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Procurement Technology

SciQuest: The New Suite Dimension That Puts the Supplier First [PRO]

- April 16, 2015 2:39 AM

EAFA2E9467 SciQuest has proven to be one of the source-to-pay (S2P) leaders in higher education and life sciences (as well as some public sector areas). The organic traction it has realized in these markets – albeit with increasing competition from ESM Solutions, Periscope Holdings (BuySpeed/BidSync) and Unimarket within higher education and state/local government – signifies that it has been successful even without a fully integrated suite (until now) in its core industries. Currently, with the new integrated suite value proposition and particular strength at the intersection of P2P and supplier management (and rising capability in sourcing), it is likely to be in an even better position to compete in these and new markets. If you’re considering other providers such as Ariba, Coupa, SAP, Oracle and Ivalua for integrated S2P, this analysis will provide context to understand if SciQuest should be added to your vendor shortlist.

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SciQuest Becoming a “Sweet” Suite Team Player [PRO]

- April 14, 2015 2:48 AM

sciquest-228x138 Along with my colleague Jason Busch, I recently spent 3 days at the SciQuest customer conference in Washington, D.C., talking to dozens of customers and sitting through many product demonstrations and breakouts. SciQuest has invested significant money and effort to develop a new integrated source-to-pay (S2P) platform entirely, and the launch of its new version 15.1 signifies a material step forward in this area. This Spend Matters PRO analysis will provide an introduction to SciQuest’s new suite capabilities and roadmap. As I myself was an outsider to this firm before the event, it will be most useful starting from a low knowledge base on the provider as well as for those who may wish to consider adding SciQuest to their S2P vendor shortlist along within Ariba, SAP, Oracle, Coupa, Ivalua and others – and to understand where the provider comparatively fits today.

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Exploring Work Market: Managing the Freelancer Lifecycle [PRO]

- April 2, 2015 2:35 AM

8RHJJUNLZL From both procurement and HR perspectives, the systematic management of freelancers is arguably significantly more complex than managing the traditional contingent workforce that is employed by a staffing intermediary. Companies – or managed services partners administering programs on their behalf – must fully consider the same types of compliance and worker classification questions that come up in a staffing situation and the overall lifecycle associated with workers, from creating an initial job description/requisition through to selection, onboarding and offboarding. This Spend Matters brief continues our analysis of the Work Market platform, specially designed for freelancer management from the ground up, exploring how procurement and other users can more effectively and efficiently take advantage of freelancers as part of their contingent workforce program.

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Exploring Work Market: Creating Talent Pools and Campaigns [PRO]

- April 1, 2015 2:25 AM

evaluation quality survey Work Market is aiming to become the Fieldglass, IQNavigator and Beeline (all wrapped up in one) of the freelancer management market. The overlap with VMS – and even some human capital management – tools is considerable if you dissect the platform’s actual capability. Ultimately, this could lead to Work Market even competing in the more traditional market segment of managing staffing-based contingent labor and SOW-based staffing and consulting-led projects. Of course, others (including Beeline) have acquired or are building capability of their own in the freelancer and independent consultant/contractor market as well. In this second installment of this Spend Matters PRO series (read the first here) looking under the product and technology covers of Work Market, we start to double click on the Work Market platform and user experience.

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Exploring b-pack’s Marketing Challenges (Which Selectica is Likely to Fix) [PRO]

- March 31, 2015 2:25 AM

hands holding jigsaw Parlez vous North American 'proqurement?' Non! Selectica Inc. has acquired a treasure-trove of source-to-pay (S2P) solution capability through its acquisition of b-pack. The acquisition is a smart one on multiple fronts and should provide much-needed exposure for the b-pack P2P modules (among other areas), owing to the commercial professionalism and reach of the Selectica and Iasta teams. Yet b-pack has a number of challenges (virtually none relating to the underlying product) that Selectica needs to address – starting with the brand name (shudder). Our earlier analysis of the acquisition covered b-pack’s strengths and an initial market perspective on the acquisition. This follow-up Spend Matters PRO analysis explores these areas for improvement, and offers a perspective on the steps Selectica will need to take to maximize the value of its various suite assets.

