Spend Matters Premium Content:
Vendor Intelligence

Avetta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis [PRO]

repair

The worlds of supplier networks, supplier management and services procurement compliance are converging — and Avetta is one of the providers at the forefront of this convergence. Avetta’s initial releases and managed service offering addressed independent contractor verification, validation and management. In some industries, accidents or errors from unqualified third-party contractors, either due to lack of training or lack of certification, can result in million-dollar lawsuits and threats to public safety, so ensuring proper qualifications and training is key.

Today, Avetta has evolved its offering to deliver an enhanced supplier management platform customized for credentialing, certification and contractor capability tracking with respect to health and safety, sustainability and other specific needs. However, unlike some niche supplier information management solutions, the solution allows the questions and profiles to be configured for each supplier based upon service(s) provided, risk profile or industry — and takes this capability down to the individual contractor level.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Avetta offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Avetta.

Avetta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

ranco lucato/Adobe Stock

What would you get if you combined elements of supplier management, supplier risk management, vendor management system, talent marketplace and contractor compliance systems together, all with a specific design around skilled, often trades-based third-party and contractor management, especially in field intensive industries? We can make the case at Spend Matters that this mash up of capabilities would look something like Avetta, formerly known as PICS Auditing. Avetta solves a key problem that many companies in industries that rely heavily on contractors have: proper contractor vetting. Most supplier management providers vet the supplier, but it is not the supplier or contingent workforce provider alone that matters — it is the employee, or in some cases, the contractor, and if that employee or contractor is doing trade work, he or she has to be trained, certified and reliable.

While lacking some of the nuanced capabilities of many individual solution areas such as a VMS, Avetta makes up for any shortcomings with a purpose-built solution that is a particular fit in industries such as chemicals, construction, facilities management, oil and gas, telecommunications and related sectors. In many ways, Avetta extends the contractor credentialing paradigm of what Vendormate — which GHX acquired after as it scaled a highly successful supplier-paid business model in the healthcare matter — could have become had it remained independent, targeted multiple industries and adopted a supplier model.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Avetta’s strengths and weaknesses across its procurement technology suite, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential procure-to-pay solution. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Avetta. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Avetta: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

MRO as a service

Despite its low profile in the procurement world, Avetta, formerly known as PICS Auditing, is better known in certain markets, especially industries that rely heavily on field work and contractors (e.g., energy companies, cable companies, wireless companies, and other utilities). Avetta’s traction in these market segments may not capture the attention of more generic procurement technology providers, but the SaaS applications vendor has seen year-over-year growth in the 30% range over the last 15 years. Avetta combines elements of supplier onboarding, supplier management, contractor management, supply risk management and third-party data aggregation in a unique solution purpose-built to support industry use cases. Avetta now has more than 300 clients (most of them larger Global 2000 firms) that collectively use more than 50,000 suppliers in 100 countries in a network graph with more than 250,000 active connections at any one time.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Avetta and its unique approach to supply chain risk management and supplier management, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Avetta. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Claritum: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3): Competitive & Summary Analysis [PRO]

VMS

There is a curious category-specific boxing match brewing for the future of what we might term “non-vanilla e-procurement.” In one corner of the ring, we have traditional procure-to-pay (P2P) incumbents, such as Ariba and Coupa, which are increasingly configuring unique versions of their capabilities for specific user or industry requirements, some more successfully than others. In the other corner, we have specialist providers that designed their e-procurement applications from the ground up to meet very specific needs (e.g., print and marketing procurement) rather than serving as broad-based P2P platforms. Claritum is one such provider.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Claritum offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Claritum.

Coupa IPO: Company, Technology & Competitive Overview [PRO]

NYSE

On Thursday, Coupa filed Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), putting to rest months of rumors about its intent to become a public company. We’ve previously written about why a Coupa IPO would be good for procurement, but is Coupa a good bet for investors?

This analysis provides a procurement-centric overview of Coupa and its solutions. It does not dissect (or even consider) financials, nor does it highlight the SEC registration documents in the least — or even refer to them, although the filing documents validate many of our estimates and other assumptions that we’ve written in previous Spend Matters and Spend Matters PRO analyses in the past. Rather, this research brief explains how Coupa fits into the market: where it’s strong, where it’s weak, who its true competitors are and how procurement organizations are looking at it — and what we, at Spend Matters, think as well.

This Spend Matters PRO briefing document includes a summary overview of Coupa, definitions of e-procurement and e-invoicing, a SWOT analysis, a comparative footprint and product analysis, a competitive alternatives analysis, functional coverage ratings in key modules and areas and a Coupa outlook. This comprehensive document is also available for individual download.

Claritum: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

cloud computing

Just when you thought that a single procure-to-pay (P2P) solution per company was enough to drive transactional compliance, reduce maverick spend and maximize savings, along comes a provider that challenges the notion of one, ubiquitous e-procurement tool within one organization. The technology vendor in question is Claritum (and as a side note, there’s actually more than one provider in this market, but we’ll get to that later in the series during our competitive analysis in the final installment in our review).

