The Technology Category

How to Interpret SolutionMap Procurement Provider Technology Rankings

When you first lay eyes on a SolutionMap Ranking you’ll notice the ‘Reading the Ranking Chart’ box on the right hand side stating a key — but there’s more to interpreting SolutionMap. Let’s explore the different elements of which you should be aware, from bubble size and color to quadrants.

Aquiire: What Makes it Great (E-Procurement SolutionMap Analysis)

We admit it. Despite the cleverness of the brand, Aquiire is a name that none of Spend Matters team members can spell right on the first try (nor on the second or third). But the e-procurement vendor stands out for more than having the only pun within its name and reminding us about how badly we are at spelling. It’s one of the only tech providers in the procurement sector that comes to mind which has successfully graduated from product/process enabler to a core solution in and of itself — one built off the plumbing of a unique, patented extended catalog management capability that addresses many of the real world limitations of managing spend beyond what’s contained within buyer or supplier hosted catalogs.

But this is only one of the things that makes Aquiire stand out from the procure-to-pay pack. Join us in this SolutionMap Insider analysis as we explore and unpack the nuances of what makes Aquiire great.

Nearly all technology providers participating in SolutionMap aren’t perfect (i.e., in analyst speak, “up and to the right”) for every business scenario. Even if a vendor has outstanding capability in certain areas — functionality, services or something else that helps it win business — to perform consistently above the functional and customer benchmark is a rarity. But there are reasons that specialist providers in different markets beat the big names in how they support specific organizational needs.

“What Makes it Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, exploring what makes these specialized (and in certain cases not-so-specialized) technology providers great for reasons that a simple graphic would fail to capture. Based on the rigorous SolutionMap evaluation process, customer reference reviews and expert eye from looking at products comparatively during demonstrations, the “What Makes it Great” series takes a fact-based approach to surfacing what makes individual vendors great.

In each research brief we translate each provider’s geek-level secret sauce into plain English and show precisely where the provider excels and where it convincingly “beats the benchmark” in SolutionMap. And we offer up a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor, along with basic facts to size ‘em up quickly.

Digital Service Providers: Do They Require Your Attention and Why? (Part 2) [Plus+]

crowdsourcing

In Part 1 of this series, we described and unpacked the topic of digital platform-based service providers, which represent a modest but growing spend category far outside of the scope of contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement programs. While they are not on procurement’s radar, Spend Matters believes these providers will increasingly become a significant part of organizations’ services consumption and spend over the next 10 years.

In Part 2, we review what is arguably the most successful sub-segment of these digital service providers, as well as revisit the question of whether they require your attention and why.

Sievo’s Data Management Services: ‘The Only Right Approach’ to a Standout Spend Analytics Capability  

big data

As procurement organizations have become increasingly global and digital, the amount of data they create has exploded. This has made finding and managing spend data all the more complicated, to say nothing of analyzing and making decisions based on that data. To keep up, procurement groups are increasingly investing in spend analytics tools, and the software market has responded in kind. New spend analytics vendors emerge each year, while suite providers continue to acquire leading providers, hoping to integrate standout capabilities into their offerings.

Between these upstarts and end-to-end offerings sits Sievo, one of the oldest independent providers in the market today. The Helsinki, Finland-based spend analytics provider has succeeded in its chosen solution area by continuously improving its product, using feedback from its customers to adapt its technology to changing procurement requirements.

Tradeshift’s “Sellers Club” Targets Bottomline and Accounts Receivable Technology With a Many-to-Many Offering

Sarika Garg, Tradeshift’s chief strategy officer, took the podium for a few minutes at Tradeshift’s analyst day to introduce what the procurement/finance technology provider is calling its “Seller’s Club.” The concept is that the “Club” is a membership, not a subscription. While a supplier-paid offering, Garg made the point of noting that Tradeshift remains free for suppliers to transact. Our take is that the Club appears to be a new offering for suppliers that is taking aim at another class of solutions entirely compared with procurement, accounts payable automation and supplier network offerings aimed at the buyer — where Tradeshift started.

Tradeshift Analyst Day Dispatch: “Do You Want Amazon to Own Your Supplier Relationships?”

On a well-timed East Coast swing, Lisa Reisman (Azul Partners’ fearless CEO) and I dropped by New York City for Tradeshift’s analyst day, the Tradeshift Innovation Summit. Christian Lanng, Tradeshift’s founder and CEO, kicked off the afternoon with a history lesson, drawing the parallel between Salesforce and the path he suggests that Tradeshift is on. He began his talk by noting that in 1999, Oracle, Siebel and SAP were “fighting it out over CRM” when the market was “fragmented, verticalized and on-premise.” But Salesforce came along with a different vision, building “software for the end-user” with an emphasis on “cloud” and eventually its “app” platform.

