Category Archives: Technology

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

digital

Intenda, which originally launched as a sourcing and procurement technology vendor with a focus on the South African market in 2001, has expanded from both a geographic and solution perspective outside of its core market in recent years. Over the past decade, Intenda has moved past a solution focus on developing loosely coupled modules to leveraging an underlying platform and architecture to build a fully integrated suite that now goes beyond procurement alone. Intenda today serves customers in more than 30 countries, with sales and support presence in South Africa, the U.K. and Australia.

Intenda is well versed in public sector procurement requirements, from local hosting and data security to specific OJEU tender process steps. In South Africa, it works with the local, provincial and central governments and is used by the defense and revenue services. Many of these local customers use it for more than just procurement. In addition to standard source-to-pay (S2P) modules, Intenda also provides inventory and asset management capability, as well as support for traceability, finance and GRC. While capable of also serving the private sector, the provider has branched out considerably in creating a suite of capabilities that blur the line between centralized and decentralized procurement models, including support for center-led, central-contact, GPO-like structures.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Intenda, its suite-based procurement and related functional areas, including strengths and weaknesses in the procure-to-pay (P2P) technology market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Intenda. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

MBO Partners Announces Release 2.0 of MBO Connect: From Caterpillar to Butterfly and Beyond

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With MBO Connect 2.0, MBO Partners, a leading player in independent professional contractor compliance, payment and contractor support services, has taken another step in its strategy to become a comprehensive technology-based, work intermediation platform business. MBO has unfolded this strategy — to not simply provide a compliance wrapper around a business’ independent workers but provide a platform that will connect different businesses and independent contractors — for several years now, even before the launch of MBO Connect (pilot version) in 2015.

BlueCart: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis

BlueCart

We fully admit, in just about as non-scientific an analyst manner as possible, that the Spend Matters team has had fun reviewing BlueCart. The Washington, D.C.-based provider is a unique online order management platform for small (and even mid-size) restaurant buyers in the food industry, the suppliers and distributors that serve them and the sales reps that manage the relationships. Since a number of the Spend Matters extended team have worked in the front and back office of restaurants and even owned them — and some of us are related to current chefs and owners — we are fully aware of the uniqueness of restaurant buying, including the typical chef obsession with food cost (the most cost-conscious chefs and sous chefs can tell you precisely what a plated item costs down to the dime). We’re simply too close to the restaurant business not to let our opinions and past experience get in the way of just considering BlueCart’s technology without also providing context, as well.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering BlueCart offers a competitive analysis and comparison to other order management and procure-to-pay options in the restaurant industry, as well as lessons learned from this unique approach for other industries. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider State of Flux and the BlueCart product line.

Alex Atzberger Discusses What’s Next for Procurement Technology

AI

In the first part of this Spend Matters Conversation, Founder and Head of Strategy Jason Busch talked with SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger about how technology is changing procurement. This second installment explores specific new technologies procurement will start using in the next decade and how their use will be a game-changer for businesses.

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

Kzenon/Adobe Stock

In the restaurant industry, just as in manufacturing environments, chefs care about the consistent performance of their suppliers. Consistency is 90% or 100% of why most chefs and sous chefs, with authority to decide vendor relationships, work with suppliers with whom they have a proven track record based on past quality, delivery and overconfidence (all three of which are key). It’s also one of the reasons why they avoid changing suppliers that they trust — that and the extra case of tomatoes, bottle of truffle oil or ounce of saffron provided as a “thank you” for doing business with a preferred purveyor.

Thanks in part to a freemium model that provides basic no-cost capabilities to those using its order management solution in restaurants, BlueCart is rapidly adding new customers around the globe and building an ecosystem of suppliers and distributors as well. This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores BlueCart’s strengths and weaknesses in the restaurant e-procurement, procure-to-pay (P2P) and supplier network areas, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider BlueCart. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

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

restaurant

Is e-procurement getting specialized by industry? BlueCart, which launched in July of 2014 as an online ordering platform for small restaurant chefs, owners and buyers in the foodservice industry, is proof of the increasing specialization of different procure-to-pay (P2P) vendors and business models in targeting specific market segments. Incidentally, BlueCart is also an example of a platform-based model built from the ground up to also serve a specific ecosystem — including, in this case, the distributors and sales representatives that manage customer relationships.

