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Procurement Technology

E-Procurement 2018 Trends and Forecast (Part 1: Customers Adoption and Priorities) [PRO]

e-procurement market outlook

You know what they say about predictions? They’re about as common as opinions: everyone has one. This Spend Matters PRO series walks through the trends we are seeing unfold in the market today based on our technology analysis and practitioner research and engagement. So let’s not predict; let’s share and analyze.

Today, we start our 2018 procurement technology trend and forecast series, beginning with customer adoption trends and priorities within the e-procurement market. We’ll explore what customers are valuing most from a selection and deployment perspective in 2018, as well as early trends that are sprouting.

In the second installment of this series, we’ll offer insight into e-procurement technology provider trends and strategies of note, and ask whether these are a good thing for customers (and if not, our recommendations for customers to mitigate risks). We’ll also share our comparative market growth (and sizing) estimates for 2018 compared with last year.

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Contract Lifecycle Management [PRO]

contract

Within the procurement technology suite market, acquired contract management solutions have a history of aging more like a Zinfandel or Beaujolais and less like a Cabernet or Merlot. But the greater problem is not how well the grape (or clause library) can stand the test of time; it’s that the best elements of CLM modules do not necessarily “blend” as well as other capabilities in a procurement suite that are easier to integrate or replatform.

One of the challenges is that the requirements to effectively tackle specialized CLM components from a development and innovation standpoint are specific to CLM. Said another way, the economies of scale in development are not the same as say delivering an integrated sourcing and supplier management capability. Another major challenge is that best-of-breed CLM vendors have innovated far more rapidly in recent years by introducing new capabilities.

Within this context, BravoSolution and Jaggaer both present somewhat average CLM capabilities, based on our Q4 2017 SolutionMap results. They are certainly not bad, but neither solution delivers the same capabilities as leading best-of-breed vendors, nor do they stir our enthusiasm the way other areas of each of the providers' suites do.

In this research brief, we answer the following questions:

  • Comparatively, how does each respective CLM module stack up on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each supplier management module “under the surface”?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each CLM module?
  • Who are alternative CLM providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the CLM market that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the CLM area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 2017 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Supplier Management [PRO]

As Spend Matters defines it in terms of SolutionMap functional requirements, supplier management is a catch-all for a range of underlying capabilities. Said another way, it is not “single” supply market. Supplier management solutions combine varying depths of underlying technical capabilities with single or multi-initiative functional support capabilities. No one vendor is great at all of it — not even close — even if there are significant advantages to coupling supplier management with other modules in an integrated suite.

BravoSolution, Jaggaer and Jaggaer Direct each bring different capabilities to the supplier management equation that can make the individual modules a better fit for certain organizations and industries than others. It can also make comparing them (either directly or with others) confusing for those who are somewhat new to all of the areas that supplier management technologies support and enable.

In this research brief, we will answer the following questions:

  • Comparatively, how does each respective supplier management module stack up on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each supplier management module “under the surface”?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each supplier management module?
  • Who are alternative supplier management providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the supplier management market (e.g., artificial intelligence, low-cost solutions) that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the supplier management area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 2017 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

Comparing Jaggaer and BravoSolution: Sourcing [PRO]

The combination of Jaggaer and BravoSolution certainly brings together the broadest — and in nearly all areas the deepest — sourcing technology capabilities in the market today. This includes functionally best-in-class integrated sourcing, analytics, category and supplier management capability on the BravoSolution side, as well as Jaggaer ASO, one of the top-performing sourcing optimization solutions. Finally, even though much of the North American market is blissfully unaware of the manufacturing procurement capabilities of Jaggaer Direct, this solution tops the functional charts in specialized capabilities and adds to the unique sourcing footprint Jaggaer will have when the ink is dry on the transaction.

In this research brief, we will answer the following questions:

  • How does each respective sourcing module compare on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each sourcing module under the surface?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each sourcing module?
  • Who are alternative sourcing providers?
  • What are disruptive forces in the sourcing market (e.g., artificial intelligence, low-cost solutions) that could affect both providers?
  • Is there a disadvantage to “going non-suite” in the sourcing area?
This Spend Matters PRO brief is based on the following inputs: Q4 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology, demonstration notes and Spend Matters PRO research on alternative suppliers (Vendor Snapshots).

20 Questions to Ask Stakeholders Before Implementing Your New Procurement System [PRO]

Implementing new procurement technology is like implementing anything. There is a ton of change management involved, and if you don't get stakeholder input upfront, you are asking for trouble. This is especially true with modern procurement systems that can enable new practices on process redesigns that may be disruptive to the status quo. So, you need to get input from a myriad of stakeholders:

  • C-level versus lowest-level end users
  • Procurement users versus internal stakeholders and supplier stakeholders
  • Functional partners such as IT and finance who are “special” stakeholders because they are both spend owners and have a key role in the overall implementation
  • Visionary stakeholders looking to drive change versus stakeholders just wanting to keep their jobs and keeping efforts to a minimum
But what questions should you ask your stakeholders? Fear not. We have written a list of 20 key questions for you to consider.

You may be in procurement. Or you may be in IT. Or you can be a technology provider or consultant. Regardless, these 20 questions will help you tease out key requirements, intelligence and downstream barriers that you want to identify as early as possible. Just as spend influence is best done as early as possible, spend management transformation is also best informed as early as possible.

What Makes a CLM Tool Special These Days? [Plus +]

What should you look for if you want to drive a more mature contract lifecycle management (CLM) approach, one that takes you beyond just getting all your contracts in one place? Getting a grip on the final, executed version of all your contracts is no small feat — it’s one reason behind the increasing demand for contract discovery and analytics solutions — but let’s assume you have checked that box already.

If we look at the CLM providers in the market over the years, several companies have been either acquired by or merged with firms originating from either sourcing or e-procurement in the pursuit of a suite offering, and these solutions are now being integrated into the broader offering. Among the remaining, or independent, providers in the space are companies that deliver decent contract repository functionality, which is to say they can take your executed documents and push them into the CLM tool, and they can track numerous data points well — although some need more manual work than others to get that part done — and most CLM providers also do a good job of negotiating contracts (the "check-in, check-out" process with versioning and document history).

Isn’t that good enough? What else might there be to CLM? What can we do to take CLM to the proverbial next level? This Spend Matters Plus brief aims to answer those questions and points out what features and tools ideal CLM solutions should have.

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.

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 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?

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.

Are You Wasting Time and Money on Technology RFPs? [Plus +]

Technology selections are a serious but often overlooked 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 do an 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.