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Procurement Technology

Freelancer Limited – Anatomy of a Large Global Work Intermediation Platform [PRO]

Analysis

Continuing our coverage of work intermediation platforms (WIPs), a focus on Freelancer Limited should help practitioners begin to appreciate the unique nature of these platform intermediaries. Freelancer Limited is a special case, as it is the only WIP that is publicly traded on the stock exchange (in Australia), and it therefore publishes its financials every half year. There are also a number of other features that make Freelancer unique, including its history of acquisitions and integrations, its emphasis on small businesses and labor in developing economies, its 3 different lines of business and its rather complex pricing structure. The dissection of this WIP is important for procurement practitioners to gain a clearer idea of the new kinds of animals they will be dealing with in the expanding and evolving contingent workforce space.

Procurement Provider Patents and the Potential Risk to Practitioners [Plus +]

laptop & glasses

On this Flashback Friday we look back to another one of our most popular Ask the Expert webinars, this one originally held in July 2014. Thomas Kase, vice president of research at Spend Matters, led this webinar Ask the Expert: Intellectual Property, Patents & Proprietary Procurement Solutions, which focused specifically on procurement provider software patents and what practitioners using these solutions need to know about said patents. Why is such information important for practitioners? Read on and check out the full recording of this popular webinar!

E-Signatures and Digital Signatures In Procurement: Definitions and Considerations [PRO]

e-signature

While the terms e-signature and digital signature are often used interchangeably, they are not the same. Every digital signature is electronic, but not every electronic signature is digital. This may sound a bit confusing, but it's not with proper definitions. This 3-part Spend Matters PRO research series provides a foundation for procurement and supply chain practitioners to understand the benefits that digital signatures can bring to contracting and contract management as well as interactions with internal stakeholders, suppliers and partners. This first part provides definitions, a general background on the topic and the benefits and drawbacks of these tools.

ESM Solutions Responds to Higher Education Customer P2P Needs [PRO]

open book

The IT procurement solutions market is not a one-size-fits-all space. Especially in the higher education industry, competition among procurement solutions providers has become more fierce. For one, you have ESM Solutions – the provider we will be focusing on today in this Spend Matters PRO article. Vendors in the higher education space can offer industry specific services and capabilities and onboard industry suppliers efficiently, giving customers the benefit of rapid savings, faster implementation and a more adequate pricing model. These features give ESM a better shot at winning deals among higher education customers. However, the provider is also aiming to gain a broader reach in the commercial space – efforts I will discuss in this first part of this series on ESM.

PRO Unlimited: Leveraging an Integrated Technology and Services Approach to Drive the Future of Contingent Workforce Solutions [PRO]

light bulb

I recently met with PRO Unlimited’s Senior Vice President of Product Development Ted Sergott at the company’s main San Francisco Bay Area office, where I was able to get further acquainted with this unique contingent workforce solutions business and where it is headed. PRO Unlimited is now one of the leading contingent workforce solution providers across several standard industry solution categories. It is also one of the few solution-led providers bucking the trend to separate software from services – and without apologies. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an overview of PRO Unlimited and includes a number of defining characteristics of the business and what makes the company different than other providers in the contingent workforce market.

Cortex: Enabling Invoice Control and Visibility to Spend Control [PRO]

invoice

Among all the types of business solutions we cover here at Spend Matters, there is one that is stimulating a particularly high level of interest within purchase-to-pay (P2P) in terms of the bridges it can build between functions: electronic invoicing and supplier enablement. We recently had the chance to explore Cortex, a P2P e-invoicing provider, with particular depth in the oil and gas vertical. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Jason Busch, founder and managing director of Spend Matters, and Xavier Olivera, P2P analyst and Spend Matters México/LATAM director, take a close look at Cortex and its e-invoicing solution's capabilities and value proposition.

