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“Surround Strategies” to Get More From Existing eProcurement and P2P Investments

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Companies of all sizes are increasingly looking to deploy strategies to get more from existing ERP, eProcurement and P2P investments. Procurement organizations can now employ a range of supplemental solutions as a strategic extension of current systems to truly optimize spend under management. Our research suggests that certain demographic characteristics determine relevance for pursuing surround strategy approaches. In looking at previous P2P investments, companies that have licensed (or rented) tools such as Ariba Buyer, Ariba P2P, Basware, Oracle eBusiness Suite, PeopleSoft SRM, SAP SRM or have home-grown P2P tools are prime candidates if they are looking to:

  • Get more from existing assets without writing off previous investments
  • Gain leverage in managing incumbent vendors in the future (maintenance fees, network fees, etc.)
  • Achieve a new level of results (e.g., procurement savings, compliance, general systems ROI) in a short time frame

We suggest five general approaches to surround an existing eProcurement or P2P investment:

  • Invest in a new user experience layer that creates a usability buffer and potentially adds new capability
  • Augment existing eProcurement or P2P investments with third-party tools or solutions in targeted areas that improve the basic capability of the system itself
  • Invest in complementary technology that goes beyond original capabilities
  • Work with a third-party solutions provider that will provide technology and more services-driven capabilities
  • Purchase new solutions that gradually consume their hosts

While we explore each of these areas in detail in the paper itself, we also argue that the decision to pursue a surround strategy should not be taken lightly. Before evaluating potential tools and partners, we recommend a specific research and evaluation process that that companies should pursue.

This Compass analysis also includes four specific use cases that highlight real-world examples of surround approaches and the environments that led to them based on composite sketches of companies Spend Matters has recently interviewed. It concludes with a number of lessons learned and recommendations for pursuing surround strategies.

If you have any type of existing P2P deployment — ERP or otherwise — we’re certain you’ll take away at least one key lesson learned from this Spend Matters Compass analysis.