IQNavigator is a vendor management system (VMS) provider in the midst of an important transition, which includes “doubling down” on a focus on technology R&D in part by continuing to add R&D resources following the sale of its MSP arm, more aggressively embracing partnership with the MSP ecosystem than in the past and starting the implementation of a strategy to “roll up” smaller VMS providers in the sector through acquisition. In December, Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch spent the day with the IQNavigator team in Denver to drill down on company strategy and product direction and met with the European team in the UK in early February to get an update on activity from the other side of the Atlantic. This multi-part Spend Matters PRO analysis covers his findings and analysis, beginning with a 2015 IQNavigator company update and European market adoption trends.more ▸
Following up on the earlier reports on Coupa's announcement that it is acquiring ZenPurchase – a recent startup focused on collaborative sourcing – I had the pleasure of speaking with the CEOs of both companies recently. Find out what the 2 leaders had to say about the merger and what is ahead for the new firm.more ▸
In recent years, Spend Matters research suggests that Coupa has led the market for new e-procurement sales in North America. It also built material traction in parts of Europe – something that many US providers struggle to do. The European traction is all the more remarkable because Coupa brings a very US-centric view to P2P – empowering the end-user rather than creating a command/control catalog-driven structure. In this PRO analysis, the Spend Matters research team explores a number of scenarios and considerations for Coupa in 2015 and 2016 (including a potential IPO), and what it means for customers, potential customers and partners of the high-growth vendor. The team begins today by providing historical context for Coupa and outlining engagement tactics for maximizing value when working with the fast growing vendor.more ▸
Last week, Xchanging announced it is acquiring Spikes Cavell, perhaps the largest global public sector spend analytics provider (measured by customer count), albeit still very small. This deal is about far more than blurring of the lines between BPO and SaaS applications within procurement. Along with truly booming customer growth and substantial organic product development within the MM4 sourcing suite – MM4 was the fastest growing sourcing vendor in 2014 by our count – we are seeing a combination of events that should be a wake-up call to Xchanging's competitors, customers and prospects. This multi-part Spend Matters PRO analysis, authored by the Spend Matters research team, starts with a product analysis of Spikes Cavell and a summary analysis of MM4 – and the likely synergies between the solutions. Our analysis will continue later in the month with competitive analysis and customer recommendations.more ▸
Yesterday, in Part 1, we looked at the individual firms whose shares we included in our Spend Matters 2014 stock portfolio. The portfolio is headed for a pretty flat performance over the year in terms of valuation, but that includes some big variations between firms. Note that our comments here purely relate to what you might call the “corporate events” of the year, and major factors that have affected the share price. It has only a limited reflection, for instance, on the products and services that procurement people might actually use (although obviously if a firm’s share price collapses, there is usually a reason). Anyway, here is the second batch of firms – in alphabetical order – from our portfolio.more ▸
In Part 1 of our analysis of MBO Partners, we considered how the firm provides a range of unique capabilities for independent consultants and freelance workers. This begins with tests to show (for their clients) whether or not they are compliant with regulatory guidelines for working independently and additional capabilities that span through payroll, withholding, expense management, invoicing and more. MBO’s solution also includes what Spend Matters believes is probably the only “live” case of technology-intermediated trade financing in the freelancer/contingent market today. As our look into MBO Partners continues in Part 2 of our analysis, we will consider the buyer-side view of the independent consultant/freelancer equation with MBO Partners and the broader vendor management system (VMS), freelancer management system (FMS) and managed services provider (MSP) ecosystem.more ▸
Earlier today Thomas Kase (VP of research) shared some quick comments on the rumors that SAP is thinking about buying Concur. This Spend Matters PRO article is the in-depth analysis. "Say it ain't so" is what first came to mind, not that Concur is either shoeless or cheats. There are of course positive aspects to the acquisition as well. Thomas expands on the pros and cons of such a deal, as part of his advice to Concur's shareholders and customers.more ▸
We move into the start of a new academic year in many parts of the world, children try on their new school uniforms, and summer inexorably turns into autumn. And the thoughts of procurement people turn to matters of great import – such as whether the Proactis share price can keep rising and why Hubwoo’s just doesn’t seem to move at all.
Yes, another month has gone by, and it is time to review Spend Matters' virtual stock portfolio, made up of 21 stocks in firms that have a procurement content to their portfolio. Peter Smith and Jason Busch have been tracking them all through 2014 in this Spend Matters Plus series to get a sense of where the market for firms in this industry is going. They then chose their preferred portfolios from those stocks, using an imaginary $1 million initial fund each. Jason focused on just eight firms; Peter spread his risk with 14.more ▸
Earlier this month,
This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a succinct competitive and market analysis of Beeline’s acquisition of OnForce. Authored by Jason Busch, managing director and founder of Spend Matters, and Thomas Kase, vice president, research, the series begins today by exploring the potential for companies to adopt FMS solutions. The second installment will explore how the acquisition may change the competitive landscape for other procurement and VMS providers and accelerate potential interest within Fieldglass and SAP about advancing their own entrance into this area – either through acquisition or organic development (both of which could also eventually take advantage of the capabilities of SuccessFactors). It also discusses how Oracle continues to “sit out” of the current services procurement marketplace evolution, offering only basic internal solutions tied to eProcurement capability within its existing product lines – and how and when Oracle customers should consider augmenting what they may already have purchased as standard procurement extensions.more ▸
In Part 6 of this Spend Matters Plus series on Ariba's patent portfolio, Thomas Kase (VP of research) looks at a patent that, interestingly enough, a former Procuri colleague of his (David Woods, a talented data base analyst with an insatiable appetite for coffee) has his name on. Note that this particular patent predates Ariba. It came from Procuri and from a different platform and development environment than what Ariba uses. So it’s not indicative of Ariba’s current solution or technical prowess, and David, the creator, has since moved on to other opportunities. The patent has to do with dynamic data access and storage. Read on for the layman's explanation of what the patent covers and its impact.more ▸
It has been a busy year for Proactis, the source-to-pay software provider based in Wetherby, a town in the fine northern English county of Yorkshire. Of all the firms in our European procurement solution provider market, Proactis has been the busiest from an acquisition point of view – certainly compared to company size. The firm has basically doubled in size (revenue) as well as moving in new strategic directions via three acquisitions in this calendar year. In this Spend Matters Plus research brief, Peter Smith (managing director of the UK/Europe site) provides a recap on those transactions, as well as takes a quick look at their half-year figures released in a trading update on August 12th, ahead of the full results announcement.more ▸
Has Ariba built a solid brick wall of IP gold or is it all just so much legal papier-mâché to scare us off? Huff and puff – will it hold? If so, will it be used to drive other solution providers into the wall? Back in May 2012, when the acquisition took place, we didn’t think SAP bought Ariba for their technology. Well, we still don’t think so, and we went on record stating that it was really for their network approach – it obviously can’t hurt if you can find a model to propel yourself to SaaS multiplier heights.
In Part 5 of this multi-part Spend Matters Plus series on Ariba’s patent portfolio, Thomas Kase (VP of research) will look at one of Ariba’s most recent patents, one that was awarded just two weeks ago. This patent covers a way to use structured content from another site (i.e. a supplier of something) in another solution (e.g. e-procurement solution – something with a supplier network perhaps) to avoid stale content.more ▸