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Spend Management Versus E-Procurement: Is There a Philosophical Difference?

Editor’s note: This is part of the Ask Spend Matters series, where readers send in their burning questions about procurement and supply chain.

What is the difference — philosophically — between spend management software and e-procurement software? One of our readers recently posed the above question, noting the amount of noise out there over spend management and the general sense of confusion as to what constitutes spend management and what constitutes e-procurement. We’re always fond of these fun philosophical questions, so we asked our own Spend Matters analysts and editors for their opinions on this one.

3 Surprising Ways the Procurement Technology Market Has Changed in the Past Year

In the year since we launched our first SolutionMap, the procurement technology space has evolved considerably. Between product updates, the rise of new solution areas and increasing provider consolidation, the technology landscape is changing every day. Procurement professionals no doubt have found it harder than ever to keep track of which solutions offer what capabilities, which companies are still independent and which have become part of a suite, and what technologies they need know to stay ahead of the competition. And just as the provider space is changing, so too has our approach to evaluating and ranking vendors.

Achieving a Successful Robotic Process Automation Implementation: A Case Study of Vodafone and Celonis

Procurement organizations are beginning to catch on to robotic process automation (RPA) and the potential benefits that the technology can bring, which include cost reduction and more time for strategic, value-add activities. In fact, more than a third of procurement organizations are already piloting the technology, according to research from The Hackett Group. This was certainly the case for British multinational telecom corporation Vodafone, for which adoption of RPA quickly yielded results.

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Predictive Procurement: What Artificial Intelligence Promises to Purchasing

Social networks brought with them upheaval, by radically changing the way people and companies communicate with each other. With this we can see how a new technology has been able to change corporate practices, particularly in purchasing, by inducing a more collaborative approach in the supplier relationship. So, what about AI and robotization? Will these new digital technologies invest in purchasing? What results will such a transformation cause?

Study Finds Nascent Adoption of AI and Robotics in Retail and Manufacturing Supply Chains

Take a guess: How widespread is adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) in retail and manufacturing supply chains? The answer is somewhat complicated. According to a recent survey from Eft, 46.1% of retailers and manufacturers report no usage of AI in their supply chain operations, but a significant percentage (33.4%) are using the technology in an experimental manner. Only 4% reported extensive usage on specific business processes or throughout the entire supply chain.

For Small and Midsize Businesses: Time to Talk About SpendBoss

SpendBoss was founded by Scott Schneider. His objective was simple: Develop extraordinarily easy-to-use spend management software that integrates well with the other technologies typical of the small to midsize ecosystems. This required making the software easily accessible as a service and, obviously, choosing a subscription price that would be a no-brainer. And SpendBoss has done just that.

Icertis Finally Releases AI-Based Contract Analytics: Is The CLM Death Star Now Complete?

Pardon the “Star Wars” reference, but I’m excited about the new Han Solo movie. AI is one of the few critical differentiators within the CLM space, and there’s not a hotter CLM pure-play provider than Icertis. Eighteen months ago, we wrote a four-part series about AI in contract management that explained the various value propositions of AI in the CLM space. In the first installment, we mentioned Icertis, but had to add a caveat to the mention. As of Tuesday, however, we’re going to have to finally update that post, as Icertis has added two new AI-powered apps to its offering.

Ivalua’s Workflow Engine: The Connective Tissue of a Standout Source-to-Pay Capability

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our series The Featured Feature, where we explore unique technology capabilities that differentiate procurement solution providers. Read our introductory post to learn more.

Behind every module in a source-to-pay suite is a business process that organizations want to improve. Standout software offerings, therefore, do much more than merely digitize processes such as sourcing or invoice validation. At their best, these tools enable entirely new ways of managing actions and communicating throughout the source-to-pay process, both internally between procurement and its stakeholders and throughout the supply chain with various third parties. It’s no surprise, then, that when comparing features that differentiate source-to-pay table stakes from the winning hand, Ivalua’s workflow engine is a frequent mention.

To Digitize T&E and Invoice Management, Companies Must Improve IT-Finance Alignment

Oversight Systems

The digitalization of manual processes is viewed as increasingly vital across functions, and travel and expense (T&E) management is no exception. According to a Forrester report commissioned by SAP Concur, the majority of companies face challenges linked to manual processes, from errors in expense reports to the time-consuming nature of dealing with paper documents. Surveying 378 IT and finance professionals involved with T&E and invoice management at their companies, Forrester found that only 13% are very satisfied with the T&E and invoice management processes that their companies are using.

Ivalua Now Dispatch: Proving You Don’t Need to be a Megacorp to Succeed

One of the most curious points featured in each of the opening keynotes at Ivalua Now was that while technology providers have to grow to succeed in today's world, they don't have to become part of “Global Megacorp” — my words, not Ivalua’s— or acquire their way to global megacorp status to be a smashing success in the source-to-pay space. The private equity irony was not lost on us if we compare which companies KKR has invested in (Ivalua) versus Accel-KKR (Jaggaer). Queue Whiz Kalifa in that latter case.

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How a Source-to-Pay Migration is Like a Home Renovation

As with any home renovation project, your expectation is that you are going to wind up with a better home at the end. The same should be true for a move from one provider to another.  You should expect a serious upgrade at the end of your source-to-pay renovation. If you’re about to undergo your own S2P renovation, consider the following when making the move.

Procurement with Purpose: Where SAP Ariba Fits In

marketing procurement

Despite all of the talk we hear about the power of procurement to drive innovation, to drive sustainability and to drive social responsibility and change, this is only the case when there is enough money on the line to warrant the effort it takes for a supplier to change. And even then, there has to be no significant financial impact to the buying organization because the CRO will try to squash the effort if risk is noticeably increased, and the CFO will definitely halt the effort in its tracks if costs substantially increase. Thus, as per our last post, you're only going to make progress on any effort, be it innovation, sustainability or social responsibility, if you have not only board approval but board commitment