The Technology Category

Simeno Who? An Unofficial, Unauthorized FAQ Exploring Coupa’s Largest Acquisition To Date (Part 1) [PRO]

Coupa announced Monday it had acquired Simeno, likely its biggest acquisition to date, as measured by the revenue of the target it acquired. But buying Simeno gives Coupa far more than just a means to arbitrage European SaaS vendor multiples to North American ones and buy its way into dozens of larger European customers. Rather, the acquisition brings Simeno’s prebuilt supplier content integrations, unique solutions and intellectual property, particularly in the catalog management and services procurement areas, to Coupa.

Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO Research Brief attempts to answer the following questions: Why haven’t I heard of Simeno? How large is Simeno? Why did Coupa buy Simeno? What did Simeno look like from a high-level SWOT perspective prior to the acquisition? And what are Simeno’s solution strengths and weaknesses?

Coupa Acquires Simeno to Augment Catalog Search and Management Capabilities

Coupa has acquired procure-to-pay (P2P) provider Simeno, extending the platform’s marketplace strategy to provide deeper and pre-integrated supplier connections and opening key markets to support continued expansion. Based in Basel, Switzerland, Simeno offers key capabilities in cross-catalog search and advanced catalog management. Large enterprises often use Simeno as a shopping front-end for systems such as SAP PM, SAP MM and Oracle iProcure to augment cross-catalog search capability.

Exari: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]


There is more than meets the product and functional eye when it comes to evaluating independent contract lifecycle management (CLM) providers. Spend Matters research, including our recently published Q4 2017 CLM SolutionMap, suggests this is a technology market where it is easier to define what makes individual vendors different than what makes them similar. This is even the case where just about every best-of-breed (i.e., non-suite) vendor ticks the baseline contract management checklist boxes across all key areas including core modeling, extended contract modeling/analytics, expiration/renewal, creation/authoring, collaboration, and implementation, compliance, obligation and performance management.

Exari is one such provider in this specialized and diverse segment of the procurement technology market that stands out based on its current intellectual property and software development focus. Consider, for example, Exari’s data architecture, built on what the provider describes as a universal contract model (UCM) that can encapsulate all of the elements, relationships and actions in a contract. Exari can use this abstracted contract data structure to guide a user through contract creation, identify potential issues and raise alerts based upon data elements or events or (unexpected) actions. It can even analyze third-party documents and convert external contracts into a document within Exari or into its UCM-based canonical contract data model through other artificial intelligence (AI) and semantic parsing capabilities in its broader solution portfolio.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Exari provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Exari and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Exari as a technology provider and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Procurement Technology Solution Selections: It’s Time to Show Your Hand to Providers [Plus+]

In this article, we make the case for letting your providers know who their competitors are early on in the selection process and why this ultimately works significantly in your favor. In prior articles, we have talked about the importance — necessity really — of sharing information about yourself and your goals with providers, all in the context of selecting procurement solutions.

10 Questions Jaggaer’s Acquisition of BravoSolution Should Raise for Customers and the Market (Part 2) [PRO]

Jaggaer’s acquisition of BravoSolution raises a number of questions for customers and partners regarding the broader strategy that Jaggaer and its owner, Accel-KKR, appear to be following in the market. In the second installment of this research brief, we pose five more questions customers, prospects and partners should consider as they explore the combination and what it means for them. (See questions one through five here.) These questions center on Jaggaer’s solution gaps that will remain following the acquisition of BravoSolution, whether the verticalization of procurement technology solutions matters, what it will take to enable a “super suite,” specific procure-to-pay (P2P) considerations and whether the transaction might trigger other acquisitions in the sector.

10 Questions Jaggaer’s Acquisition of BravoSolution Should Raise for Customers and the Market (Part 1) [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Research Note asks 10 questions that Jaggaer and BravoSolution customers and partners should consider asking as informed “consumers” of this combination. These questions cover both the recently announced acquisition of BravoSolution by Jaggaer and general considerations based on Jaggaer and Accel-KKR’s business strategy as we see it. Part 1 of this research brief covers questions one through five, while Part 2 covers questions six through 10:

  1. What is a roll-up, what benefits does it bring and why is Jaggaer following this strategy?
  2. What did Jaggaer see in BravoSolution? And why does this matter for BravoSolution customers?
  3. Will the strategy that Jaggaer and Accel-KKR appear to be pursuing end up being a net positive for customers?
  4. How did BravoSolution operate before (e.g., regional managers and “postponement” of solution delivery approaches at the local level) and how might this acquisition change its previous approach?
  5. Is there advantage in size alone?
  6. What gaps will remain in Jaggaer’s portfolio following the closure of the transaction?
  7. Will verticalization (industry-based approaches) to procurement technology end up being more about marketing or more about product?
  8. What is a “super suite” as claimed in the announcement of the combination?
  9. What might happen to Jaggaer and BravoSolution’s individual procure-to-pay solutions as a result of the combination?
  10. Will this transaction trigger other acquisitions in the sector? And what does this mean for customers of other solutions?

