Tagged Content: PRO

ZeroChaos: Threatening the MSP Status Quo (Part 3)

011791F1F8 copy As Spend Matters PRO concludes its initial detailed coverage of ZeroChaos, a solutions provider with a refreshing procurement-centric attitude that is shaking up the MSP status quo, we offer initial impressions of the provider’s own vendor management system (VMS) technology including support for statement of work (SOW), independent contractors/freelancer and talent pools. We also feature impressions of what we learned from talking to ZeroChaos customers. It's been a while since we last wrote about ZeroChaos, but here we dive back into analyzing and providing insight on the company's technology and the experience it offers.

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Exploring Work Market: Market Context, Customer Experience and Recommendations

Artistic-Bright-Color-100713A48553EE4C Today we conclude our analysis of Work Market by examining both the customer experience (from a user perspective) and final recommendations for those companies considering a freelancer management system (FMS) either alongside or separate from a vendor management system (VMS). In recent discussions with Work Market and other services procurement customers, we have been hearing some consistent patterns. It seems companies are hiring more non-affiliated freelancers and independent consultants, and the decision to use an “out-tasking” service or marketplace versus a mode that allows greater control and compliance from a FMS standpoint – for onsite ICs or otherwise – is often based on the category and strategic importance of the activity. Additionally, traditional e-procurement, VMS and MSP solutions are typically not up to the task or purpose-built for the effort. But the question remains: Will Work Market (independently or in a competitive environment) be a key provider to fill the void?

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Bringing Innovation and Flexibility to Category Management – Category Management 2.0 (Part 3)

hands-new-years-eve-sparkler-2308-825x550 This third and final installment of an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoyed it. Please contact me if you have any questions on the topic – and be on the lookout for the full version of the pending series. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced Category Management 2.0 as “The lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and why it’s superior to category sourcing processes locked inside of an n-step sourcing process. In Part 2, we also began discussing some approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and wrap up with a few closing thoughts.

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Field Nation Acquisition of Field Solutions: What It Means for WIP, FMS Markets

XNZTUL720T Earlier today Field Nation announced it was acquiring Field Solutions for an undisclosed sum. The transaction represents the most recent M&A activity to hit the freelancer management system (FMS) and work intermediation platform (WIP) markets, related sectors still in their relative infancy. Even though, as one proxy, we estimate the combined size of Field Nation and Field Solution on an annualized volume/revenue basis is well below what most Fortune 100 companies spend on IT each year, there is an undeniable trend in the IT area (as well as marketing/creative services, media and related segments) toward hiring a larger numbers of freelancers or independent contractors that will only accelerate on a global basis. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides both context and additional analysis exploring the combination of Field Nation and Field Solution and discusses expected market and consolidation trends in the various sub-sectors of the services procurement market – and what it all means for procurement and HR organizations alike. We ask, "What does the acquisition tell us about the emergence of 'platforms' in the contingent workforce supply chain?" Read the full article for more.

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How Technology Helps Take Category Management to the Next Level – Category Management 2.0 (Part 2)

abstract-led-lights-1944-898x350 This second part of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that would be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. We hope you enjoy it. In Part 1 of this 3-part Spend Matters PRO series, we introduced category management 2.0 as “the lifecycle management of spend/supply categories that meaningfully impact enterprise performance” and began discussing approaches to take your category management processes to the next level. In this installment, we’ll continue the discussion and introduce some approaches to make this happen.

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Exploring the IBM Emptoris and Coupa Partnership: Opportunities, Potential Challenges and Customer Recommendations

Hands-Holding-Jigsaw-1016138A274DD8AE Earlier this week, IBM announced it is formalizing a deeper partnership with Coupa. As part of the relationship, IBM Procurement, aka Emptoris, is gaining access to Coupa’s procure-to-pay (P2P) capabilities including supplier network connectivity to be able to more effectively respond to RFPs that require a full source-to-pay suite capabilities. Through the partnership, Coupa is gaining access to a full-featured sourcing, contract management and supplier management capabilities from Emptoris IBM, but the reality is that Coupa is adding deeper suite capabilities in these and related product areas with every release cycle. This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides perspective and commentary on the opportunities and potential challenges the partnership between IBM Emptoris and Coupa will bring – as well as recommendations for prospects and customers considering an integrated solution from the two providers. But before delving into these areas, we will first explore the history and context behind the partnership, going back to the original Emptoris (pre-IBM) and Coupa partnership.

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Category Management 2.0 – Breaking Out From Sourcing Silos to End-to-End Supply Management

- May 13, 2015 2:28 AM | Categories: Category Management, Sourcing, Spend Management

lamps-silo-sky-4496-825x550 This is Part 1 of a 3-part series is an exclusive preview of a forthcoming research series sponsored by BravoSolution that we created for our Spend Matters PRO subscribers. Consider it the “chef’s choice” tasting bite that the chef (that’d be me) sends out in advance of the full multi-course experience. I’d like to thank BravoSolution for giving me free reign to really explore this topic in the detail it really deserves (and also a shout out to my peers who helped in developing it). OK, let’s get on with it… Procurement organizations, like the stakeholders they serve, are continually tasked to do more with less. They need to reduce complexity and squeeze out costs, both internally and within the supply base, and also address broader issues such as innovation, customer engagement, risk management, globalization, sustainability and various industry-specific mandates. Unfortunately, procurement’s toolbox isn't always full of the tools needed to get these other jobs done. In this Spend Matters PRO series, we’ll address how to free category management from the shackles of strategic sourcing to unlock broader procurement value creation. It’s more than the usual “yada, yada, yada,” and we hope that PRO members gain value out of this series.

