In the first three parts of this Spend Matters PRO series on Oracle’s procurement offerings, we discussed Oracle EBS Advanced Procurement, Oracle Procurement Cloud, the capabilities of Oracle Information Discovery and Vinimaya integration with Oracle Procurement Solutions. Today, in this final installment, we examine PeopleSoft Procurement and its plans for the future. PeopleSoft, one of the first ERPs in the market, was purchased by Oracle in 2004 to help the software giant gain greater market share and increase its ability to invest in application development and support — and to prove to the market that it was serious in taking on (and even passing) SAP as the dominant ERP and business applications giant. PeopleSoft competes in the procurement and purchase-to-pay (P2P) space with its PeopleSoft Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) suite, which integrates applications such as Purchasing, e-Procurement, Catalog Management, e-Supplier Connection, Supplier Contract Management, Strategic Sourcing, e-Settlements, Procurement and Spend Analysis and Services Procurement. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an overview of each of these modules and offers further perspective and analysis of PeopleSoft’s procurement capabilities.
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The Oracle Cloud — previously known as “Oracle Fusion” — is a line of products that may have initially appeared to be a targeted bet and experiment for Oracle as it explored native SaaS development and deployment models and attempted to combine the strengths of different organic and acquired assets in a common suite. Oracle Cloud, since this initial vision, has matured considerably, both in capability, but more important, in strategic value to Oracle. In the first two installments in this Spend Matters PRO research series, we explored Oracle’s overall procurement portfolio and eBusiness Suite (EBS) procurement capabilities in detail (as well as iProcurement Endeca extensions and how partner Vinimaya integration strengthens the capabilities of iProcurement). In this third installment, we explore the Oracle Procurement Cloud product and offer our perspective on the history of the solution, optimal customers and partner integration (and capabilities) with Vinimaya. We also offer our take on how Oracle Procurement Cloud stacks up to the competition.
By nature of not having made targeted acquisitions in the procurement market, Oracle does not call as much attention to itself in the space as ERP rival SAP, which purchased Ariba, Fieldglass and Concur. Yet Oracle is not sitting still in the race to rapidly build out competitive capabilities through major acquisitions, but rather to incrementally develop both EBS and Oracle Cloud Suites as true integrated suites rather than a portfolio of applications loosely connected to each other. In the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO brief, we explored the types of general investments that Oracle is making in procurement, its different procurement application lines, and the various approaches it is taking to offering cloud deployment and integration modules. We also provided an introduction to EBS Advanced Procurement. In this second installment, we explore all of the applications of the Advanced Procurement suite. We also delve into how the iProcurement module has benefited from Oracle’s Endeca acquisition and the gaps that Oracle partners, such as Vinimaya, are filling within the Oracle EBS Procurement picture to enable parity with best-of-breed competitors in the catalog management, federated search, comparison shopping and presentation areas. Finally, we also offer our take on how Oracle Procurement Cloud stacks up to the competition.
As noted in the Spend Matters Almanac, Oracle was one of the original pioneers in the e-procurement space, introducing its original iProcurement release, part of Electronic Business Suite (EBS) of integrated applications, well over a decade ago. Today, Oracle continues to offer iProcurement. But it also now delivers a cloud-based suite of applications known simply as Oracle Cloud (formerly “Fusion”). Oracle Procurement Cloud is a native SaaS suite that is designed to compete against specialized cloud providers. And last but not least, Oracle, in its long career of acquisitions, has also acquired other solution suites with their own procurement applications (on-premise and hosted), including PeopleSoft SRM. In this Spend Matters PRO series covering Oracle’s procurement solutions, we explore the range of Oracle procurement solutions across its different branded and functional product lines, including the overall “state” of Oracle in procurement today. We also analyze key modules, functional capabilities and features across different Oracle solution brand serving the procurement market. Finally, this series explores Oracle’s competitive advantages and challenges today and offers perspectives on how different trends are likely to influence Oracle customers to use (or not use) Oracle’s procurement solutions today and tomorrow by application line.
Compared with other purchase-to-pay (P2P), e-invoicing and supplier network providers, Transcepta is a bit of an anomaly. Not only has it not raised significant capital to support sales and marketing expansion, it has remained focused (until recently) on supplier enablement, e-invoicing and document exchange/collaboration enablement rather than footprint expansion (e.g., e-procurement, trade financing, etc.). The largest tragedy of Transcepta (in our view) is that it doesn’t have the sales and marketing resources to get into more opportunities. In the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO series exploring Transcepta, we covered the provider’s corporate background, solution footprint and overall strengths. Part 2 provides insight into solution weaknesses, competition and customer and prospect recommendations.
Transcepta, a closely held business, was founded over a decade ago. Throughout this time, the provider has focused on building and expanding its global supplier network capabilities to support vendor onboarding and e-invoicing efforts, including most recently in the invoice discounting and trade financing areas. Transcepta compares favorably on a functional basis with other e-invoicing providers, including and supplier network providers such as Ariba/SAP, Basware, Coupa, Taulia, Tungsten and Tradeshift. It also serves as an e-invoicing partner to Oracle and SciQuest. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to supplier network enablement and e-invoicing approaches, Trancepta’s capabilities in these areas and the provider’s overall strengths, including a new PO/document matching approach that leverages technology often used in the spend analysis world to achieve significantly higher matching rates than what we typically observe. The second installment of this research brief covers Transcepta’s weaknesses, competition and our recommendations for customer fit.
