In our previous coverage of the SAP’s announced acquisition of Concur, we provided some background and context on the transaction and offer our candid perspective on the events leading up to the announcement. As we begin our deeper analysis of what the deal means for customers, competitors and the broader market, Thomas Kase, VP Research, who leads Spend Matters T&E coverage, talks about a range of synergies (or lack thereof, in certain cases) around the acquisition including cultural fit, target customer segments, scale, network/content, app store models, talent retention, and much more.more ▸
Welcome to Week 3 of our “Best Of” roundup, which pulls the latest and greatest commentary and analysis published on the Spend Matters Network. Read on to find out the latest news from our Spend Matters sites both in the US and in Europe, as well as what is going on in industrial metals sourcing and in the worlds of trade financing and public sector procurement.more ▸
In our previous ‘shades’ (begin with Shade 1 here), we helped describe a foundational capability: to analyze and make visible how much money has been paid to suppliers. We also discussed how to wrangle the supplier master data that feeds the payment data that in turn, feeds the analytics. Now, in this Spend Matters Plus Research brief, Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell explores and classifies the types of suppliers with which you've held transactions to analyze your spend – ultimately signaling the shift from spend analysis to supply base analysis.more ▸
Tom Bonkenburg, head of European Operations for St. Onge, a privately held consultancy focused on supply chain strategy and logistics, gave us perhaps the most critical observation in his presentation at the Supply Chain Insights conference – why we haven’t seen more ASIMO-type automation – when he cleverly brought in an aspect of Moore’s Law that is relevant to automation. This “law” states that the price paid for a given level of computing power will be cut in half every two years – which in turn means that we are on the verge of attaining price-competitive robotics (versus humans) very soon. So which industry leaders are making this possible? This Spend Matters Plus research brief explores the potential for robotics- and automation-led disruption to forever change global supply chains and procurement – and why (and what) we should pay attention to today to get smart on the topic.more ▸
This two-part Spend Matters PRO Research brief considers why payment analytics are becoming more important as part of a holistic approach to examining procurement, supplier, accounts payable (AP) and treasury data, as well as driving new payables financing and general trade financing strategies. Spend Matters Managing Director Jason Busch – who, in his own words, is certainly guilty of approaching analytics from a “procurement” and “spend” perspective rather than diving deep on payables datasets – brings the goods in this piece.more ▸
Last week, in the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO update on Verian, one of a small group of dominant P2P players in the North American middle market today, our analysis explored the technology provider’s progress in the market, including the latest on the firm by the numbers and its overall transition to a SaaS business model. We also provided a checklist to help organizations assess whether Verian is a good fit for their specific P2P needs. As our analysis continues today, Jason Busch, Managing Director, Spend Matters, turns his attention to the highlights of Verian’s latest release – Version 14. In the final installment, we will share additional industry-specific scenarios Verian can enable and provide a comparative analysis with Coupa in a chart to help companies begin to understand how these two providers are really approaching P2P from the opposite ends of the spectrum, yet at least in some cases are targeting a similar market – and, of course, which types of organizations are most likely to gravitate to one provider or the other.more ▸
Welcome to week two of the new “Best Of” roundup, which pulls the most popular and important posts we published on the Spend Matters Network’s websites. Read on to find out the latest news from our Spend Matters sites both in the U.S. and in Europe, as well as what is going on in the metals industry and in the worlds of trade financing and public spending.more ▸
It’s not every day that a tech analyst gets to South Carolina (except those focused on agricultural yield improvements or manufacturing). But last week, after a meeting in Charlotte, I had the chance to drive down to Verian’s headquarters (for the first time) to meet with the management team. It was time well invested, and I thought of an interesting metaphor that helps to better understand the provider while making the trip through back roads and farmland to Verian’s modern headquarters – still considered to be in the Charlotte, North Carolina, metro area. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, Managing Director Jason Busch provides an update on Verian, including what types of procurement and AP organizations should shortlist this provider, as well as the back roads they have to building out capability that continues to delight and surprise in a manner as impressive as – but truly different than – Coupa.more ▸
This post continues our exploration into shade No. 3 of our 50 Shades of Pay series. In this PLUS post, Pierre Mitchell discusses what happens when you aggregate all your supplier master data alongside the aggregation of your spend transaction data. According to Pierre, you will find "wonderful things" like your supplier master field names will be called different things and suppliers will be classified in all sorts of dimensions by different groups. Read on to learn more.more ▸
In Shade 2 of this spend analysis series, we looked at analyzing total cash disbursements to suppliers through the lens of basic A/P data. In doing so, we touched on the issue of data quality, and in the particular, the data coming from the supplier master file (or vendor master if you use that terminology). Obviously, if the supplier master data is bad (i.e., dirty, sparse, duplicated, non-standardized, etc.), the spend data will show it. But, the highlighting of bad data isn’t about improving data hygiene unto itself, but rather is about fixing the data problem to highlight value creation opportunities that you didn't see before. The most frequent example of this is supplier master duplication where multiple supplier records exist for the same supplier.