Building the Business Case for SRM (Part 5): Assessing Stakeholder Satisfaction

Spend Matters welcomes this guest series from Sean Harley, co-founder and CEO of LUPR.

Part 5 of this series on developing the business case for investing in supplier relationship management (SRM) capabilities focuses on assessing stakeholder satisfaction with current SRM practices. When SRM is neglected, the speed of contracting, supplier responses to performance issues, and the ease of collaboration between all parties — suppliers, procurement and internal stakeholders — tends to suffer. The best way to identify key pain points is to conduct thorough surveys of both your suppliers and internal stakeholders. This will help you understand the wider picture, highlighting common threads that harm your ability to work effectively with suppliers.

OpusCapita: What Makes it Great (E-Procurement SolutionMap Analysis)

OpusCapita is somewhat of a novelty in North America — and is only selectively known at the level of SAP Ariba, Coupa or Basware in parts of Europe. That’s a shame, as OpusCapita could very well be the perfect technology fit for many procurement and finance organizations that do not even know about it. Spend Matters comparatively tore into OpusCapita’s e-procurement and procure-to-pay capability as part of our Q2 2018 SolutionMap benchmark and discovered what makes the provider great.

Nearly all technology providers participating in SolutionMap aren’t perfect (i.e., in analyst speak, “up and to the right”) for every business scenario. Even if a vendor has outstanding capability in certain areas — functionality, services or something else that helps it win business — to perform consistently above the functional and customer benchmark is a rarity. But there are reasons that specialist providers in different markets beat the big names in how they support specific organizational needs. 

“What Makes it Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, exploring what makes these specialized (and in certain cases not-so-specialized) technology providers great for reasons that a simple graphic would fail to capture. Based on the rigorous SolutionMap evaluation process, customer reference reviews and expert eye from looking at products comparatively during demonstrations, the “What Makes it Great” series takes a fact-based approach to surfacing what makes individual vendors great.

In each research brief we translate each provider’s geek-level secret sauce into plain English and show precisely where the provider excels and where it convincingly “beats the benchmark” in SolutionMap. And we offer up a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor, along with basic facts to size ‘em up quickly.

5 Reasons to Bet For and Against Coupa (Part 2: The Blindsided Prince) [PRO]

Owing to its focus on “business” spend management and public company status, Coupa continues to serve as an ambassador and proxy for the procurement technology sector overall. As I noted in the first installment of this series — 5 Reasons to Bet For and Against Coupa (Part 1: The Virtuous ‘Cloud’ Prince) — it seems everyone has an opinion on Cramer’s new “Cloud Prince.” I shared five reasons I’d bet on Coupa from a procurement (not capital markets) perspective.

Today, to balance things out, I turn negative and introduce five reasons I’d bet against the firm, primarily revolving around how the sector and procurement, finance and supply chain may change around it. I’ll lump these reasons under the theme as “blindsided prince,” since I believe Coupa’s biggest risks come from outside, not within.

The 3 Contract Management Concepts that Will Enable Digital Transformation

As we explored in the first part of this series, a successful digital transformation is defined by certain characteristics. These characteristics touch the core processes of the business, which means that driving a digital transformation requires changing the core systems of commerce as well. And there’s no better way to start reforming core business processes than taking a digital approach to managing your contracts. With the strategy clear, the next step to enabling digital transformation is to understand the key aspects of a digital contract lifecycle management (CLM)system. Knowing these three key concepts will get you up to speed, and putting them to work will create the business and technical foundations you need for a successful digital transformation.

Q2 2018 SolutionMap E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay Release Notes

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), reviewing the process that we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

The Q2 2018 SolutionMap release saw a number of changes from the Q1 2018 release. This includes the addition of the following new providers: SynerTrade and Jaggaer Indirect. Additionally, a number of providers have received updated scoring based on the submission and demonstration of new production technology release capabilities. In addition, the Procure-to-Pay customer reference set grew by over 50 individual customer references in Q2.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional changes in the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release.

Q2 2018 SolutionMap Release Notes: Source-to-Pay (S2P)

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release for Source-to-Pay, reviewing the process that we followed for this inaugural release.

The providers in the Q2 2018 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, SynerTrade and Zycus. All of these providers were required to participate in SolutionMap for each underlying module, as well. These individual areas include Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay. All of these providers are also included in the individual Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite views.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional considerations in the Q2 2018 SolutionMap release. The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 700+ individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q2 2018*.

*Customers using more than one module that a vendor provides can opt to fill out a single survey within each individual suite area (e.g., a customer using two modules for P2P and four modules for SPT would only need to fill out two surveys).