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Putting a P2P Player in Selectica’s Knapsack: Analyzing b-pack’s Procurement Technology Strengths [PRO]

- March 30, 2015 10:58 AM

Earlier today, Selectica announced it is acquiring b-pack. We view the transaction, despite its small size, as an important one for a number of reasons. First, it provides further evidence of the move by many vendors including Ariba, SAP, Oracle, Coupa, Ivalua, SciQuest and Proactis to build out or acquire suite capability (and ideally fully integrated suites) in the source-to-pay area. Second, it provides continuing evidence of M&A acceleration within the procurement technology market. And third, from a valuation standpoint, it shows a continued bifurcation of high and low multiples (top-line) assigned to different vendors in the market, regardless of the capability of the underlying technology in question. There are of course many customer and competitive implications of the transaction as well (which we will explore in more details in the coming days on Spend Matters PRO). In this first deeper take on the acquisition today, we offer a high-level review of some of the comparative areas of strength of b-pack. As we suspect many Spend Matters readers are not familiar with b-pack, we hope this analysis can bring them up to speed. A companion analysis on b-pack’s weaknesses will follow.

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Exploring Work Market: A Procurement Platform For a Post-VMS-Services World [PRO]

- March 30, 2015 2:51 AM

platform-public-transportation-rails-3849 Work Market has tuned its product marketing pitch to a perfect procurement harmonic. It hits every note when describing its target market, discussing the nuances of previously unaddressed customer needs and above all, hitting on its “secret sauce” that makes it an ideal fit as an adjunct to VMS solutions in tackling the broader category of services spending. More importantly, Work Market backs up its argument with a freelancer management technology solution that matches the customer pitch with absolutely zero hyperbole or bravado. In this multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, we introduce readers to Work Market’s solution and platform and discuss why technology is such a critical enabler to encourage the adoption of a non-staffing contingent workforce.

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Best-of-Breed E-Procurement Smackdown: Choosing Between 3 Different Categories of Providers [PRO]

- March 26, 2015 2:44 AM

1920568BD3 (1) For middle-market and large private-sector organizations, making a best-of-breed e-procurement decision used to be easy. There was Ariba (and then Coupa) and everyone else. But in recent years, the market has become much more fragmented – even among specialist providers – and an e-procurement shortlist today will not look anything like a shortlist from even the last Wave or Magic Quadrant. But here's the even more fundamental challenge: There is not one e-procurement market! This Spend Matters research brief examines 3 different types of best-of-breed procurement providers that are a proxy for 3 different categories of e-procurement solutions: Coupa, Ivalua and BuyerQuest. Each vendor represents different philosophies and brings a unique solution orientation and strength – as do their peers.

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E-Procurement 2.0: jCatalog and Vroozi – 2 Opposite Ends of P2P Innovation [PRO]

- March 25, 2015 2:29 AM

E-Procurement on White with Golden Compass. It’s time for an e-procurement reboot. In a few years, the sector will hit its 20th birthday. Yet in the past decade, overall e-procurement innovation has largely stalled. That is, outside of addressing usability at the front end of the buying equation (i.e., simplifying the front end of tools to resemble a more Amazon-like buying experience for corporate users). But change is afoot in an important way in 2015, with both upstart and existing providers bringing new ideas and philosophies to managing indirect spend and new types of transactional buying activity. An earlier installment in the series covered BuyerQuest and Ivalua. We conclude our coverage of e-procurement 2.0 by exploring how jCatalog and Vroozi are bringing innovation in different areas.

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

- March 17, 2015 2:26 AM

photodune-5035376-cards--xs copy 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 – as necessity really – of sharing information about yourself and your goals with providers, all in the context of selecting procurement solutions.

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What to Expect in 2015 From VMS Vendor IQNavigator – Prospect, Customer and Partner Recommendations [PRO]

- March 10, 2015 2:28 AM

SONY DSC IQNavigator is a vendor management system provider that is emerging from a transitional period (with new management, an updated strategy and perhaps most important, a re-centered emphasis on new technology ideas and platform innovation). In previous installments of this series (see here and here), we provided a company and solution update based on demonstrations and discussions with the provider in recent months, and offered an analysis on IQNavigator’s product roadmap. Today, we conclude this general coverage update with prospect, customer and partner (managed services provider, BPO and consultancy) recommendations to get the most from working with IQNavigator, as well as to plan for where the vendor is likely to end up in the future.

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Exploring Deem P2P, T&E and the Overall Customer Experience [PRO]

- March 4, 2015 2:25 AM

DD10104D23 Some may describe Deem (formerly Rearden Commerce) as part of the B2B “undead” – a provider that somehow survived many attempts to bury it. But today, Deem has emerged from a darker chapter in its history with a set of procurement- and finance-oriented purchasing and spend management solutions, some of which are highly differentiated in nature and others that do a basic job in core areas. In this Spend Matters research brief, we provide a cursory look at the evolution and capabilities of Deem’s solution for P2P and T&E. The first installment in this series covered a history of Deem within the procurement sector as well as a quick comparative glance at its spend analysis and contract management and products, including how they stack up in the market. The second installment explored Deem Sourcing, Catalog Management and Contract Management.

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