Capgemini IBX Business Network: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Strengths, Weaknesses and Summary Recommendations [PRO]
Capgemini IBX Business Network is a provider that continues to quietly build momentum with a broad set of procurement capabilities, many of which are not only deeper than its competitors but also offer a nuanced approach to complementing and enabling existing ERP procurement environments in a manner that can bring procurement and IT organizations together. The IBX platform has undergone constant development and improvement with significant enhancements made to the network, mobile support, invoice automation and spot-buy capabilities (with a new version being released in the coming months). In the P2P and network area, IBX has rolled out a new integration workbench for simplified integration to existing ERP, MRP and catalog management/warehouse solutions, as well as deep support for SAP SRM 7 and SAP MM. This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a comprehensive introduction and review of the IBX solution. In the first installment, we provided an introduction to the provider and its modules and capabilities. In Part 2, we conclude with an analysis of the provider’s comparative strengths and weaknesses and offer perspective on “best fit” customers.
Capgemini IBX Business Network: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Integrated S2P With Head-Spend and Tail-Spend in One [PRO]
Capgemini, a multinational professional services firm headquartered in Paris, France, is one of the world's largest consulting companies, with more than 180,000 employees in more than 40 countries and almost €12 billion in annual revenue. Buried within this services behemoth is a specialized procurement division, the IBX Business Network, created by IBX Group, in Stockholm, Sweden, and acquired by Capgemini 2010. Since IBX's own acquisitions of Trimondo GmBH and Portum AG in 2005 and 2006, the provider has steadily increased its capabilities, including bringing one of the richest source-to-pay (S2P) platform capabilities that is pre-integrated with a supplier network. While particularly strong in the Nordics, the IBX division of Capgemini has expanded throughout Europe and North America as well. This two-part Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to Capgemini IBX, an overview of the provider’s strengths and weaknesses and customer recommendations.
FusionOps is a supply chain intelligence company founded in 2005 in Sunnyvale, California, to automate ERP-based business processes, such as direct materials procurement and supplier collaboration, that could not be accomplished effectively using the standalone sourcing and procurement solutions of the day. However, around 2009, the company switched directions — or “pivoted” in tech speak — and started amalgamating "big data" from ERP, MRP and other supply chain and supply management systems in an effort to extract actionable intelligence for clients. Today, FusionOps delivers "big data as a service" through its supply chain intelligence cloud, which contains more than 50 built-in proprietary supply chain models that run on more than 1,000 KPIs across the inbound, internal and outbound supply chain that can be used for diagnostic, predictive and even prescriptive analytics. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to FusionOps, an overview of the provider’s strengths and weaknesses and customer recommendations.
For technology vendors, entering new geographic markets can be as easy as hiring a handful of local employees, offering local language support and getting an office. But in the case of China, especially when the solution a firm sells touches at the very core of government VAT requirements, market entrance is many orders of magnitude more complicated. This Spend Matters PRO research series explores how Tradeshift is entering the Chinese market in partnership with Baiwang, including the process Tradeshift went through to obtain an Internet Content Provider (ICP) license, its specific (regionally customized) solution elements for the Chinese market and a summary analysis of what increasing levels of VAT and tax collection legislation will mean for multinational corporations and the e-invoicing solutions that they deploy. For background on the new Chinese VAT and tax reporting requirements, including system components and elements, please see the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO research brief.
Tradeshift and Baiwang: A Solution Approach to Meeting Chinese VAT and E-Invoicing Requirements [PRO]
Tradeshift is bringing e-invoicing into the world’s most important developing — or developed, depending on perspective — economy: China. A few weeks ago, Tradeshift announced its partnership with Baiwang to deliver an integrated compliance solution in the Chinese marketplace, which we covered in a quick research note. Our research suggests the partnership is more than just a marketing agreement. It involves a material commitment by both parties and could play a significant role in Tradeshift’s global expansion, and the implementation of e-invoicing and compliance programs in China. But it also raises a number of questions, which the Spend Matters team was able to pose to Tradeshift’s Christian Lanng and Vishal Patel following the announcement. In this two-part Spend Matters PRO brief, we provide a closer examination into the partnership, including background insight into Chinese tax reform and e-invoicing requirements that drove Baiwang to collaborate with Tradeshift. We also feature a Q&A with the Tradeshift team and provide our own analysis of the partnership and co-investment in platform localization, including the rationale and implications for connectivity and e-invoicing adoption in China.
Lavante: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Strengths, Weaknesses, Competition and Customer Recommendations [PRO]
While not as well known as many other technology providers in the procurement technology ecosystem, Lavante has quietly developed a strong list of Fortune 500 customers, many with diverse sets of supplier information management and audit recovery challenges. (And it has succeeded in linking these initiatives together, we might add.) While Lavante remains North American-centric — it has no offices overseas — the firm can support global clients that want to take audit recovery “in-house” with the flexibility (and option) to self-fund the management of supplier onboarding, master data cleansing and broader compliance initiatives through direct savings capture. As we noted in the first installment in this series, Lavante counts a diverse set of large retail, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, pharmaceutical, hospitality, telecommunications and financial services clients, many with large supplier and transactional datasets. In our initial coverage, we provided an introduction to Lavante and some of the highlights of its solution set and capabilities. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides additional insight into Lavante’s strengths, weaknesses and competition, and offers recommendations to customers and prospective customers that are using or considering the solution.