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Vendor Summary Report: Procure-to-Pay Suites SolutionMap℠ Q4 2017 [PRO]

purchasing

This SolutionMapSM analyzes a select group of procure-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q4 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers. Our Q4 release also features SolutionMaps for Strategic Procurement Technology suites.

Summary

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest invoice-to-pay providers, specifically Basware, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, Vroozi and Zycus. Data from other providers is also included in our SolutionMap scoring benchmarks. Among the providers featured, this SolutionMap release includes select industry/specialty capability of providers, although it does not highlight them in a specific persona, a change from our last SolutionMap release.

Scoring and Ratings Inputs

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a Solution perspective and Customer Value perspective.

It provides a breakdown of Solution scoring for each vendor on an overall category level. This includes each provider’s comparative capability to support:
  • Catalog management
  • Shopping/requisitioning
  • Ordering/order management
  • Receiving
  • Invoice structure/capture
  • Invoice collaboration
  • Compliance
  • Additional invoicing technology components
  • Financing
  • Payment
  • Supplier network
  • Configurability
  • Technology/architecture
  • Services
Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth technology reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).

The SolutionMap also provides insight into how customers scored each Supplier Management vendor based on a Customer Value scorecard (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation). The Spend Matters SolutionMap database includes more than 275 customer references collected in 2017.

Our “map” approach intentionallt does not “co-mingle” Solution and Customer Value scoring, allowing readers to prioritize what matters most to them.

Using SolutionMap

While Spend Matters does not recommend that existing and potential customers of providers use technology and customer scoring alone to shortlist or evaluate technology providers, the insight, along with SolutionMap persona-based ratings, provides a point-in-time perspective that may be useful as either a starting point in an evaluation or a contributing factor to a formal software selection process.

Going Deeper in the Data

Spend Matters reserves its most granular level of scoring and analysis for our practitioner advisory clients, and we invite procurement organizations to contact us for more information.

For example, Spend Matters maintains highly granular scoring insights and ratings in specific areas such as supplier network capability (e.g., supplier on-boarding, supplier information management, supplier performance and risk management, catalog management, order management, invoicing, other supplier network value-added services and ability to connect to multiple networks).

This allows us to provide highly granular insight in how specific solutions compare to both an industry standard Spend Matters benchmark and peer group/competitive vendors for each of these areas to support technology selection processes. We allow PRO subscribers — and on a much deeper level, our practitioner advisory clients within procurement organizations going through a selection process — to get into the data as much or as little as they required.

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

Analytics

Like other areas that fall into what we describe as the strategic procurement technology segment (which includes strategic sourcing, supplier management and contract management), the spend analytics sector remain a high-growth yet fragmented market. Spend Matters market sizing models suggest a healthy double-digit CAGR for spend analytics in 2017 and 2018, although not one solution provider has been able to create a leadership position overall. Within this market segment, Spendency, a relatively new Nordic-based provider, has quietly built significant traction with a self-service spend analytics offering, supported by enabling services via its partners and investors for those customers who do not want a DIY tool alone.

Since releasing the first version of its cloud-based application in 2015, Spendency has proven a fit with several dozen middle market customers and some larger organizations, as well. Originally focused on signing up Scandinavian organizations, Spendency is now making a play for the global spend analysis market. The solution is quick to get up and running, easy to use, and satisfies the 80/20 rule for organizations that just need a basic spend analysis solution to get started on their analytics journey.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Spendency’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview, as well as a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Spendency. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

You can count on the timing like procurement technology clockwork. Every time a spend analytics vendor is acquired, a new one pops up, always with a slightly different take on previous-generation solutions. One of these relatively new spend analytics providers is Spendency, a cloud-based provider spun out of a procurement consultancy that focuses on the Nordic market (although it is not limiting its geographic focus and reach).

Spendency is attempting to fill a niche as one of only a few low-cost spend analytics solutions that is fast to stand up and comparatively inexpensive to deploy. The idea behind the toolset is to put spend analytics in the hand of every buyer and analyst that needs it with a low-cost entry point. Specifically, the solution starts at about €10,000 per year for a small or mid-size organization, a sum that is less than 5% of the annual costs that many organizations pay for other spend analysis solutions today. At this price, Spendency provides significant value for money for an end-to-end spend analytics solution.

So far, Spendency’s niche is proving itself to be significant in the market, as the provider has acquired more than 60 clients in 24 months since launch. But will it succeed on the global stage with diverse competition ranging from ERP vendors to procurement suite providers to AI-led specialists to numerous other low-cost, do-it-yourself spend analytics platforms? This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an overview of Spendency, letting our subscribers form their own opinions (while sharing more than a few of our own).

