement practitioner, when you start looking at the portfolio of solutions you have available today, some patterns will likely emerge. First, you’ll have a range of tools in your arsenal. There will be a few painfully obsolete tools that are creaking along (used only by select specialists still able to maneuver them). There will be specific procurement tools (analytics, sourcing, etc.) not used by many. There there will be several mainstream ERP solutions that are used nearly daily by all, and so on. In one of the most important Spend Matters' PRO research briefs published this fall, Thomas Kase, vice president of research, looks at how we have reached the current state of procurement technology and the impact of this technology on people, processes, habits, culture and time.

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Could Proper Procurement Have Saved Apple and GT Advanced?

By now, you’re probably well aware of the Apple and GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) debacle that’s been all over the news headlines. In case you haven’t been following this, GTAT makes sapphire manufacturing equipment and had hoped to also sell some special sapphire glass made from its most advanced equipment to Apple (there’s a cool video here on how the crystal is made). The $578 million exclusive contract was loaded with penalties, namely $50M per incident of any IP violation, and involved a series of milestone payments as production scaled up.

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Top 4 Ways CPOs Will Use Social Media

apple-cup-display-1883-733x550 In Part 1 of this series we looked at the principles of social media, which give an insight into how and why it has been such a phenomenon. Aspects such as the way it enables users to feel a sense of belonging and to share knowledge, information and their passions so quickly and easily, play to ancient human needs. So now let’s look in a more practical manner at the areas where social media tools, or tools that at least use these principles, will increasingly play an important role in the lives of CPOs and indeed all procurement professionals. There are 4 principle areas that we can consider, although there is overlap between them in some cases.

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Clear The Decks! – A Technology Transformation Is On Its Way

- October 28, 2014 2:21 PM | Categories: Cloud, Guest Post, Innovation, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Paul Blake of GEP.In his seminal works of a dystopian near future, William Gibson wrote about mobile computing. In his “Sprawl” stories, the protagonists operate decks built by Hitachi and Suzuki. With the exception of the jargon and the brands, Gibson’s prediction of the laptop bearing an East Asian logo was spot on, as was his conceptualization of the Internet. In 1984 it was fantasy, by 1994 it seemed like prophecy. But by 2014, at least in terms of the tech, the world of “Neuromancer” and “Count Zero” is like a “yesterday that could have been” rather than “a tomorrow that may be.”

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Understand Your Use Case First – Develop Later! Yes, that Goes For You Too, Google!

- October 24, 2014 2:45 AM | Categories: Friday Rant, Technology

Don't you just hate it when applications and web-based SaaS solutions look cool, but once you start using them, you run into issues with the slick buttons (having to click once on everything to figure out what the icon means) or you just can't figure out where a certain feature is (assuming it even exists, but how can you know for sure?). "Mystery meat" is what I call these features.

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Computer Prices Continue Their Inexorable Decline

- October 23, 2014 2:19 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from IHS. Average selling prices (ASPs) in all categories of computers are expected to slip over the next several years, even as the qualities of the computers continues to rise – faster processors, more memory, more storage. ASPs for personal computers including desktops, laptops and entry-level servers are expected to average a 0.7% drop in 2014 and 2015, while enterprise servers are forecast to decline 1.9% each year on average during that period.

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Are You Overspending on BYOD Stipends?

- October 22, 2014 2:08 PM | Categories: Best Practice, Guest Post, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from NPI. The growth of BYOD is slowing and may have already peaked, according to some industry experts. Earlier this year, the Yankee Group reported the percentage of enterprises with 1,000 employees or more that allowed them to use their own mobile devices peaked at 81% in Q2 2012. Over the past 2 years, the percentage has dropped by double digits.

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Thinking Through Event Size Limits – Courtesy of a Sourcing Optimization Guru (Part 1)

- October 22, 2014 6:48 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Supply Chain, Technology

1368590906514fn When I worked at FreeMarkets in the early days before the advent of self-service sourcing tools, we used to think events with over 500 line items (grouped into half a dozen or so lots) were large. The items and the groups we lotted them into were generally part of the same category or families. At the time (15 years ago), we were using sourcing technology that was incredibly rudimentary compared with the power of tools that are available today that leverage the ability to conflict different bids from suppliers based on flexible submission capability. Moreover, bids can now cascade across different supply chain elements including raw material costs/requirements, transportation costs, value added steps, etc., and we can bring them together in a common event. It raises the question: How big is too big for an event?

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SciQuest 14.2 Update Part 2: Total Supplier Management – Sophisticated Supplier Lifecycle Management Solution Renewed

In Part 1, we looked at the new TSM (Total Supplier Manager) 14.2 release by SciQuest. Details included a Base TSM with extendible functionality on a core Java framework shared with the rest of SciQuest’s suite offering, which concludes the migration of AECsoft IP from the older .NET architecture to SciQuest’s core platform. Read on to hear more insights in Part 2.

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Cracked, Scratched and Even Dunked: Why BYODD (Bring Your Own Damaged Device) is Now the Norm

- October 17, 2014 2:19 PM | Categories: Best Practice, Guest Post, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post by David C. Wyld of Southeastern Louisiana University. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is certainly one of the megatrends of IT today. The stats on the degree to which most of us are merging the personal and work use of all of our smart gizmos - our smartphones, our tablets and our laptops are truly amazing. Gartner has recently forecast that by 2017, half of all employers will no longer provide mobile devices to their employees, but rely instead on BYOD. Where is all this leading?

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SciQuest 14.2 Update: Total Supplier Management – Sophisticated Supplier Lifecycle Management Solution Renewed

SciQuest has released version 14.2 of its Total Supplier Management (TSM) solution. The bulk of the high-end SLM (supplier lifecycle management) and SIM (supplier information management) intellectual property contained in its 14.2 TSM offering was originally obtained through the AECsoft acquisition nearly 4 years ago, and the AECsoft’s .NET architected solution has now been almost entirely moved over to SciQuest’s Java-based framework as well as received a solid UI/UX scrubbing. Hats off to SciQuest for accomplishing this.

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Cloud: “It’s All Hype”

- October 15, 2014 2:25 AM | Categories: Analytics, Cloud, Technology

file0001433798878 In Part 1, we read about some of the details that lurk under the surface of the deceptively simple “cloud” label. Part 2 has the first half of our exclusive interview with Steve Brooke – serial CTO at Procuri, CombineNet and other firms – and his comments on cloud, SaaS and what is important when developing as well as buying scalable, reliable cloud solutions. This final part concludes the interview with Steve, and wraps up with some takeaways for buyers looking for cloud solutions.

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