Category Archives: Technology

Microsoft Windows 10 – Will it Be Good News for Enterprises or Add to the Confusion?

- January 30, 2015 2:16 PM | Categories: Analysis, Guest Post, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from by Jeff Muscarella, EVP of IT Spend Management Services at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. Based on the news out of Redmond last week, Microsoft’s Windows 10 isn’t just a new version – it’s an indicator of some very big changes ahead.

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Catalog Management: Vroozi, smartOCI and Enabling P2P as an ERP Extension

Catalog management is a Trojan horse of sorts. Inside complex ERP procurement environments, it can serve as a gateway to driving indirect and services spend under management as a foundation of a broader indirect procurement program (in certain cases without specialized e-procurement capabilities from P2P providers). But more important than simply extending ERP, catalog management occupies a curious space that sits between a buyer’s ERP environment – or more likely, multiple ERP environments – and supplier data. Part production information management, part configurator, part search tool, part stealth workflow enabler (in certain cases), catalog management is often misunderstood, yet it can bring significantly more value to procurement than most realize. As we continue our analysis of one approach to integrated catalog management, Vroozi’s smartOCI solution, Xavier Olivera, director and lead P2P analyst, expands his analysis and explores the benefits of catalog management independently and as a surround strategy for ERP procurement.

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Catalog Management to the Rescue! Vroozi’s smartOCI Extends ERP Into Indirect Spend Without P2P

Most companies have a wide range of technology solutions that support their purchasing function (e.g., e-procurement, spend analysis, contract management, supplier management, sourcing, etc.). In many cases, typical Fortune 500 procurement organizations have invested in multiple solutions in a single area. (Yes, the myth of a single integrated suite is greatly overrated even in cases when a firm deploys a single suite). But one area where many organizations standardize on a single provider or fail to fully make the right set of investments is catalog management, which is more often the case in North America. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Xavier Olivera, director and lead P2P analyst, explores Vroozi’s smartOCI solution and how a robust catalog management approach and buying front-end can extend ERP procurement capability into the indirect area without necessarily having to use a specialized e-procurement or P2P toolset.

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Secrets to Better Technology RFPs – Avoiding Hijackings, Dying References and Key Takeaways

- January 21, 2015 2:28 AM | Categories: Procurement, Sourcing, Technology

Quick: Who do you think has the upper hand in procurement/vendor negotiations when it comes to buying technology, and specifically, enterprise applications? 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 PRO Series, Vice President of Research Thomas Kase sheds light on a number of secrets of the trade and how to buy procurement technology – and indeed all technology – that much better. In this 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.

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Improving RFP-Driven Technology Sourcing Outcomes: Strategies and Tactics

- January 19, 2015 2:23 AM | Categories: Sourcing, Technology

How can you be a better prospective customer of choice and improve your odds of success? (This means having providers participate, willingly, happily and aggressively.) You can start by following our mini “buyer boot camp” to lower total costs, improve your selection success and even start to smell like roses to solution providers (and become a customer of choice) by sticking to a handful of key strategies. In Part 2 of our analysis looking at the failure of RFP-driven sourcing exercises when it comes to the buying of technology, Thomas Kase digs into a number of tactics and recommendations for getting the most from technology procurement – for source-to-pay (e-procurement, e-invoicing, supplier management, e-sourcing, networks, contract management, analytics, etc.) and far beyond.

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Technology RFPs: Are You Wasting Time and Money? (Part 1)

- January 15, 2015 2:17 AM | Categories: Procurement, Technology

Technology selections are an often overlooked but serious topic, especially given not just the time and effort involved – but also how long you'll live with the results of your decision. This article describes many cost/benefit aspects of the RFP process when it comes to technology solutions and shares some insider "secret" provider insights. We will also share how to avoid allocating inordinate amounts of time and resources in return for a suboptimal outcome. More importantly, and this might sound like a bold statement, sometimes (maybe even most of the time) it just doesn't make sense to go to RFP! Sourcing practitioners might scoff at this, but read on as we challenge the notion that an RFP is the best path to a successful solution provider selection outcome. Join Spend Matters Vice President of Research Thomas Kase as he embarks on one of the most pragmatic and universal Spend Matters PRO analyses to date.

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Solving the Best of Breed vs. Incumbent Sourcing Problem – Beyond Selecting Technology

- January 12, 2015 10:02 AM | Categories: Category Management, Sourcing, Technology

apple-bag-collaboration-154-820x550 I was talking to a category manager in the marketing space who I’ve known for decades about his category management plans for 2015. He had a successful year in 2014 driving value in the public relations category but was now looking at broader marketing promotions and, of course, the impact of digital marketing. His stakeholders are in multiple business units and regions, and his expanding “market basket” is becoming highly multivariate in terms of how you break it up by business unit, region and type of service (by process/sub-process; digital vs. conventional, etc.).

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Software Prices to See Tepid Escalation in the Near Term

- January 8, 2015 2:12 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from IHS. Prices for software will move up hesitantly over the next couple years. The Producer Price Index (PPI) for application software is expected to add just 0.1% per year on average in 2015 through 2017, after posting modest gains of 1% each year in the prior 3 years. The PPI for software maintenance, technical support and other services is expected to add 0.8% over the next 3 years on average, after rising just 0.1% each year in 2012 through 2014.

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China’s Freight System Future: Is a High-Speed Rail Possible?

- January 8, 2015 10:05 AM | Categories: China, Industry News, Supply Chain, Technology, UK/Europe

path-railroad-rails-1425-525x350 Next month, the Chinese will be celebrating its new year with Spanish wine, olive oil and ham, sent to China from Madrid on the world’s now longest rail route. The Eurasia rail link stretches more than 8,100 miles from the eastern Chinese city of Yiwu to Madrid, Spain. The route, which is longer than the Trans-Siberian railway and the Orient Express, also has stops in various European and Asian countries including Poland, Germany and Russia along the way. The rail line has been dubbed China’s “New Silk Road,” and one source called it “the project of the new century” and “the greatest trade story” the world will see for the next 10 years. But, China may be setting it sights even higher, aiming for a high-speed freight train in the future.

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3 Ways 3D Printing Will Revolutionize The Modern Supply Chain (And 1 Important Way it won’t)

Spend Matters welcomes this post by Steven P. Roth from GEP. The long heralded commercial arrival of 3D printing (3DP) is upon us, and a number of industry surveys indicate the impact of this emerging technology is anticipated to grow significantly over the next 10 years. In media related to 3DP, considerable coverage has been given to the technical capabilities and long-term potential of the technology, but little consideration has been given to how it will change the day-to-day work of supply chain, operations and procurement professionals in the immediate future.

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A Seasonal Case Study – Complex Distribution Problems Solved!

- December 22, 2014 2:45 AM | Categories: Case Study, Sourcing, Technology

Untitled1 Spend Matters Europe Editor Nancy Clinton and I took on one of our more exciting assignments after we were asked to write a case study relating to a client of Trade Extensions, the advanced sourcing software firm. This client had faced a difficult issue that, at worst, could put its whole business at risk, and they needed help in terms of running an incredibly complicated tender for global distribution services – much of the requirement concentrated on one particular evening, just to make matters worse.

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2015 Spend Matters Prediction: Configure to Your Heart’s Content

- December 16, 2014 6:24 AM | Categories: Analysis, Technology

Our next 2015 prediction: Configure! Configuration as part of solution deployment in a SaaS/cloud environment is becoming more commonplace than software-centric, code-level customization (mirroring trends in procurement technology adoption, generally). But configuration is more than just about software and accepting some outside standards as best practice as a starting point.

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