The three-part Vendor Snapshot series provides facts and expert opinion to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Spendency and whether its capabilities are a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and a detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Spendency for procurement and spend analysis. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Opera Solutions (BIQ/Signalytics): Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

analytics

Opera Solutions takes a unique approach to the process of managing spending data today. Its solution is a hybrid desktop and SaaS application that lets a user manage analytics in the cloud through a highly customized QlikView “front end” or on the desktop, through a new and much improved Windows desktop application with a more modern look and feel than the aged Windows XP interface that BIQ came with for most of its existence. Or, they can leverage both, doing “local” analysis, uploading downloads for sharing, downloading for experimenting and so on. On top of this, they can build their own customized analysis in Python and run it in the in-memory Opera Solutions engine, as well as do custom analytics as fast as out-of-the-box analytics, at industry leading speeds.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Opera Solutions’ Signalytics offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment, and comparison with other similar and “crossover” providers in the supplier management and supplier diversity market. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses, and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Opera Solutions for procurement and spend analytics.

Opera Solutions (BIQ/Signalytics): Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

data analytics

In most cases, spend analysis solutions do not age like fine wine. The speed with which technology innovation is happening can make a product that was state of the art five years ago taste like the equivalent of plonk today — or worse. But Opera Solutions’ Signaltyics, which still leverages much of the code in the original BIQ spend analysis product that it acquired in 2012, is proof that with the right continued investment, even previous-generation core technologies can outdo modern platforms in certain areas. The recent enhancements to the product that we have seen surprised us in positive ways.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Signalytics’ strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Opera Solutions’ Signalytics. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations. The focus of this review is not on Opera Solutions’ overall Signal Hub enterprise analytics platform but rather its specific solution targeting indirect procurement.

DHL Resilience360: A High-End Supply Risk Solution Hiding in a Logistics Services Provider (Part 2: Determining the Fit) [PRO]

The market for supply chain risk management solutions continues to grow. SAP Ariba is back in the game, after a market hiatus from SAP Supplier InfoNet, with a new solution. Incumbents such as riskmethods and Resilinc continue to build out their offerings, and eager adoption from a growing customer base in manufacturing and other sectors is driving one of the healthiest revenue CAGRs in the procurement sector, according to Spend Matters research.

Within this sector, DHL Resilience360 offers a compelling set of capabilities that span risk assessment, supply chain network visualization, incident monitoring and risk response. (See Part 1 of this analysis for a full overview.) The solution stands out for how it incorporate logistics components into broader aspects of supply chain risk management.

This second installment of our analysis introducing DHL Resilience360 explores what types of customers are the best fit for the solution. It also offers a checklist to help organizations assess the relevance of Resilience360 for their risk management initiatives. But first, this analysis begins by asking key questions in the context of organizational supply chain risk management maturity, readiness and priorities, including, “Who should use this solution and why?”

DHL’s Resilience360: A High-End Supply Risk Solution Hiding in a Logistics Service Provider (Part 1: Solution Overview) [PRO]

Global Risk Management Solutions

If your current lineup of risk management solution contenders fails to include a supply chain logistics services player (LSP), also known as a third-party logistics provider (3PL), you may want to consider a timeout. As the largest LSP in the world, with approximately 510,000 under its employ, Deutsche Post DHL Group has entered the solution space with a game-ready option that is worth a serious look.

If you have initial concerns about the “motivations” of a technology platform funded by a major physical supply chain participant; or the relevance of all of those supply chain operators; or how a company like DHL, which owns significant carrier assets, avoids conflicts of interest, well, you’re not alone. In fact, that pretty much describes the mindset we brought to our meeting with DHL’s Resilience360 product leadership.

In spite of these concerns, we came away extremely impressed. Resilience360 has functionality rivaling that of the market leaders (e.g., Resilinc and riskmethods).

DHL’s new solution suite offers a nice path forward, including a unique diagnostic approach that provides supply chain organizations a way to walk before they run full speed into a comprehensive supply risk application suite. For DHL, it’s a great way to move up the value stack as a more strategic supply chain services partner beyond core logistics execution, and it also takes advantage of the capabilities DHL has built in its core business, extending them to its customers. Such an approach is analogous to the classic IBM business model: “We’ve done that to ourselves very well and can do that for you as a service.” Of course, IBM might not be the shining example to hold up given its performance over the last few years, but let’s not let the data get in the way of a good metaphor.

In this two-part Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll dive under the covers and evaluate the capabilities of DHL’s multi-pronged solution and give some evaluation guidance on its capabilities relative to other options in the market.

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

supplier diversity

The market for supplier diversity and supplier management solutions has clearly entered its “2.0” phase. While the DNA of firms competing in this market segment has not changed considerably from the first wave of specialists, the level of capability and overall user experience has evolved considerably since the previous generation of solutions — and what one can do with the solutions has matured, as well.

Users of these solutions can still expect a combination of diversity data enrichment, supplier on-boarding and basic supplier information management capability. But this is now just the ante for a newer generation of providers like ConnXus, a supplier (information) management solution designed to simplify the complexity associated with identifying, qualifying and introducing the right suppliers, including the right diversity suppliers, into global supply chains in a manner that achieves organizational goals of responsible and sustainable sourcing.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering ConnXus offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other similar and “crossover” providers in the supplier management and supplier diversity market. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider ConnXus.

