Category Archives: Technology

Defining the Next Generation Source-to-Pay Platform

FM Global Resilience Index

In the earlier parts of this series examining the intersection of procurement suite and platform capability, we set the stage by first arguing that suites represented a move away from point-based, "best-of-breed" solutions to process-based suite solutions. Yet we also exposed the cracks in “suite” armor. There’s no question a standard procurement suite can help organizations overcome basic data management nightmares, process inefficiency and visibility gaps that were common when procurement was trying to support its processes.

SynerTrade: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary Analysis and Recommendations


Better known in France, Germany and other countries in Continental Europe than in North America, SynerTrade is launching an expansion strategy targeting the U.S. market that aims to bring its unique breed of procurement suite to an expanding set of global customers. From a functional and modular breadth perspective, SynerTrade certainly ranks in the top dozen of procurement technology suites, and in specific modular areas, it has differentiated capabilities that help it stand out from competitors. So far in this multipart Spend Matters PRO brief, we introduced the provider to our subscribers with a comprehensive introduction to SynerTrade (company and solutions) and a detailed view on strengths and weaknesses. This final installment provides a competitive analysis and overview comparison, a recommend fit and company selection checklist sheet ,and a summary analysis of SynerTrade for potential customers.

More Business Travelers Turn to Uber, Lyft Than Ever Before

sharing economy

Ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft continue to gain popularity among corporate business travelers, according to recent research. The latest SpendSmart report from travel and expense management software provider Certify showed Uber and Lyft rides accounted for 46% of total ground transportation among business travelers in the first quarter of 2016. That’s up 4% from the fourth quarter of 2015.

Just What is an End-to-End Platform for Source to Pay?


In Part 1 of this three-part series, we discussed how the rise of the platform is procurement's future and gave supporting use cases to explain this argument. If you understand this, then you know that something else is needed: a source-to-pay (S2P) procurement platform that goes beyond simply supporting the basic sourcing and procurement processes. But what is this platform?

Online Work Intermediation Platforms: The Opportunities and Challenges in Mid-2016


If you are an enterprise contingent workforce or services procurement practitioner, it’s almost certain that you have some awareness of the increasing role of state-of-the-art technology platforms in intermediating contingent work arrangements. You know today (whether because of Uber, or Upwork, or others) that technology-based platforms are being used to engage contingent workers, get work done and most often pay the workers — all through a single digital platform. But this awareness was not always the case. When analyst coverage of this subject started over four years ago, the emergence of work intermediation platforms was (for all intents and purposes) off the radar of practitioners, who were absorbed with program expansion, vendor management system (VMS) adoption, staff-augmentation cost and risk management and the increasing need to manage SOWs. All of these remain top priorities now, but practitioner mindshare has opened up for several reasons, such as the need to access and engage skilled talent in a time of shortages and the expanding popular awareness of freelance, gig and on-demand. Closes $3.3M Seed Round, Ready for Commercial Launch

FusionOps funding, a startup centered in the exploding “on-demand,” “gig” workforce space, announced a $3.3 million seed funding round led by Tokalon Ventures, with participation by ARC Angel Fund, Fund, Gambit Ventures and an angel investor. Founded in 2015, the company has been in what it calls “private beta,” working with unspecified platforms and businesses and, reportedly 50,000 workers.

Value as a Service: Buzzword or Game Changer?


During the last few years, procurement technology provider Coupa has used the slogan “Savings as a Service,” a catchy phrase for a company serving procurement organizations. It has also been a smart slogan because it aligns to procurement’s primary mission — delivering savings. Delivering savings is also front-of-mind for mid-size companies as well as large ones. However, organizations that have identified procurement’s potential to adopt a more strategic role for the business beyond delivering savings are looking for a different type of conversation with their service providers (including SaaS providers like procurement technology providers), and how they can help support a broader missions of value beyond cost savings. So, Coupa has pivoted to the motto “Value as a Service.” But what does this mean and how can practitioners and providers learn from this? We previously wrote an article that touched upon Value as a Service, but this Spend Matters PRO brief explores how is Coupa is trying to deliver Value as a Service (including with its latest product release). And as (or more) important, we explore how others can learn from these efforts, including providers and practitioners alike.

How Millennials Are Driving Technology Adoption

on-demand workforce

One of the most well-known characteristics of millennials is how comfortable they are with technology. Their ability to use, apply and understand different technologies quickly often sets them apart from other generations in the workforce. Their demand for up-to-date technology is putting pressure on companies to change or update certain business processes and will likely encourage many organizations to adopt advanced technology solutions and improve efficiency and collaboration in the workplace.

SynerTrade: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses


SynerTrade, a procurement technology suite provider, is an example of a provider upending the status quo in source-to-pay (S2P) solution development. Providers in this formerly slow-moving technology market are now developing solutions at breakneck pace, enhancing or introducing technologies at an order of magnitude more quickly than in the past. In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SynerTrade, we provided an overview of the provider and its solutions, as well as a company-level SWOT analysis and summary criteria for scenarios when procurement organizations should prioritize its solutions. In this analysis, we observe how SynerTrade's solution is one of the broadest — and in a few areas the deepest — solutions available in the market today and assess the provider’s strengths and weaknesses on the solution level.

MBA & Company: WIP of the Week

MBA & Company

MBA & Company, based in London and founded in 2009, is a provider of an online marketplace platform which — as perhaps suggested by its name — allows enterprises to engage independent business consultants. The company’s platform and network of consultants is bundled with a set of services — namely account management, final matching of candidates to client requirements and upstream vetting of talent. MBA’s platform and services effectively support a full lifecycle of source-to-pay (S2P) solutions (i.e., from talent sourcing to payment).

Manufacturers Investing in Automation Due to Supply Chain Pressures


Global supply chains are becoming increasingly “digitized,” as companies improve business processes and operate more efficiently using new technologies. Suppliers are investing in more advanced technologies and buying organizations are implementing more advanced solutions to procure goods and services. Manufacturers, specifically, are feeling the impacts of the growing digital world. A recent survey of manufacturers by the MAPI Foundation shows supply chain pressures are driving automation activity in the manufacturing industry.

SynerTrade: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview


The speed and quality of procurement software development is changing at breakneck pace. SynerTrade, a provider that was not even on the map in North America 12 months ago, has been a significant beneficiary of this fundamental shift. SynerTrade provides a broad and deep source-to-pay (S2P) suite spanning both procurement and operational requirements. Read this Spend Matters PRO analysis to get all of the facts and expert analysis to determine if SynerTrade is right for your procurement organization, as well as other providers to consider in an evaluation alongside of it. This multipart research brief provides a SynerTrade company and solution history and overview, company-level SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses, competitor analysis, user selection guides and insider evaluation and selection considerations.