Contract Lifecycle Management 101: Part 7 The Extended Contract Management Platform [Plus +]

male hand point on touch screen interface

We continue our Spend Matters Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM) today with Part 7. So far, we have covered a lot of ground, explaining what CLM is (a decidedly unsexy acronym that, when properly implemented, can generate quite attractive results on its own, and even more when integrated into broader buy-side and enterprise-wide processes), discussed the CLM framework and talked about which solutions are required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective.We have also covered what we believe to be “must-have” capabilities and “should-have” features of any CLM solution. Here we conclude our in-depth review of contract management solutions with a discussion of supporting “nice-to-have” capabilities that, while not present in all or even most solutions, can greatly increase the power, usefulness and even the value of such a solution to your organization.

Best Practices for Your P2P Implementation Project And How to Keep it From Becoming a Nightmare [PRO]

virtual touch screen interface

Spend Matters recently held a joint webinar with GEP on how to successfully implement a procure-to-pay solution and how to keep the process from turning into a nightmare. This 2-part Spend Matters PRO series lays out what tips we suggested for procurement organizations embarking on a P2P project. This is not meant to be an all-inclusive, step-by-step implementation guide, however. We simply want to share our best practice ideas based on our experience and our discussion in the webinar. Today, we will focus specifically on project management as a procurement responsibility, as well as ensuring finance and accounts payable are included in the P2P implementation project. Other areas we will cover are remembering the importance of supplier integration, system testing and user training in the P2P process.

The Great P2P Debate: Integrated or Not? Spend Matters Analysts Face Off [Plus +]

Arm wrestling

Who doesn’t love a good debate? How about one on procure-to-pay (P2P) technology? In this Flashback Friday post, we feature another one of our most popular Ask the Expert webinars in which Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell face off in “The Great P2P Debate.” One the one side, you have Jason, founder and managing director of Spend Matters, making the argument that P2P and e-invoicing just do not belong together. What’s Pierre’s take on that? He thinks Jason is “smoking something.” Check out the full recording of the webinar to see what Jason and Pierre decide is the future of P2P. And, you can decide for yourself which one of the 2 Spend Matters analyst team members you agree with more.

Prodigo and Healthcare – Customer Case Studies and Applying Lessons Learned to Cross-Industry Procurement [PRO]

medical chart

Prodigo, a procure-to-pay (P2P) technology specialist in the healthcare market, has a lot to offer procurement organizations. We began our discussion on the provider in Part 1 of this multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief. Today, we share stories from Prodigo customers who we have had a chance to speak to and who are supporting highly complex transactional procurement environments. These customers have confirmed the complexity of the environments that our briefings and demonstrations here at Spend matters have suggested. For example, one customer has seen all internal item master information become part of the Prodigo catalog. But the Prodigo system is also used to index and manage external information for direct purchases from manufacturers (enriched with third-party data as well) because the internal item master doesn't carry all the items or the information necessary to make frontline decisions. This may sound simple, but the use case and complexity is surprising indeed to provide complete buying transparency and control – and bring a range of lessons learned for non-healthcare procurement organizations as well.

Cross-Industry P2P Lessons From Healthcare, Courtesy of Prodigo [PRO]

Solution

Occasionally, a procurement technique or solution approach we see in healthcare potentially brings broad applicability to other sectors as well. We’ve learned over many years that most solutions in this market are highly bespoke given all the challenges associated with managing complex (and specialized) product information, physician preference items, billing and reimbursement and attributes unique to hospital and clinician environments. But a recent set of briefings, demonstrations and customer reference discussions with Prodigo Solutions, a procure-to-pay (P2P) technology specialist in the healthcare market segment, suggest a range of lessons from healthcare environments that we can apply to more generalized purchasing environments. This 2-part Spend Matters PRO research brief explores Prodigo’s capabilities, the customer experience and what procurement can learn from healthcare.

What Makes a CLM Tool Special These Days? [PRO]

big data

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? 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, and most CLM providers also do a good job of negotiating contracts. 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 PRO research brief aims to answer those questions and points out what features and tools ideal CLM solutions should have.