Tagged Content: Technology

iPaaS 101: What Is It and Why It Matters

business hand holding a touch pad computer and 3d streaming images After many years of relentless bombardment with acronyms like SaaS, IaaS, PaaS and BPaaS, I would not blame procurement professionals if they were shell-shocked, cynical and unresponsive when yet another term joins this list. Still, the reality is that all of these acronyms have been useful designators of significant milestone developments tracing the increasing virtualization of information technology, from collections of assets that businesses owned and managed to what in effect are services that can be consumed with relative efficiency and flexibility. The most recent of these acronyms, iPaaS, may be the most relevant of the series acronyms since SaaS, when application software shifted from something installed and managed on-premise to being a virtual service or cloud offering.

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M&As in Procurement Technology Work

- June 26, 2015 6:21 AM | Categories: Analysis, M&A, Procurement Commentary, Technology

business man offers hand shake in a technology data center A recent post by Spend Matters Contributing Analyst Michael Lamoureux got me thinking about the role mergers and acquisitions are playing in shaping the procurement technology landscape today. As I see it, the recent deal activity can help a number of organizations realize the often elusive acquisition synergy goal of having 1+1 = 3. But Michael, as may be clear from the title of his post, argues that M&A in procurement technology brings more sizzle than steak, especially from both a solution and customer perspective and a translation to financial returns. Here’s the broader question: How can 2 good minds (I hope!) examine the same topic and arrive at 2 very different opinions? I take a more optimistic lens. For reasons both planned and unplanned, M&A within the procurement sector has brought more positives than negatives, at least with many bigger name firms.

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Say Goodbye to Closed Systems with New Purchasing

- June 25, 2015 2:16 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Purchasing Process, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi. As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto: "Closed systems – by design or by technology limitation – will fade and user choice will facilitate an accelerated natural selection away from proprietary applications and networks and those that simply fail to interoperate. Closed system environments will turn users off by limiting choice. Much as Yahoo failed to become the online e-commerce portal – not to mention search tool – of choice because of its proprietary systems, Amazon succeeded because of its open architecture that allowed all participants (tech users, suppliers, distributors, customers, internal Amazon businesses, etc.) to “plug in” via open and published standards."

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A Critical Take on M&A in Procurement Technology

- June 25, 2015 6:15 AM | Categories: M&A, Solution Providers, Technology

photodune-3111204-payoff-xs1-228x138 My colleague Michael Lamoureux, who runs the blog Sourcing Innovation and is also a contributing analyst at Spend Matters, recently posted a critical take on the state of M&A and procurement in which he argues that, despite rising M&A activity within the extended procurement technology ecosystem, the deals often makes less sense for firms to come together than it should. But is he right? As someone who has directly been involved in over a dozen transactions in the past few years, I think Michael makes a number of solid points but misses the mark in terms of why deals get done, as well as many of the more subtle reasons behind the 1+1=3 synergies many of the providers in the space that have done deals are starting to realize.

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What Buyers Should Consider as Oracle Moves to the Cloud

- June 24, 2015 2:28 PM | Categories: Cloud, Guest Post, Solution Providers

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by By Jeff Muscarella, partner, IT and telecommunications, at NPI, a spend management consultancy, focused on eliminating overspending on IT, telecom and shipping. Oracle’s business is undergoing a radical transformation as the company embraces a cloud-first revenue strategy. As Oracle pushes new cloud services to market, many customers are trying to navigate the vendor’s already complex and confusing licensing environment. Customers have expressed discontent with Oracle’s licensing practices and its license management services (LMS) teams. In a survey of 100 customer organizations conducted by the Campaign for Clear Licensing (CCL), overall feedback concluded that customers receive inconsistent messaging and experience from Oracle teams.

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The Washington Post Launches WIP for Freelancers

newspaper The Washington Post announced Monday the launch of what it is calling The Washington Post Talent Network, a private, homegrown work intermediation platform (WIP) that will be used to manage the Post’s far-flung network of freelance contributors. In some ways, it seemed like it was only a matter of time before something like this would emerge in the news and media industry – but the big surprise here might be how.

