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Invoicing and Finance

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


Basware, a Nordic procure-to-pay (P2P) provider that until recently pursued a conservative global growth strategy, is not as well known outside its customer base for its set of differentiated and robust capabilities, especially in the AP automation, e-invoicing and supplier network areas. Most recently, through its acquisition of Verian, it added sufficient e-procurement capability to compete against other best-in-class purchasing technology providers (previously, its cloud-based Alusta platform, which forms the basis of its AP automation and invoicing capability today, was not competitive in the e-procurement market against specialized providers). In the trade financing area, we have applauded Basware in the past for taking a highly strategic approach, in partnership with Arrowgrass, to both payables and receivables financing (yet as with most competitive providers, execution in both areas has been slow to date).

Above all, the differentiated capabilities of Basware’s solutions are not well known because the company has underinvested in global marketing efforts. Moreover, at least until recently, Basware has lacked a common theme or rallying cry (e.g., Coupa’s “value as a service”) to unite both its own organization, and partners and customers.

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot explores Basware’s strengths and weaknesses in the P2P, supplier network and trade financing areas, providing facts and expert analysis to help 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 Basware. 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.

Basware: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]


Basware is one of the largest technology providers in the global procurement and accounts payable technology market. Founded in 1985 in Espoo, Finland as Baltic Accounting Systems to deliver enterprise finance software solutions, the company (which has been public since 2000 and is traded on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. as BAS1V) has grown from a small country player to a global platform that does over 143.4M Euros annually (2015) with its client base of over 2,500 international P2P customers that collectively do business with over 1 million companies in over 100 countries.

The numbers do not tell the full Basware story, however — nor do the firm’s higher-level marketing efforts, which in turn do not get at the level of nuance, and capability, of its often deep and clever P2P solutions. Sure, the company manages one of the largest e-invoicing and B2B commerce networks, and supports its global customer base through its operational footprint that spans over 50 countries on six continents and includes over 100 partners and resellers. Yet while Basware may look to be doing well on paper, it has even greater potential if it can execute more successfully on a commercial basis in the coming years, including maximizing the Verian asset and it’s cheeky “WeProcurement” positioning around its e-procurement offering. For more on the Verian acquisition, see our first take and market analysis, competitive and customer implications, and solution comparison and integration strategy analysis.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Basware’s P2P and network capabilities, including strengths and weaknesses in the 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 Basware. 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.

E-Invoicing Market Outlook 2016-2018: 10 Technology and Mega Trends (Part 1) [PRO]

technology maturity model

With apologies to Hollywood and those behind a recent Oscar winning film, E-Invoicing is a market undergoing radical transformation from both the inside (and) out. A combination of disruptive new technology models that go far beyond first generation supplier networks and evolving market and customer requirements (and expectations) are in the early process of taking a sleepy accounts payable-centric solution area and putting it front and center as an enabler of broader procurement, finance, supply chain and IT strategies. Spend Matters research and analysis based on interviews with a variety of solution providers, practitioners and consultants indicates the largest visible changes will take shape in the years ahead. This multipart Spend Matters PRO brief provides an e-invoicing outlook and forecast for 2016-2018. Included in this series are 10 technology and mega trends, a market forecast and sizing analysis, market growth and adoption scenarios and a look at the evolving competitive landscape and vendor shortlists, including how e-invoicing will increasingly intersect with supplier networks, invoice discounting, transactional analytics (procurement, A/P, payments), statement/invoice audit recovery and related market segments. For organizations looking to get started with the e-invoicing basics – or accelerate program adoption – we recommend starting with the PRO series E-Invoicing: What it Takes to Get to World Class (see Part 1 and Part 2).

Arrowgrass Acquires Oxygen Finance: Company Update and Solution Analysis (Part 1) [PRO]

kritchanut/Adobe Stock

In February, Arrowgrass Capital Partners, a London-based asset manager, announced it acquired Oxygen Finance. The acquisition is curious, in part because of the existing Arrowgrass and Basware partnership and Oxygen’s unique model, which we explore in this analysis. Oxygen currently has “billions of pounds” flowing through its infrastructure annually, primarily from U.K.-based public sector clients, yet it is not a P2P or e-invoicing vendor like most other providers focusing on discounting. Nor is it like C2F0, which focuses on creating loosely coupled — from a transactional systems perspective — competitive markets that provide greater flexibility to suppliers around participation compared with Oxygen. This multipart Spend Matters PRO brief delves into the Oxygen Finance solution in detail and explores a number of questions that Oxygen and the acquisition raise. These include whether or not the deal signals that additional private funds are likely to make more investments and buyouts in the sector. (Note Zouk investing in Taulia recently.) More important for users, we provide our analysis of the Oxygen Finance model, which is theoretically based broadly on a closed loop buyer network with its suppliers, and whether it might be able to gain the same type of discount scale and supplier adoption that new e-invoicing led trade financing models of the sort Taulia is bringing to market with its SCF+ are hoping to achieve through an alternative means. Finally, we analyze the days payable outstanding (DPO) and working capital impact Oxygen can have in comparison to alternative approaches — and why the public sector appears the most fertile ground for the solution approach.