Claritum is a cloud-based P2P solution provider focused on helping procurement organizations address much of the lifecycle of categories that typically go unmanaged, sometimes in part, but often in whole. Founded in 2002 with the goal of helping companies streamline procurement for print and marketing services, Claritum now addresses a much broader range of complex services and tail spend categories. The multi-party solution addresses the needs of not just buyers and suppliers — often in ways different from standard P2P platforms — but also other intermediaries in the supply chain for complex services categories.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Claritum’s strengths and weaknesses across its procurement technology suite, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential procure-to-pay solution. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Claritum. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Claritum: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

digital

Procure-to-pay (P2P) technology providers do not always fit cleanly inside a single box or comparative two-by-two matrix. The solution requirements that support shopping, tactical sourcing, transactional buying, invoicing and related supplier management activities can vary materially based on the underlying type of organization and categories they are designed to support. Procurement organizations can extend generic P2P solutions like Ariba and Coupa to many industries and categories. But specialist vendors can still differentiate in certain areas, even building a business case to sit alongside big name P2P solutions for the same customer.

Claritum is one such specialist. The firm launched in 2002 with an initial focus on supporting transactional procurement needs for print and marketing services. Over time, it built from this foundation to focus its P2P solution efforts on supporting complex purchases and low-volume spend areas that fall directly in the center of a Kraljic matrix rather than fitting nicely into one of the four quadrants — not to mention enabling spend that traditionally goes “unmanaged,” at least from an end-to-end definitional perspective.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Claritum and its unique approach to transactional procurement, including strengths and weaknesses in the P2P technology market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Claritum. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

SciQuest: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive & Summary Analysis [PRO]

SciQuest

While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that SciQuest competes in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market. To date, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and different competitors for its core P2P product, primarily serving the higher education, research and public sector verticals through sourcing optimization, spend/supply analytics and contract lifecycle management solutions. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments rather than more.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering SciQuest offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers (suite and otherwise). It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider SciQuest.

SciQuest: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

SciQuest

SciQuest is arguably the most challenging procurement technology suite vendor to compare directly to the competition. This perhaps explains why it tends to surface less in competitive procure-to-pay (P2P) or source-to-pay (S2P) suite opportunities outside of its traditional key vertical sectors for transactional procurement (e.g., higher education, laboratory/research, life sciences, public sector). From a comparative perspective, SciQuest causes us to scratch our heads, often with delight, but occasionally with frustration, given how far it has come from a suite and modular perspective and the potential it has in the market that it has yet to realize.

But what gets us most excited about SciQuest’s procurement technology capabilities and what are our quibbles? This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores SciQuest’s strengths and weaknesses across its procurement technology suite, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential S2P, P2P, source-to-contract (S2C) or modular, standalone solution provider. Part 1 of our analysis comprised a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider SciQuest. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

SciQuest: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

SciQuest

Three members of the Spend Matters team spent the start of last week at SciQuest’s customer conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The event, coming just shortly after Accel-KKR closed its acquisition of SciQuest, featured a mix of customers, prospects and partners from several different industries and market sectors. Many procurement organizations we spoke to at the event are currently using SciQuest in select areas rather than the full suite. Others, especially in SciQuest’s core historic markets of higher education and government, are using multiple modules and, in certain cases, the broader suite to support procurement requirements. We also had to a chance to spend a number of hours in the demonstration center looking at SciQuest’s latest 16.2 release in detail.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores SciQuest’s strengths and weaknesses in the source-to-pay (S2P) suite market, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a SWOT analysis, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider SciQuest. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a user selection guide, user interface (UI/UX) analysis, competitive alternatives and evaluation and selection considerations.

Concerned About Vendor Credential Compliance Risk? Now There May Be a Way to Rest Easier: GIS [PRO]

Supply Chain Fraud

The management of compliance risk in the supply chain must be attacked in a number of ways — almost always based on the organization of the right data and information. We recently had the opportunity to speak with David Bartley and Patrick Espie of General Information Services Inc. (GIS) to learn about the company’s latest offering, vendor credentialing management (VCM), which effectively enables companies to manage a certain dimension of compliance (credentialing) risk in their supplier network.

GIS is one of the top employment-related background checking service providers. The 50-year-old company was listed on the 2016 Workforce Magazine “Hot List,” where it was reported that the company served more than 2,350 companies by processing employment-related screenings on more than 9.2 million people annually. Among GIS’ client companies are some very large ones, including one-sixth of the Fortune 500. GIS prides itself not only on its information and technology but also on its high level of service (provided by a client services workforce located entirely in the U.S.).

Statess (State of Flux): Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive & Summary Analysis [PRO]

supplier management

Statess, a supplier management technology solution developed and owned by State of Flux, a consultancy, competes in a sector that is confusing for providers, let alone procurement organizations. The fragmentation of the supplier management technology market can make it difficult for procurement organizations to create the right provider shortlist and select the optimal technology to meet their needs. Statess is an upstart competitor in this highly complicated sector, although one not as well known as perhaps it should be, owning to the limited sales and marketing investment of its parent company relative to peers.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Statess offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other supplier management providers. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider State of Flux and the Statess product line.