When you find duplicate supplier master records, you can obviously begin to see where there is additional volume leverage that you can gain within strategic sourcing. This is a key capability for justifying the ROI of investing to get to this level of capability. However, spend analysis is not just about feeding the strategic sourcing process! When you find duplicate supplier master records for the same supplier, it can lead to a whole slew of root causes that should be addressed. This includes a lack of clarity/controls in the supplier master setup process (e.g., who can add/change/delete what fields in the supplier master file) or poor “supplier discovery” inquiry capabilities of suppliers from your own existing supplier network.
Up until now in this series, much of what we have talked about can be done on your own, albeit inefficiently, but in the area of data de-duplication, cleansing, enriching, auto-classification, and harmonization, the tools can really help. But, this area is also where supplier content providers of many forms can be used (i.e., content firms, MDM providers, supplier/business networks, analytics vendors, supplier management application providers, procurement suite providers, etc.). Such firms can also assist in the de-duplication of effort using a combination of fuzzy logic (pattern matching), proprietary databases, and rules-based analyzers to help with this key task.more ▸
Oracle OpenWorld 2014 is taking place in San Francisco from Sept. 28 to Oct.2. It typically represents one of the best chances of the year for analysts to peer behind the covers of Oracle’s products and informally talk to both customers and Oracle employees at length. It lets us reach outside of our existing research/advisory client base. Earlier this summer, Spend Matters had a collective update from each of the product groups representing the different Oracle brands most focused on the procurement sector – PeopleSoft, Oracle E-Business Suite, and Oracle Procurement Cloud. Over the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the highlights of what we learned.
You will also receive our initial analysis, subject to additional commentary following Oracle OpenWorld. This initial Spend Matters PRO brief, written by Jason Busch, managing director and founder, Pierre Mitchell, managing director and chief research officer, and Thomas Kase, vice president of research, explores the latest happenings with Oracle E-Business Suite Advanced Procurement including Purchasing, Endeca Extensions, Sourcing, iSupplier Portal, Supplier Hub, Supplier Lifecycle Management, Procurement Contracts , Mobile and related product areas. We’ll also touch on the new Oracle Project Procurement application.more ▸
Earlier this month, Spend Matters published a story highlighting Auto News’ coverage of supply chain and procurement localization at Magna International. On the surface, supply chain localization seems simple – work with local suppliers in the areas where you do business globally. Supply chain localization is far from easy – in fact, its requirements and practices are often incongruous with some procurement and supply chain trends leading to greater centralization of efforts and management.
Moreover, without the right structure and design – not to mention technology – the supplier localization efforts can overwhelm individuals (e.g., category managers) tasked with global oversight of specific sourcing and related supplier management efforts.
So what enablers can procurement and supply chain organizations turn to as they move toward localization given this context? There's a bunch. Read the full post to find out what they are.more ▸