Opera Solutions (BIQ/Signalytics): Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

This PRO series is specifically focused on Opera Solutions for Procurement and not Opera Solutions as a whole. If you are considering Opera Solutions for other enterprise analytics needs, this series may not address all of the relevant points.

Fourteen years ago, in the sleepy little town of Southborough, Massachusetts, a tiny startup set out to give procurement (and business) analysts a self-service yet powerful transactional data analysis tool. This would enable them to do their own analysis and get their own insights rather than having to “outsource” much of the process — including creating rules for classification, reports and different cube views — to a third party. Less than two years later, it released that tool, called BIQ, and it totally changed the spend analysis market for both procurement organizations and consultants alike. For the first time, power analysts could do everything themselves in a market where spend analysis was primarily offered as a service, and they could do it at a price point that was significantly less than what larger vendors were charging them (often 5X–10X less). While it did require a lot of knowledge, aesthetic blindness and elbow grease, over time it could be done. BIQ was raw but powerful.

This quickly made the solution a favorite tool among not just mid-market companies that couldn't afford specialized solutions but also niche consultancies that could now do power-house analytics projects on their own, including firms like Lexington Analytics and Power Advocate. This, along with some really smart marketing, pushed BIQ into the mainstream of spend analytics providers, making it an essential shortlist candidate for any company wanting do-it-yourself spend analysis. This got the attention of many providers, who were afraid of the threat, in awe of the technology, or both.

One distributor of BIQ was Opera Solutions, which acquired the solution in 2012, as well as Lexington Analytics shortly thereafter. Once the two providers were merged, Opera Solutions instantly had a complete spend analysis software and services solution for the indirect space. But just as it achieved this combination, technical innovation on the core platform became inconsistent and market awareness was all but nonexistent. Yet in more recent years things have changed. BIQ is back. The new version (fall 2017) comes packed with some big enhancements, including one capability that is not only market leading but also unique among the spend analysis providers we have covered to date.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Opera Solutions and whether its capabilities are a fit for their needs. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and a detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Opera Solutions for procurement and spend analysis. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

From a technology and content perspective, the market for supplier diversity-specific supplier management solutions has remained somewhat of a cottage industry for over a decade. Larger vendors, including both software and risk-centric providers, have not been able to take advantage of scale or reach. Further, over the years, even those organizations which have acquired diversity-centric vendors (e.g., Kroll, Jaggaer) have not been able to consolidate the market.

This has opened the door for more recent entrants, such as ConnXus, to not only develop technology, solutions and content for supplier diversity professionals but also to integrate these capabilities with broader offerings across the supplier management spectrum, as well as set a new standard for what should be included in a supplier diversity solution in the first place.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores ConnXus’ strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. The first installment our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering the provider. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

ConnXus: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

suppliers

The supplier management technology market is a microcosm of the procurement technology market generally, as it has many subsegments and is fragmented from a provider perspective. Procurement organizations need to do their full homework when evaluating potential suppliers, including newer technology vendors and a host of incumbents that have been competing for a decade (and sometimes more) in this market segment. Consider that two components within the supplier management, supplier information management (SIM) and supplier discovery management (SDM), have been around since the early 2000s, when Aravo pioneered capabilities in this area and signed progressive companies like Google.

But when it comes to supplier management, SIM and SDM are not the whole story. Within this segment, specialized supplier performance management (SPM), supplier relationship management (SRM), supply/supplier risk management, supplier network management (SNM), and other takes on supplier management that haven't even hit mainstream yet are helping drive specific buying decisions for technology. That probably accounts for the recent explosion in supplier management technology providers over the past few years, with a new one either hitting the market or becoming mainstream seemingly every quarter.

One of the companies that is now becoming mainstream in this broader sector is ConnXus. Founded in 2010 out of the founders’ frustration in their inability to quickly and easily identify, and qualify, new diverse suppliers as a result of incomplete databases, fragmented resources and expensive software, ConnXus is on some levels a next-generation version of previous diversity specialists including CVM Solutions and AECSoft. The founders also observed that small business owners and diverse suppliers found it difficult to share diversity qualifications or develop relationships with procurement executives directly.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about ConnXus’ solution offering in the supplier management and supplier diversity markets. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider ConnXus in the procurement technology area. The rest of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, and evaluation and selection considerations.

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

SciQuest

LevaData is a provider that challenges the traditional notion of “modules” in the procurement technology sector. In combining supply chain visibility, market data and benchmarks, community analytics, optimization, forecasting, AI techniques and strategic sourcing capability, LevaData is positioning itself as the first “cognitive sourcing” provider. While focused primarily today on select industries and categories, its goal is to become both a single source of truth and core enablement technology for broader direct materials sourcing. Today, LevaData’s solution blends integrated market intelligence, analytics and sourcing components in a single platform, primarily serving customers in the electronics/high tech manufacturing sector. While more mature in certain areas and less in others, the combined product set is not like anything else we have seen or analyzed in the market.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering LevaData offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other related vendors targeting direct materials procurement. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider LevaData.