Yet where BlueCart differs from the majority of non-specialized P2P and e-procurement providers — aside from offering restaurant-specific capabilities — is in its business model. BlueCart’s core requisitioning capability is free to those placing orders and it has decided that revenue will come from advertising and subscriptions to more advanced functionality (e.g., inventory management and spend analysis). This is similar to the freemium subscription models offered by big-name B2C platforms (like LinkedIn) that restaurant owners and buyers are familiar with.

Judging by its growth numbers to date, the model is working, despite the challenging and often unique dynamics of the restaurant business, including those that govern supplier and distributor relationships. This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BlueCart and its unique approach to P2P and the restaurant supply chain, providing facts and expert analysis to help organizations decide if they should use the provider’s free or premium capabilities. It also provides lessons learned for e-procurement in other industries centered on the value of vertical-specific P2P capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider BlueCart. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Provade Announces Corporate Realignment to Break Free and Rise into The Cloud

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VMS solution Provade, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Group since 2011, announced today “that it is realigning its corporate structure and technology to add a true cloud vendor management systems (VMS) experience to its portfolio.” Though it is not stated explicitly in the press release, it appears that the realignment is effectively a spin-off of Provade from Pinnacle Group into a newly created company, Provade Cloudware Inc. Provade’s new parent company “will add key outside investors and personnel in the next several months to drive growth of its new cloud direction.”

Oxford Internet Institute’s iLabour Project Launches Online Labor Index to Measure Gig Economy

internet

Earlier this year, the iLabour Project, a study of the digital transformation of labor market, was formed within Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute. This week, Oxford University Researcher Professor Vili Lehdonvirta and fellow researcher Dr. Otto Kässi have announced the public launch of the Online Labour Index (OLI), a first-of-its-kind metric to track utilization of "online labor” in the so-called “gig economy.”

Pricing Trends: VMS and MSP Pricing and Trends for SOW Programs

Tradeshift Baiwang

This fall, Spend Matters is conducting a survey of overall vendor management system (VMS) pricing trends in the market. But in the meantime, we thought it would be useful to share a joint perspective with an industry expert specifically around VMS and managed services provider (MSP) pricing and business model trends for supporting statement of work (SOW) programs. As SOWs become a larger percentage of typical services procurement expenditure in more mature procurement organizations — and as specialized technology and managed services offering continue to develop to support these programs on an end-to-end lifecycle basis — it is becoming increasingly important to think about managing these efforts in a dedicated manner. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides insight into how procurement organizations can more effectively engage VMS and MSP providers in support of their requirements based on current pricing and business model trends,including supplier-funded models.

Technology is Changing Procurement — SAP Ariba’s Alex Atzberger Explains How

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Technology is changing how we live our lives. From smartphones to the cloud, consumers have an almost unfathomable number of ways to access and produce information compared with only 10 years ago. The same goes for procurement. Emerging technologies like machine learning and blockchain are changing how companies buy — and challenging procurement to change with them. In this Spend Matters Conversation, Founder and Head of Strategy Jason Busch talks with SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger about how procurement is growing up alongside technology and what users of the future will expect from their solutions.

Avetta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis

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The worlds of supplier networks, supplier management and services procurement compliance are converging — and Avetta is one of the providers at the forefront of this convergence. Avetta’s initial releases and managed service offering addressed independent contractor verification, validation and management. In some industries, accidents or errors from unqualified third-party contractors, either due to lack of training or lack of certification, can result in million-dollar lawsuits and threats to public safety, so ensuring proper qualifications and training is key.

Today, Avetta has evolved its offering to deliver an enhanced supplier management platform customized for credentialing, certification and contractor capability tracking with respect to health and safety, sustainability and other specific needs. However, unlike some niche supplier information management solutions, the solution allows the questions and profiles to be configured for each supplier based upon service(s) provided, risk profile or industry — and takes this capability down to the individual contractor level.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Avetta offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Avetta.

IQN Announces ‘Request for Talent’ Functionality to Streamline Contingent Workforce Hiring

RFP

VMS and workforce management solution provider IQNavigator has announced the launch of its new enhanced workforce requisition functionality, Request for Talent. The company reported that its new solution “helps businesses more easily source non-employee workers and speed time to hire” and “makes talent requisitions simpler for users of all experience level.” According to the press release, Request for Talent brings “together location, calendar, skillset, salary and corporate hiring requirements and policies into one easy-to-use form.”