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Companies Can’t Get No VMS Satisfaction: Exploring the HR Disconnect With Services Procurement Technology

dropped-failure-ice-cream-4091 In a recent multi-phase poll by Spend Matters and the Institute for Supply Management, we explored the poor adoption of services procurement technology within buying organizations. This lack of adoption (at least with best of breed tools) would appear to have a relationship with why so many companies aren’t managing external labor supply chains as efficiently as direct materials ones – and aren’t satisfied either with their program results. In this article, we share a number of responses we received from study participants on the apparent disconnect between procurement and HR and adopting the best technologies available.

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‘New Purchasing’ Will Bring New User Interface Requirements and Experiences

- June 18, 2015 2:12 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Purchasing Process, Technology

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi. Harking back to the same adage of “less is more,” the masked complexity in a user interface (UI) represents not just the future of procurement platforms, but the future of all technology. With all of the modern technology turning the wheels behind the scenes, the front-end UI should be a clean, simple, and elegant presentation. This “anti”-interface will become the norm because the days of the busy UIs are already obsolete. Today’s cloud solutions make it so you no longer need to remember how to navigate a complex UI because your mobile device is able to take charge for you.

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Looking for Justification for Lousy VMS Penetration (Part 2: Is There a Reason For This?)

- June 18, 2015 6:34 AM | Categories: Analysis, Supplier Management, Suppliers, Technology

Interested-snail-sitting-in-the-grass-on-wet-leaf-1028138A9E2EFB5A In a recent study conducted by Spend Matters and the Institute for Supply Management that explored the state of services procurement technology adoption and best practices focused on contingent labor, we found that less that 50% of respondents were either using a specially designed solution from their MSP or a best-of-breed vendor management system (VMS) to manage contingent labor spending. The largest percentage of respondents are “kludging” an approach with ERP or e-procurement technology. This begs the question: Why? We search for an answer.

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Diving Into the Best P2P Benchmark in the World

- June 16, 2015 6:22 AM | Categories: Analysis, P2P, Technology

92FD3561EC Every 2 years The Hackett Group refreshes its procure-to-pay (P2P) benchmarking database by running its P2P performance study. It may be called a “study,” but it is a true deep-dive benchmark that is better than any other P2P study in the market, and for the money, I think it’s without question the best one in the world. If anyone wants to discuss or debate this and compare it to another study, I’d be happy to (but I can’t share anything that is not publicly available, of course). So, why is it the best? First of all, it’s absolutely free, other than the time to collect the data (which is not trivial – as I’ll discuss later). If value equals utility divided by cost, and the cost is basically zero, the value is pretty damn high! But what utility is derived? Read on…

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Guided Buying Needs More than an Attractive User Interface

app-store-device-macbook-air-1171-825x550 Yes, user interface is important for any program. The user must be able to, well, actually use a tool for it to be effective. No one is arguing that. What Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters, did argue recently over on our Chief Procurement Officer website is that a "consumerized e-procurement 'guided buying' experience is more than a sexy simple user interface." In the CPO article "Putting the Steak Before the Sizzle in Consumerized B2B E-Procurement," Pierre talks about what truly makes an effective guided buying tool, as well as how to implement one. Make sure to head over to our CPO website to read the full article, or click here.

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Declaration of the New Purchasing – A Buying Manifesto

- June 11, 2015 2:15 PM | Categories: Guest Post, Purchasing Process

Spend Matters welcomes this guest article by Vroozi. As Spend Matters and Vroozi wrote in their jointly produced research paper Declaration of the New Purchasing: A Buying Manifesto: Article 7 – Even as procurement masks complexity, it will still show us the optimal path, continuously adapting to the world around us as things change and as we buy. Procurement will become the WAZE of corporate functions, guiding the business (from individuals to business units) through periods of uncertainty and adapting strategies and tactics as the world changes. Much of these changes will be transparent (ideally) to business users, stakeholders and end customers. But procurement will be operating in the background with the equivalent of its own “traffic monitoring” tools, GPS and predictive models – making everything, as close to as much of the time as possible, transparent.

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