Partnerships, SCF+ and More: Taulia’s Crossroads (Part 2) [PRO]


In the first installment in this series, we provided our own recent history lesson on Taulia and how it got to where it is today — and the crossroads it currently faces from a strategy perspective. As we wrap up our Spend Matters PRO update on Taulia, we explore a number of specific areas of its business today, including a deep dive into its SCF+ offering, a tech-enabled and simplified approach to reverse factoring for the long-tail supplier masses instead of just large vendors. We also explore how Taulia is currently positioning itself today as it engages customers and how, on many levels, its core offering is a Trojan horse for what it really wants to sell with partners (but why that foot in the door with procurement, IT, accounts payable and treasury is an important as a first step and how these different worlds are converging). Granted, it would be easy — and not incorrect — to observe that the broader e-procurement market and purchase-to-pay (P2P) market remains distinctive from Taulia’s core sector today. Yet going forward, one can make the case that the worlds of generic (indirect) and category-specific buying, transactions, financing and payment will come together. And this is where understanding Taulia's emerging strategy matters.

Taulia’s Crossroads: Both Directions Lead to Good Places (We Think!) — Part 1 [PRO]


We had the chance to spend two days last week at Taulia Connect, the customer conference of one of today’s largest and fastest growing e-invoicing, supplier network and fintech providers globally. (One hundred customers may not seem like a lot, but in this sector, it is.) Despite its solid momentum since the last event in fall 2014 — including a 100% renewal rate — Taulia has introduced a materially evolved strategy and face to the market since the last time it shared its perspective and vision in this in front of their user, prospect and partnership base. This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief explores Taulia’s product, marketing and competitive evolution and what we perceive to be a current strategic crossroads. And we can’t help but provide some broader perspective and commentary on Taulia's approach to supplier networks, e-invoicing, discounting and supply chain finance — and how the firm is trying to disrupt a number of incumbent ecosystems (and different vendors) in more than one market segment it is competing in today and heading into tomorrow.

E-Invoicing: How To Diagnose if Your Deployment and Solution is World-Class [PRO]


As our journey to world-class e-invoicing continues in this multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, we discuss five additional elements to diagnose the overall scope, capability and coverage of your e-invoicing deployment — and whether or not your solution provider(s) can enable you to get to world-class levels of performance. If you want to catch up on this series, we encourage you to learn about all the components of the first five elements (invoice capture, collaboration/workflow, matching, compliance/validations and mobile enablement) and a broader introduction to the topic in first installment of this series. Finally, we invite Spend Matters PRO practitioner and consulting advisory clients to reach out to us to discuss their existing and planned deployments. E-invoicing is far more complex a solution area to analyze than e-procurement, in large part because solution capabilities and organizational requirements show so much variation compared with each other.

E-Invoicing: What it Takes to Get to World Class [PRO]


In this Spend Matters PRO series, we explore what makes run-of-the-mill electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) implementations different from those that are transformative and capable of aligning procurement and accounts payable (A/P) with broader business outcomes and metrics. In this analysis, we delve into topics that are important for procurement and A/P teams to discuss with their solution providers — and prospective providers — to enable a world-class e-invoicing deployment on their terms. Note the italics: No two organizations are alike, and “fit” will always be unique.

The Witching Hour for Our Procurement Stock Portfolio? Maybe, Maybe Not… [Plus +]


As we rapidly approach the end of the year, and as the witches and wizards appeared on our streets in October and the nights lengthen, can our three Spend Matters stock-pickers turn their performance around and beat the market over the final months of the year? We’re talking about our portfolio of procurement-related stocks, of course, and whether myself, Jason Busch and Nancy Clinton can beat the overall weighted portfolio that contains all 24 of the firms with a procurement interest. We had a reasonable month of October, with our portfolio following the market and up some 7%, although it is still some 8.5% below where it started on Jan. 1.

A Quiet September For Our Spend Matters Stock Portfolio [Plus +]

stock exchange

September was a quiet month overall in terms of our Spend Matters Stock Portfolio and most major global stock markets. The Spend Matters portfolio of all 24 firms lost about half a percent of its initial Jan. 1 value during September. Our portfolio follows the progress of quoted companies that operate in whole or part in what we call the procurement solutions market. We are tracking the performance of these shares on various stock markets from Helsinki to New York via Paris and London. Check out the full post to how these procurement companies performed last month.

Yooz Brings An Intelligent Invoice Capture Solution to P2P [PRO]


Yooz, the subject of this Spend Matters PRO brief, offers a cloud-based solution that automates the A/P process from the time an invoice is captured and incorporated into the solution through the completion of the payment process, fully combining the processes of purchasing and receiving. This offers an opportunity for procurement organizations to improve purchasing and A/P linkages, reducing processing costs and accelerating approval times. In this PRO analysis, we offer an in-depth look at Yooz’s solution and its implementation process as well as how we see the provider expanding in the future.

Identifying the Major Changes in the Supply Chain Finance Space [Plus +]

Finance concept

Back in early 2014, Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin noticed some major changes in the supply chain finance space. Banking and financing firms were increasingly partnering with various supplier B2B networks at a rapid pace. He pointed to this growing trend in one of our popular Ask the Expert webinars, which originally aired in April 2014, titled, Ask the Expert: B2B Commerce Networks Enter the Supply Chain Finance Space. You can check out the full recording of the webinar in this post and learn the difference between trade credit and trade finance and what exactly supplier networks are, how they operate and more.