Conferences & Events Content

The 2018 Beeline Conference: What Did We Learn?

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The 2018 Beeline Conference, which officially wrapped up Wednesday, may in retrospect be a milestone event for the company. Not only was the conference well attended, well organized, informative and analyst friendly in terms of access and transparency, it also provided visibility into a company that has weathered a near-perfect storm in 2017 and is now unfurling its sails, looking toward the horizon. Realistically, on the voyage ahead, there will be both smooth sailing and rough seas — and as any seasoned mariner knows, that’s just how it is.

Basware Connect 2018 Dispatch: By the Numbers and New Developments

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Spend Matters is on the ground in Austin, Texas, to cover the Basware Connect 2018 customer conference. The event kicked off Wednesday with an analyst-focused discussion on where the procure-to-pay (P2P) provider grew in 2017 and where it is adding to its value proposition in the coming year.

What’s New on the Beeline Technology Horizon: BeelineOne

Beeline Senior Vice President of Strategy Colleen Tiner made two important product announcements at the 2018 Beeline Conference Tuesday, providing a clearer technology roadmap for the company following its merger with IQNavigator. The first announcement concerned the completion of Horizon, Beeline’s name for its new underlying microservices platform. The second covered the development of BeelineOne, a user-facing product that delivers a common set of capabilities from both Beeline and IQN’s platforms.

To learn more about Horizon and BeelineOne, we spoke with the Beeline engineering team to understand what is complete, what is available and what is in the works.

2018 Beeline Conference: CEO Doug Leeby Talks Integration Hurdles, What Lies Ahead

Doug Leeby kicked off the 2018 Beeline Conference Tuesday with a talk on how Beeline has done over the past year and where it is headed. Given our interest in Beeline’s progress post-merger with IQNavigator, Leeby’s talk was very helpful. Compared with past years, Leeby’s keynote was notably more serious, focused on the here and now rather than technology and innovation. Specifically, Leeby emphasized Beeline’s increased “customer focus” — no doubt of critical importance given the typical challenges that come with integrating two companies.

The 2018 Beeline Conference: What Lies Ahead in a Changing World of Work

The 2018 Beeline Conference kicks off Monday in Amelia Island, Florida, the company’s second annual event since its merger with IQNavigator in December 2016. The conference will provide a good opportunity to review Beeline’s technology and product strategies, to be sure, but we at Spend Matters are also interested in the broader picture. In particular, we are eager to gauge Beeline’s progress as it evolves from simply a vendor management system (VMS) to something much bigger. 

SAP Ariba Takes Aim at Procurement CoEs Services with A Targeted Shared Services Offering

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Procurement shared services teams — also known as centers of excellence (CoEs) — don’t get enough respect. In larger companies, they are often critical not only to bringing greater operating efficiency to AP and P2P transaction processing but are also increasingly involved in strategic areas including market intelligence, strategic sourcing and even sourcing optimization. Many of SAP Ariba’s customers have CoEs or are in the process of building of them. But as far as we know, no source-to-pay technology provider has come out with a specific module just for them. Until now.

The Ariba Network in 2018: Volume, Trending and Vision

So far today at SAP Ariba Live, The Ariba Supplier Network has been on full display. Barry Padgett, SAP Ariba’s recently appointed president, appears to be putting the network front and center in his organization’s overall strategy and vision. This marks a strategic evolution from Alex Atzberger’s focus on core SAP Ariba application enhancement as a primary objective, at least as Spend Matters sees it. At Live, Padgett is thinking big. He has talked in terms of “opening up” the network dramatically from API and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) perspectives, far beyond what SAP Ariba has done to date.

Ariba Live 2018 Kicks Off: “Very Nice”

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Three members of the Spend Matters analyst team (Pierre Mitchell, Xavier Olivera and Jason Busch) are attending SAP Ariba Live this year. By our count from the initial tech analyst session, more than 25 other analysts and influencers are attending, as well. We didn’t know we had so many peers who actually covered procurement technology! Perhaps this illustrates the rising interest in procurement solutions generally. We can almost hear Sacha Baron Cohen saying in his Borat voice, “Procurement Tech. Finally. Very Nice.”

Highlights from Across the Pond at Coupa Inspire 2017: A Fraud Detection Acquisition, Open Buy Launch and R19

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Coupa has acquired an AI fraud detection company and begun its official rollout of Open Buy with Amazon Business, our colleagues at Spend Matters UK/Europe reported from Coupa Inspire last week. The two announcements highlight Coupa’s recent push to integrate more advanced functionality into its spend management platform, from bringing sourcing optimization to a wider audience to enabling the elusive “guided buying” experience.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: Exploring Zycus’ Products and Modules Across Source-to-Pay

Earlier in the week on the mainstage at Zycus Horizon, Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’ founder and CEO, provided an overview of his firm’s current and emerging product footprint. The suite is “comprehensive,” to use a word Dedhia favors in describing it. To his credit, Zycus arguably offers one of the broadest suites available today, albeit with varying degrees of depth and comparative functionality. While our definition of what falls into a particular module or another may differ from how various providers define it, here’s how Zycus explains its footprint today.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and the Cloud

At Zycus Horizon, I participated in two panel discussions, one as a “pinch hitter” and the other with some up-front planning. One centered on the impact of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence on the future of procurement technology and the procurement function, while also tying in cloud, blockchain, the internet of things (IoT) and other disruptive technology areas. The other panel touched on these topics but emphasized the future of the user experience in procurement technology.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: 5 Impressions From The Event So Far

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Xavier Olivera and I have spent the past 24 hours at Zycus Horizon. We’ve been in and out of sessions, had conversations with customers and partners, and spent significant time talking to Zycus management. While we did not spend too much time in New Orleans digging into Zycus’ latest product releases, we’ve spent a dozen or so hours in the past quarter reviewing Zycus’ core procure-to-pay (P2P) and strategic procurement technology modules. Factoring these sessions into account and what we’ve learned at Horizon, we thought we’d do a “shoot from the hip” list of impressions from the event this year.