Plus or PRO Content

DCR Workforce: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

supplier management

This vendor research series focuses on DCR Workforce, a provider of services management/ procurement technology solutions. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering DCR Workforce. In the context of the solution set, we noted that Smart Track is somewhat different than the typical monolithic VMS solution, for a number of reasons. These include: one, the modularity of the Smart Track platform which utilizes an SOA (services oriented architecture) model and allows separate modules to be implemented on their own, according to the client use case; and two, the strength of the SOW/Services Management module, which was the lead product at the time of DCR’s market entry.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores DCR Workforce’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor to enable their services procurement technology requirements. It also offers a pros/cons critique of the user interface. The remaining parts of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

GEP: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

apinan/Adobe Stock

GEP (formerly Global eProcure) is an integrated procurement solutions and services firm that offers managed services (including full BPO capabilities), transformation services (i.e., consulting) and its own internally developed source-to-pay (S2P) technology suite. The combination of these individual capabilities from a single provider, especially as they become increasingly synergistic, makes GEP truly standalone in the industry. Ultimately, the company made the strategic decision to develop its own native source-to-pay cloud platform suite (“SMART by GEP,” released in 2014). It’s a strategic bet that procurement organizations of varying sizes want the agility and depth of a single provider that can flexibly assemble a solution of technology, managed services and transformation services to support their dynamic needs. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the GEP solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

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

Supply Chain Fraud

Procurement fraud typically gets everyone’s attention after it happens. Granted, in certain geographies and industries, regulations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) have magnified the potential risk that procurement fraud can bring to expand beyond profitability impact through high fines and negative media coverage. Yet procurement and finance organizations generally are loath to invest in additional fraud controls and measures such as procure-to-pay (P2P), travel and expense (T&E) and payment solution (including p-cards) rollouts or upgrades at the same time. Oversight Systems, an Atlanta-based organization that focuses on fraud and overpayment controls and prevention and has raised almost $40 million in funding to date, is hoping to change this.

Existing P2P (SAP Ariba, Concur, Basware, etc.) and T&E (e.g., Concur) solutions can put in preventative steps to help reduce the risk of fraud and overpayment occurrences. But the controls they provide are insufficient to prevent fraud alone (as Best Buy discovered when procurement and a supplier colluded to steal millions of dollars from the company). Fraud and overpayment can occur in both expected and unexpected places, and Oversight has designed its solution to find and detect and find it through an advanced analytics platform, regardless of whether an employee, procurement, accounts payable or a supplier is the responsible party (or a combination of actors).

This Spend Matters PRO vendor snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about Oversight Systems’ procurement and accounts payable fraud and overpayment solutions. 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 Oversight Systems as a complement to existing P2P, T&E and card investments. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses; competitor and SWOT analysis; user selection guides; and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Spend360: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

data analytics

Although Spend360 is a relatively new entrant to the spend analytics solution space in North America, the company is well established in Europe. It commenced operations in 2011, and its founding team has been through previous startups in the sector. The firm’s experience is not only apparent in Spend360’s spend analytics technology but also in its ability to commercialize its capabilities. Since its North American launch in 2014, it has added 100 new clients in the region and now counts 400+ global customers. Spend360 has processed more than $1 trillion in spend, empowering it with a global category-level benchmarking and analytic capability that is competitively distinguished.

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

ra2 studio/Adobe Stock

BravoSolution, a procurement technology suite provider, has undergone significant transformation on the product level in recent years. It emerged from a replatforming effort in the source-to-contract area, after which it expanded the breadth of its suite by acquiring procure-to-pay from Puridiom (this followed a time of partnering with providers such as Basware and Verian). While Q1 2017 will see the introduction of BravoSolution’s first integrated source-to-pay suite under its own control, the more important differentiation in capabilities and approach arguably comes not from P2P but rather its core analytics, sourcing and supplier management capabilities (as well as integrated contract management).

This third and final installment of the Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series on BravoSolution provides an objective SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to BravoSolution and offers provider selection guidance. Lastly, this installment provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that may consider the BravoAdvantage suite or individual modules. Part 1 of this Vendor Snapshot gave an in-depth look at BravoSolution as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 provided a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

BravoSolution: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

digital

BravoSolution currently delivers a benchmark set of capabilities for procurement organizations in the “upstream” procurement suite area. It is not without weaknesses, (which we will also explore in this analysis), but BravoSolution stands apart in how it has constructed and how it delivers integrated suite components to support real-world procurement needs by country, industry and procurement organizational structure. With an emphasis on analytics, sourcing (core and advanced/optimization) and supplier management, BravoSolution provides one standard by which to measure the market from an upstream suite perspective. The provider also offers P2P capabilities (“downstream”) today and will be releasing its own solution, gained through acquisition, in 2017.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BravoSolution’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this multipart series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

HICX: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

supplier network

Companies looking for supplier management solutions have a broad range of choices, ranging from independent solution providers to ERP modules of varying degrees of sophistication and depth. There are numerous challenges that come with identifying the right solutions in the market for an individual procurement organization. These include the fact that consultants and analysts generally have limited experience with the in-the-trenches capabilities of these solutions compared with sourcing and purchase-to-pay suites.

