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Procurement Technology

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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Exploring Deem Sourcing and Deem Catalog Management [PRO]

- March 3, 2015 2:30 AM

blur-evening-sun-macbook-air-170 Deem is back from having taken a detour in its original B2B path. And this time, the Spend Matters research team believes it is here to stay, especially if it can carve out a strong niche for itself with creative technology and embedded contracts for the SMB market for procurement (along with solutions it can also sell to larger companies as it continues to expand and develop the solutions it acquired from Ketera and is also developing organically). In this Spend Matters research brief, we consider the evolution and capabilities of Deem’s solution for sourcing, supplier enablement and catalog management. 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 the company stacks up in the market.

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Deem: A B2B Phoenix Rises Once Again [PRO]

- March 2, 2015 2:27 AM

1A0499C042 Deem is a B2B phoenix. Leveraging a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) strategy a decade before anyone knew what PaaS was, Deem rose to fame but succumbed to the lures of custom development – in part by accident, as its customers and board members coerced it in this direction – on its platform along with unexpected legal nastiness following an acquisition (Ketera). Having risen from the ashes and refocusing on the end user with a proven corporate travel product increasing P2P capability and a broader set of procurement technology assets that tie back to the original PaaS vision, Deem is poised to inject both new competition and ideas into the SMB, mid-market and enterprise markets in 2015 for managing, directing and controlling corporate spending. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides history and context behind Deem’s challenges in the market and how it tackled them to bring its current suite of spend and expense management products to market – including the evolution of the acquired Ketera product set.

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Coupa Sets Itself Apart in the S2P Sector [PRO]

- February 17, 2015 2:39 AM

public-domain-images-archive-free-stock-photos-3-1000x666 copy Coupa stands alone as the most aggressive vendor in the source-to-pay sector on virtually every level – starting with breakneck pace R&D development and continuing to assertive sales and partner tactics. In this PRO analysis, the Spend Matters research team provides an outlook for Coupa in 2015 and 2016 and offers their thoughts on what potential activities and actions mean for customers, possible customers and partners, including an examination of what the future for Coupa may bring. It is important to factor in both upside and downside potential based on multiple developments occurring in the sector, some of which are outside of the provider’s control.

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Catalog Management: Vroozi, smartOCI and Enabling P2P as an ERP Extension [PRO]

- January 28, 2015 2:35 AM

Catalog management is a Trojan horse of sorts. Inside complex ERP procurement environments, it can serve as a gateway to driving indirect and services spend under management as a foundation of a broader indirect procurement program (in certain cases without specialized e-procurement capabilities from P2P providers). But more important than simply extending ERP, catalog management occupies a curious space that sits between a buyer’s ERP environment – or more likely, multiple ERP environments – and supplier data. Part production information management, part configurator, part search tool, part stealth workflow enabler (in certain cases), catalog management is often misunderstood, yet it can bring significantly more value to procurement than most realize. As we continue our analysis of one approach to integrated catalog management, Vroozi’s smartOCI solution, Xavier Olivera, director and lead P2P analyst, expands his analysis and explores the benefits of catalog management independently and as a surround strategy for ERP procurement.

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