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Exploring Apttus: A Next-Generation ‘Ariba’ and ‘Siebel’ Wrapped up in One for Procurement and Sales?

206B1A2E4C This is Part 2 of our PRO analysis of Apttus. It is easy to make the argument that what Coupa has done in building out a fully integrated source-to-pay (S2P) suite is to take a few cards from the Ariba playbook and simply improve on the overall user experience and value proposition for a cloud-native world vs. one ported from the initial web business applications era (the same could be said, albeit with different nuances for different, high-growth vendors in the S2P and P2P sectors including Ivalua, BuyerQuest and others). But are Coupa and other next generation Ariba competitors bringing something actually “new” to the table – a fundamentally different value proposition? Not yet, at least in our book. But Apttus, a high-growth provider that comes from the sell side, which we started to preview earlier this week, appears poised to do something truly radical for procurement suites. This Spend Matters PRO analysis marks the continuation and final installment of our initial coverage of Apttus and why procurement organizations (and others) should be paying very close attention to what is about to come.

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Apttus: Beyond CLM – A P2P Provider About To Seriously Challenge Ariba, Coupa, Ivalua and Others

- May 6, 2015 2:28 AM | Categories: Conferences, Contract Management, P2P, Solution Providers

D3743C4C5F Apttus. We admit the name does not exactly roll off the procurement tongue – at least not yet – but the Spend Matters research team believes that the firm is the most important new procurement solution company you’ll be hearing about this year. This Spend Matters PRO brief, based on our recent attendance at the Apttus 3-day customer event in San Francisco, explores context and background on the entrance of the P2P provider into the procurement solutions market. Among other areas, we explore why practitioners, consultants and competitors should be paying close attention to Apttus, not the least reason of which is that the solution is built and architected on the Force.com platform, which is now referred to as the “Salesforce1 Platform,” and which provides instant compatibility out of the box into hundreds of other applications including CRM, marketing automation, customer support and other solutions. Buy side meets sell side? Yes, you got it (a dream that Ariba and SAP would love to achieve, but have only taken small steps to enabling, despite starting out light-years ahead of other vendors in the space).

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Unimarket Moves Beyond Higher Education in the P2P Sector

- May 5, 2015 2:31 AM | Categories: Analysis, P2P, Vendor Snapshots

S9JOQ90JXI In our previous installment of this PRO research brief, we looked at Unimarket, its core vertical focus and the first tier of its business model for suppliers, the free solution. The premium offering expands on these features and offers additional abilities. In Spend Matters opinion, this solution is good enough to pay attention to and has been recognized and put to use in several industries and markets, not just in higher education. It is well worthy of consideration in other verticals as you look for a source-to-settle solution.

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Higher Education – Still A Niche “Procure-To-Pay” Area

- May 4, 2015 2:43 AM | Categories: Analysis, P2P, Vendor Snapshots

E1C34B4580 Not all procure-to-pay (P2P) providers are active in the higher education space, even though business needs and practices aren't that different from the "regular" commercial sector. As competition increases, inevitably we will see new entrants coming into this vertical, and interestingly in case of this article, from across the globe. Although originally out of New Zealand, Unimarket has established itself as one of the leaders in P2P solutions for higher education in North America. This is Part 1 in our PRO series on Unimarket, stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2.

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Peeling the New Amazon Business Marketplace Onion: Part 1 – Selection, Pricing and Experience

Home page_copy In our previous post on Amazon Business (an expansion of Amazon Supply), we discussed the basics of the new release and model in its current form. But, there’s much more to this story for procurement professionals – good and bad. After spending time with members of the Amazon team, and “reading through the tea leaves” from both these conversations and other sources, there are some critical factors to consider for buyers, sellers and technology partners when they “dance with the [Seattle] bear.” Some of these are specifically commercial, and others are more strategic (IP protection, for instance). We’ll also highlight some no-brainer short-term opportunities and some more strategic opportunities and issues. For example, Amazon Business is currently an e-marketplace and not an e-commerce platform that facilitates non-intermediated commerce. Yet that doesn’t mean Amazon couldn’t become a true “platform” intermediary leveraging the technical components of the IaaS and PaaS side of the company house. Such a scenario could be closer than many might think (e.g., consider Mechanical Turk in relation to emerging contingent work platforms or think about Amazon Home Services/TaskRabbit applied to fixed-fee B2B services). Anyway, I’m foreshadowing too much. Let’s get started and dive in. In the first part of this PRO research series, we’ll focus on selection, pricing and user experience as well as highlight 10 shortfalls (or “opportunities,” if you will) in the solution stack that warrant serious consideration.

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