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Procurement Technology

Secrets to Better Technology RFPs – Avoiding Hijackings, Dying References and Key Takeaways [PRO]

- January 21, 2015 2:28 AM

Quick: Who do you think has the upper hand in procurement/vendor negotiations when it comes to buying technology, and specifically, enterprise applications? 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 PRO Series, Vice President of Research Thomas Kase sheds light on a number of secrets of the trade and how to buy procurement technology – and indeed all technology – that much better. In this 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.

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Improving RFP-Driven Technology Sourcing Outcomes: Strategies and Tactics [PRO]

- January 19, 2015 2:23 AM

How can you be a better prospective customer of choice and improve your odds of success? (This means having providers participate, willingly, happily and aggressively.) You can start by following our mini “buyer boot camp” to lower total costs, improve your selection success and even start to smell like roses to solution providers (and become a customer of choice) by sticking to a handful of key strategies. In Part 2 of our analysis looking at the failure of RFP-driven sourcing exercises when it comes to the buying of technology, Thomas Kase digs into a number of tactics and recommendations for getting the most from technology procurement – for source-to-pay (e-procurement, e-invoicing, supplier management, e-sourcing, networks, contract management, analytics, etc.) and far beyond.

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Technology RFPs: Are You Wasting Time and Money? (Part 1) [PRO]

- January 15, 2015 2:17 AM

Technology selections are an often overlooked but serious 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 go to 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. Join Spend Matters Vice President of Research Thomas Kase as he embarks on one of the most pragmatic and universal Spend Matters PRO analyses to date.

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Spend Matters Stock Portfolio – December and End of 2014 Results [Plus +]

- January 6, 2015 2:27 AM

We have reached the end of the line for our 2014 stock portfolio. But never fear, we are repeating the exercise for 2015, launching the new portfolio with some additional companies in the next few days. Check out this Plus post to read how 2014 performed for Peter and Jason, and find out what companies they plan to add to the new year's stock portfolio.

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Where Project Management Meets Procurement Technology: Ivalua Procurement Project Management [PRO]

- January 5, 2015 2:42 AM

Procurement technology suites are increasingly packing a bigger punch. Vendors are building adjacent modules to core purchasing and supply management capabilities, including enhanced supplier management, inventory management, budgeting and accounts payable automation (inclusive of e-invoicing) capabilities. Yet sometimes going deep in core procurement and sourcing is equally, if not more, valuable. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Xavier Olivera, lead analyst of P2P at Spend Matters, explores the project management module within Ivalua’s broader source-to-pay suite, which also includes capabilities spanning category management, vendor management, strategic sourcing, contract management, procurement and finance (account payables), as well as a supplier portal and integration toolbox.

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Procurement Technology Stocks Continue to Disappoint [Plus +]

- December 3, 2014 2:41 AM

Our 2014 stock portfolio is now into its final month of the year, so let’s have a look at how it performed in November. Remember, we have taken an imaginary portfolio of 21 publicly quoted firms, each with a significant interest in the procurement- and supply chain-related world. We constructed our master index, as a weighted basket of their stock prices, and then Jason Busch and I each chose a personal portfolio from among those stocks, using an imaginary $1 million each. Jason selected just 8 firms, whereas I spread my risk with 14 different choices making up my portfolio.

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Ariba and SAP: How We Would Play For Keeps in the SMB Market With Enhanced Network Strategies [PRO]

- December 2, 2014 2:24 AM

This Spend Matters PRO analysis considers the strategies that Spend Matters believes that Ariba and SAP (or its competitors) should pursue to provide what would amount to truly transformative value for suppliers today. In Part 2, we conclude our analysis by considering the following SMB-centric network strategies: the creation of a platform as a service (PaaS) business model for suppliers (make it a true utility that is impossible to shut off), owning supplier profile information for vendors by allowing them to “connect once” to customers in a many-to-many manner across industries and becoming a new intermediary for services suppliers and individual freelancers to larger businesses.

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SAP and Ariba: A Playbook for Creating SME (and Large Company) Network Value [PRO]

- December 1, 2014 2:46 AM

Last week, we took a quick look at a recent announcement by Ariba and SAP centered on how SAP is focusing on the SMB market, by providing at least one free service to small- and medium-sized companies. Yet the effort to make network “access” for basic listings free is truly a baby step – certainly a good one at that. But there is much more that Ariba and SAP could be doing. In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch provides a playbook for how Ariba and SAP could create significant additional value for SMEs, and in turn, the larger buying organizations that depend on them today. Procurement practitioners will find the commentary useful as well, as a means of working with Ariba/SAP and others to jointly develop new approaches to better connect with the supplier community to drive savings, supplier diversity spending and other initiatives.

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Choosing Procurement Technology – Where Maturity Meets Solutions [PRO]

- November 24, 2014 6:44 AM

Selecting procurement technology that grows with an organization as it matures is no easy feat. This Spend Matters brief, Part 2 in a series on the topic, explores how to think about evaluating and selecting procurement technology that “grows with you” based on the typical technology needs and buying criteria for procurement organizations at different stages of maturity.

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2015: The Year E-Procurement 2.0 Takes Shape [PRO]

- November 3, 2014 2:17 AM

Not much has changed in e-procurement in recent years other than the movement toward more tightly coupled P2P (integrated e-procurement and e-invoicing) and the evolution of cloud-based offerings by both challengers (e.g., Coupa) and incumbents (e.g., Ariba). The “bones” of many of the solutions with dominant brands and reputations in the market have changed little in the core e-procurement area, although some like Coupa have done a commendable job expanding the suite outward. This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief, authored by Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, outlines some of the providers representing the new face of top-end and specialized e-procurement. We start today with BuyerQuest and Ivalua.

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Choosing Procurement Technology That Grows With You [PRO]

- October 30, 2014 2:23 AM

As a procurement practitioner, when you start looking at the portfolio of solutions you have available today, some patterns will likely emerge. First, you’ll have a range of tools in your arsenal. There will be a few painfully obsolete tools that are creaking along (used only by select specialists still able to maneuver them). There will be specific procurement tools (analytics, sourcing, etc.) not used by many. There there will be several mainstream ERP solutions that are used nearly daily by all, and so on. In one of the most important Spend Matters' PRO research briefs published this fall, Thomas Kase, vice president of research, looks at how we have reached the current state of procurement technology and the impact of this technology on people, processes, habits, culture and time.

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Top 4 Ways CPOs Will Use Social Media [Plus +]

- October 29, 2014 2:28 AM

apple-cup-display-1883-733x550 In Part 1 of this series we looked at the principles of social media, which give an insight into how and why it has been such a phenomenon. Aspects such as the way it enables users to feel a sense of belonging and to share knowledge, information and their passions so quickly and easily, play to ancient human needs. So now let’s look in a more practical manner at the areas where social media tools, or tools that at least use these principles, will increasingly play an important role in the lives of CPOs and indeed all procurement professionals. There are 4 principle areas that we can consider, although there is overlap between them in some cases.

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