One provider that warrants consideration in the market is HICX, a London-based firm founded in 2004. It is essentially a supply chain master data management (MDM) solution with a configurable workflow that allows an organization to use it as the supplier (and associated product) MDM system. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the HICX solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Accenture Spend Trends Category Insight

4 Ways to Optimize IT Services Spend [Plus+]

Increasing pressure on the CIO organization to deliver innovation to the business — at speed — is driving investment in IT services. However, this push for speed to market can result in poor sourcing practices, lower-quality business outcomes and higher costs. As a result, organizations often make mistakes that can cost them millions of dollars and also expose them to increased implementation and other risks.

So what is going wrong? There are three opportunities many IT services buyers miss. With increasing demands on the CIO organization, speed and service to the end business customer is of paramount importance. However, IT organizations need to be wary of several common mistakes that can negatively affect quality, on-time delivery performance and cost.

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

Oracle

The e-sourcing market might have met its Coupa in the form of Scout RFP. But whether Scout can add core functionality and related modules quickly enough to build out its own view of what a next-generation upstream suite needs to look like, as quickly as Coupa has in the P2P area, remains to be seen. There’s also the broader question of how Scout RFP could differentiate through tightly-coupled API, platform or “app” based partnerships in areas such as market intelligence, supply market directories, supplier management, contract lifecycle management, commodity management, analytics, e-procurement, e-invoicing and related areas. In such a fragmented and competitive market, following in Coupa’s growth footsteps won’t be easy. And successfully pulling off a “triple, triple, double, double, double” while maintaining near 100% SaaS renewal rates is a long shot, even for the best cloud products companies. This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Scout RFP provides an objective SWOT analysis of Scout and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Scout RFP and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies consider Scout RFP as a potential vendor. Previous installments provide an in-depth look at Scout RFP as a firm and its specific solutions (PART 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience (PART 2).

Claritum: Solution Review & Analysis [Plus+]

VMS

Procure-to-pay (P2P) technology providers do not always fit cleanly inside a single box or comparative two-by-two matrix. That's why procurement organizations are able to extend generic P2P solutions like Ariba and Coupa to many industries and categories. But specialist vendors can still differentiate in certain areas, even building a business case to sit alongside big name P2P solutions for the same customer.

Claritum is one such specialist. The firm launched in 2002 with an initial focus on supporting transactional procurement needs for print and marketing services. Over time, it built from this foundation to focus its P2P solution efforts on supporting complex purchases and low-volume spend areas that fall directly in the center of a Kraljic matrix rather than fitting nicely into one of the four quadrants — not to mention enabling spend that traditionally goes “unmanaged,” at least from an end-to-end definitional perspective.

This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to the Claritum solution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.

Scout RFP: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

digital

Scout RFP went to school on its procurement technology and geographic neighbor, Coupa. Just as Coupa focused on delivering a best-in-class user experience for core e-procurement initially and built out support for related components and then adjacencies such as AP automation and e-invoicing — so too has Scout RFP focused its product development locus on a single area, emphasizing usability, from which it has expanded. That said, in Scout RFP’s case, it has focused on the “upstream” areas of procurement technology, centered on e-sourcing. Perhaps it’s not surprising that the three-year-old provider, like Coupa, decided on using the Ruby on Rails application framework, a development platform and language that emphasizes efficiency and speed in coding.

Despite the fact that the core of Scout RFP’s functionality is not all that different in enabling sourcing capability than 15-year-old technology (remember Procuri?), what makes Scout RFP unique is how it has streamlined its overall user experience, including wrapping a new generation of collaboration, communication, project management, basic supplier management, reporting, savings tracking and supplier portal capability in a cloud-native environment. In short, it’s the first truly “modern” independent e-sourcing technology we’ve encountered with sufficient depth and breadth to serve as a core management platform and cockpit that can compete against incumbents in the market.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explore Scout RFP’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether or not to shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a detailed overview of the solution and the company, along with a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering it. The remaining parts of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

RFP

Some might question why anyone would launch a new business in the e-sourcing market, precisely what Scout RFP has done. After all, the complexities of basic sourcing capability typically pale in comparison with what is required to tackle areas like procure to pay (P2P) and contract lifecycle management effectively, which is why so many second-generation vendors in these sectors have used new technology stacks to all but completely overtake early providers in capability (perhaps with the one exception of SAP Ariba, which is still holding its own with growth). Moreover, there is arguably greater value from advanced sourcing approaches that begin to incorporate elements of total cost management, constraint-based optimization and supply chain network design than basic e-sourcing alone.

Yet Scout RFP is proving the observation wrong. In North America, it’s adding customers faster than just about any other provider. In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series, we tackle Scout RFP, a three-year-old e-sourcing vendor that started by offering only a basic RFP module, without even auctions.

This three-part brief will provide facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions on whether Scout RFP should be on their shortlist of e-sourcing providers to consider, either as a new solution, a replacement for existing e-sourcing tools or a complement to them. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as recommended fit suggestions for when organizations should consider Scout RFP. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.