The Hidden 80/20 of IT Spend: Where to Mine for Savings

sourcing technology

This Wednesday I'm participating in a webinar titled “The Paradox of IT Spend: How to Influence the Biggest Cost Reduction Opportunity and Claim Savings.” The gist of the event is that there are significant savings in tackling what some may consider “sacred cow” categories within IT spend that are not so sacred at all. But what are the best opportunities, and how much in potential savings is on the line? The answer to the first question is more nuanced, as it centers on targeting budgets (and suppliers) based on the cost of maintaining systems. The answer to the second question, however, is simple: lots.

Exari: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

Even among specialist contract lifecycle management (CLM) providers, those that go below the surface in evaluating functional capabilities will discover that there is significant differentiation of both absolute functional capability and focus among vendors. The former point may be obvious, but the latter point is especially nuanced within the best-of-breed CLM market.

Exari is a perfect example. Comparing Exari even with its specialist contract management peers is like comparing apples to oranges. It stands apart from others that appear to tick similar functional boxes for many reasons and is likely a better fit for certain legal and procurement organizations over others, based on both their specific goals in deploying a CLM solution and their overall approach to enterprise contract management.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Exari’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Exari. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Jaggaer Again Leads with its Chin in BravoSolution Acquisition

While terms and conditions of the transaction are not public, this is a bigger deal than U.S.-centric market followers may think. Regardless of how much Jaggaer paid, the most important feature of this deal is that the U.S. procurement market’s most prolific hunter-gatherer just bought itself a global footprint. Yes, the solution pieces are all there now. And, as Jaggaer's CEO argues, they’re all best of breed. But what he doesn’t mention, nor does Jim Wetekamp, BravoSolution’s CEO, is the word “integration.”

Secrets to Better Technology RFPs: Avoiding Hijackings, Dying References and Key Takeaways [Plus+]

Quick: Who do you think has the upper hand in procurement/vendor negotiations when it comes to buying technology? If you guessed the provider, you would be right, in all too many cases. But it doesn’t have to be this way. And in fact, the best processes are anything but zero sum games. As a first step to maximizing procurement value and aligning outcomes with the business (and your vendor), getting the RFI/RFP process right is a critical step. In this Spend Matters Plus series, we shed light on a number of secrets of the trade and how to buy procurement technology — and indeed all technology — that much better. In this last installment of the series, we explore how to avoid IT and legal hijacking of the process as well as key takeaways and recommendations for procurement organizations.

Jaggaer-BravoSolution Merger Analysis: BravoSolution Customer Recommendations [PRO]

Jaggaer announced Wednesday it would acquire BravoSolution, a Europe- and North America-based provider of strategic procurement technology solutions (and, on a more recent basis, e-procurement capability). This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides guidance and customer recommendations to help procurement groups navigate the merger, primarily for organizations already using or considering using BravoSolution. It also provides insight into commercial, technology, and deployment and support considerations surrounding the combination of the two providers, as well as select alternative providers in some of the markets in which BravoSolution competes.

This is the first in a detailed series of Spend Matters PRO research briefs and commentary on this transaction. Our next research brief will cover 10 questions that the acquisition should raise for BravoSolution customers to form a basis for understanding the acquisition and what it means for them — and where they sit in the customer pecking order based on industry, geography and other considerations. We will also compare the modules from both providers in the strategic procurement technology areas and explore how they compare on a highly granular basis. Finally, we will explore implications for the competitive landscape.

In the meantime, BravoSolution customers who want to understand how BravoSolution, Jaggaer and Jaggaer Direct compare on a granular functional basis and from a customer satisfaction perspective in each solution area, as well as how competitors performed, should consult our Q4 2017 SolutionMap Vendor Deep Dive reports. See spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management, strategic procurement technology suites and procure-to-pay suites.

For highly granular comparative analysis looking at both providers' capabilities in each modular area in which there is overlap, as well as curated peer ratings and alternative providers for each functional area, BravoSolution and Jaggaer customers (and consultancies advising customers) can inquire about PRO and SolutionMap pricing for 2017, expiring at the end of December. Subscriptions include access to the entire Spend Matters PRO archives covering both providers, representing more than 100 research briefs.

Those wishing to tailor an even deeper view of Q4 2017 SolutionMap benchmark insight to their specific organization — based on more than 700 source-to-pay functional benchmark scores and analyst-based vendor ratings, as well as more than 300 customer peer reviews to improve technology provider shortlist and selection processes — can inquire via the above link.

Jaggaer to Acquire BravoSolution: Initial Thoughts and Considerations

Jaggaer announced Wednesday that it will acquire procurement suite provider BravoSolution for an undisclosed sum. The combination would make Jaggaer the “largest independent, vertical spend management solution provider in the world,” the company said in a press release, with more than 1,850 customers connected to 3.7 million suppliers in 70 countries. News of the planned deal comes nearly six months after Jaggaer’s acquisition of Pool4Tool, a provider of sourcing and purchasing solutions for direct materials procurement. This latest move would make Jaggaer, which rebranded from SciQuest in February, the No. 2 player to SAP Ariba in the procurement technology market by revenue.