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.
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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.
Today we continue our Plus series on contract lifecycle management, an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle or source-to-pay process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. Today, we discuss the “should-have” features of a contract management platform. While not absolutely required, usability and performance will be significantly affected by the absence of any of these features, and most industry leading contract management solutions will support the majority of these capabilities to some extent. Of course, practitioner priorities will always determine “must-have” versus “should-have” weightings, but we simply break it out for convenience based on how we see organizations prioritize and sequence solution functionality selection and implementation. For most organizations, it’s okay if a few features here are missing, but if too many of these features are missing, then the organization should consider very carefully whether such a contract management solution is right for it, unless the capability is present in another platform currently in use by supply management or the solution is essentially free. In this post, we highlight our list of should-have capabilities.
Let me start off with a disclaimer: Yes, this article focuses on the public sector in the UK. But, if you are outside the UK and not in the public sector, do not despair! I promise this does have relevance to you and will, hopefully, still be interesting, regardless of whatever branch of procurement you work in. One thing the UK has definitely done right is tried a lot of different procurement ideas and has probably been an early adopter in many areas. That includes bringing private sector expertise into public procurement, collaborative buying initiatives, use of category management processes, outsourcing complex services delivered to the citizen or adoption of some aspects of e-procurement. Currently, one of the hot topics for UK public procurement is whether public sector contracts should habitually make more use of “open book” contractual provisions. We discuss what “open book” means, if it is necessary and the pros and cons of it.
Verian Update: Release of Version 15.1, Its Relationship With BravoSolution and What’s Next for the Provider [PRO]
Verian is one of the leading procure-to-pay (P2P) solution providers in the market, with a full-suite offering that includes purchasing, reporting, invoicing, budgeting and analytics functionality. It has now launched version 15.1, adding innovation to its inventory management and asset management modules – key differentiators that allow customers to manage indirect spend, the total lifecycle of all assets in the P2P workflow and facilities management. Verian started as a on-premise platform, but since 2009 it has been converting its customers into its software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, with all the advantages that the cloud brings. Today the company has 8 conversions in progress and will continue with this effort at a rapid pace. Verian’s SaaS business has grown at a rate of 40%. The goal is to migrate all of its existing on-premise customers to SaaS, including those with multi-tenancy capability. All cloud-based multi-tenant customers will receive upgrades seamlessly and simultaneously. This Spend Matters PRO research brief takes a look at what is included in Verian’s version 15.1 release, its relationship with BravoSolution and what’s next for the provider.
A couple of weeks ago, Spend Matters and GEP held a joint webinar, “Nightmare on Procurement Street,” that discussed best practices surrounding a procure-to-pay (P2P) implementation project. Webinar speakers were myself, Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell, GEP Worldwide Senior Manager Santosh Reddy and Senior Manager of Technology Product Marketing Paul Blake. This first of a multi-part Spend Matters PRO research brief will examine how to avoid a P2P implementation project from turning into your worst nightmare. While not an all-inclusive implementation guide, the brief points to some important steps that are necessary to conducting a successful P2P implementation.
Earlier this month in London, Spend Matters UK Chief Research Officer and Managing Director Peter Smith and I had the chance to catch up with 2 representatives from Coupa Software who are leading the company’s charge in the UK and Europe. We talked to Alex Kleiner, general manager of EMEA, and Ronan Kerouedan, regional vice president of solutions consulting EMEA and APAC, of Coupa about the history and state of the source-to-pay (S2P) market within the UK and European Union as well as the differences in how US and European companies look at acquiring purchase-to-pay (P2P) solutions, what they prioritize and about the SI/consulting ecosystem. We also heard a general update on Coupa’s traction in the region. This Spend Matters PRO research note will be of use to procurement practitioners on both sides of the pond, to understand relative priorities for transactional procurement systems and also the varying selection approaches, as well as the consultants and providers serving each market.
Today we continue our multi-part Plus series on contract lifecycle management (CLM), an uninspired acronym that sometimes encapsulates, sometimes complements, the source-to-settle (S2S) or source-to-Pay (S2P) process, which when properly implemented can generate quite attractive results. So far, we have introduced CLM in depth, defined the “CLM wheel” and reviewed the solution space to try and understand which solutions were typically required to support the full CLM process from an end-to-end procurement perspective, as no current solution supports the full buy-side process, in our view. We also followed this solution space review with a detailed review of the core solutions that were historically used to implement a full end-to-end solution, when strategically sourcing a high-value category. Now that we understand where traditional procurement solutions have been used with respect to full CLM and a number of the capabilities a true CLM platform is required to possess, we can discuss the core must-have level 1 requirements. In this post, we point out these must-have capabilities that every contract management platform needs to bring at least some value to your organization and where they fit on the CLM wheel.
ePS, a Michigan-based technology company that established itself within the e-procurement supplier side of the automotive industry 10 years ago, has now begun emerging as a serious player of e-procurement buyer-side solutions to the education industry. Now that ePS is squarely in the game and going head-to-head with other higher education providers such as Sciquest, ESM and Unimarket, it has launched a unique go-to-market positioning approach to capture large schools (and it has its eyes set on other industries where repairs, maintenance and supplies procurement functions have been underserved). ePS is positioning its platform to be more of a complete procurement service offering for customers versus a software application. Branded as “e-procurement services providing complete, intuitive spend management solutions,” ePS is aiming to differentiate and deliver real value to educational institutions that have had a history of sinking money into procurement-related software systems, but have been less able to get measurable ROI though procurement results. ePS’ procurement services ecosystem approach allows institutions – in this generally financially-strapped sector – to start generating procurement improvement as soon as the ePS software is turned on. ePS innovations and success in the education market eventually also help allow it to expand its business into other verticals.
Earlier this week, Tradeshift and C2FO announced a partnership that will enable users of the e-invoicing, connectivity and supplier network platform to access C2FO’s discounting and working capital management technology through the Tradeshift platform. On the surface, the relationship may sound somewhat similar to both an earlier partnership Tradeshift had with Taulia (before going its own route with dynamic discounting) and alternative offerings in the sector that bridge transactional connectivity between buyers and suppliers and trade financing capabilities (e.g., Tungsten, Taulia). But dig below the surface and Tradeshift and C2FO appear to be starting a relationship that could prove much for strategic for customers of both solutions – and potentially an archetype of partnerships to come in the procurement, supply chain and trade financing worlds. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an overview of C2FO’s unique approach to driving liquidity and working capital solutions that bridge both buyer and supplier needs. It also provides a succinct overview of the business and technology implications of the partnership and recommendations to customers of both products.
In previous Spend Matters coverage of the announced partnership between BravoSolution and Verian, analysts discussed some of the implications of the new relationship. I had a chance to spend some time with Tehseen Ali Dahya, the CEO of Verian, to do a bit of a deep dive, and it gave me a much better idea of the what the partnership is and is not all about. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, I’ll lay out the details and explain the implications for current customers, future customers and the market in general.
Work Intermediation Platforms (WIPs) are emerging and evolving—not just as isolated platform-based service providers, but as parts of digital value networks that connect with other platforms and service providers. There are already more than 250 WIPs in the world today allowing labor services consumers and potentially tens of millions of workers to establish and transact work arrangements almost entirely through digital, platform-based processes. This Spend Matters PRO analysis explores how this broad process of connection development not only leads to more capable platform ecosystems for attracting, engaging and servicing labor resources and capabilities but also to integration with larger enterprises and the formation of new digital channels for sourcing, engaging, and procuring talent alongside existing vendor management systems, managed services providers and other specialized services procurement ecosystems.