Earlier this month,
This two-part Spend Matters PRO brief provides a succinct competitive and market analysis of Beeline’s acquisition of OnForce. Authored by Jason Busch, managing director and founder of Spend Matters, and Thomas Kase, vice president, research, the series begins today by exploring the potential for companies to adopt FMS solutions. The second installment will explore how the acquisition may change the competitive landscape for other procurement and VMS providers and accelerate potential interest within Fieldglass and SAP about advancing their own entrance into this area – either through acquisition or organic development (both of which could also eventually take advantage of the capabilities of SuccessFactors). It also discusses how Oracle continues to “sit out” of the current services procurement marketplace evolution, offering only basic internal solutions tied to eProcurement capability within its existing product lines – and how and when Oracle customers should consider augmenting what they may already have purchased as standard procurement extensions.more ▸
Closing out "Best Of" Week are the following posts from Public Spend Forum, our sister site focusing on public sector procurement. I asked Jonathan Messinger to pick a few posts from the past six months to showcase, and he did, but not without including a classic from last year. I am speaking of The Seven Most Overused Words in Procurement. Read on to see what the other picks are.more ▸
Every August Spend Matters runs "Best Of" posts from the past six or so months. Today's topic, as you can see from the title, is technology coverage. From individual “Vendor Snapshots” to overarching viewpoints on where the sector’s technology has been and where we see it going, this is one of our favorite areas to explore here at Spend Matters — and one where we are proud of providing original thought, insightful analyses, and unbiased opinion. Hedge, obfuscate, or pander? Never.more ▸
Today's Spend Matters PRO research brief covers the cool company that you probably haven’t even heard of, Riskmethods, which delivers risk management that is dynamic, in near real-time, and even forward-looking. It even has a fun user interface. Their solution loads all your suppliers and their locations, shipping lanes, etc., as well as your own company’s locations (as many and as much detail as you see relevant) whether offices, manufacturing, or distribution sites. At the end of the exercise you have your world map with a lot of dots and connecting lines like the one above. The types of tracked factors are pulled in from various publicly available and/or premium content sources and populates your personalized supply chain world view.
Today (August 14) we have invited Riskmethods to a webinar where we will discuss what can be done to understand supply chain exposure to pandemics (the current Ebola issue is obviously front of mind), as well as other risks that are more of a personal nature (crime, violence, geo-disasters like tsunamis) – please join us! What can you do about this issue and similar events that might disrupt your supply chain and/or put your employees and suppliers at risk?more ▸
Basic sourcing tools, especially those integrated with broader source-to-pay suites or the stand-alone capability of ERP providers (and those ERP providers have acquired), tend to come up short with specialist providers in a range of areas on a functional basis. But from a pragmatic perspective focused on business requirements, there are a number of areas where lower-end tools tend to strike out fairly quickly. These include the ability to support centralized procurement efforts – including those organizations with centers of excellence (CoEs) – along with decentralized execution mapped to centralized requirements and processes.more ▸
There is hope for changing how we think about sourcing and designing supply chains and supply networks in a world of increasing complexity. And Trade Extensions, whose technology is often used in a narrow manner as a best of breed solutions for logistics sourcing, is perhaps the one provider that is ideally suited to help companies embrace this complexity far beyond just the movement of goods. Indeed, Trade Extensions have an exceptional list of truly radical sourcing customer stories already that will stop seasoned experts dead in their tracks by showing what is possible.more ▸
If anyone had come to us five years ago and suggested that SciQuest, at that time a highly specialized eProcurement provider to the higher education, life sciences/pharma, and public sector markets, was going to pivot around and focus on becoming a top integrated source-to-pay suite with best-in-class capabilities in the sourcing area, we would have laughed. But in recent years, SciQuest has done more than other suite vendors, those that are just paying lip service to sourcing. Not only did it acquire CombineNet for its advanced sourcing and optimization capability in logistics and beyond, it has organically developed a sourcing product that is tightly coupled with the rest of its suite including supplier management and P2P. In our continuing coverage of SciQuest’s 14.2 release, Spend Matters founder and managing director Jason Busch and VP of research Thomas Kase look at the latest from SciQuest in the sourcing area.more ▸
At the end of July, Spend Matters had a briefing with SciQuest to explore the latest enhancements that the source-to-pay provider has made in expanding and integrating its various suite components. In recent years, SciQuest has been somewhat of a challenging vendor to put into a box. It has had truly outstanding individual modular capability in certain areas (e.g., supplier lifecycle management, contract management, spend analytics, advanced sourcing and optimization) gained through acquisitions serving a wide variety of industries as well as a diverse set of home-grown assets centered on purchase-to-pay with a traditional focus in higher education, life sciences and public sector. Dissecting the quarterly earnings results over the past year, we see that much of the growth in the business has come from these specialized product areas, often on a stand-alone basis.
Yet looking ahead and based on its latest 14.2 release, SciQuest has put down the framework to tie these areas more closely together through significant investment in supplier management, closer modular integration across the suite, and a broader sourcing value proposition linked with other solution areas.
In this two-part Spend Matters PRO research series, Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch and VP of Research Thomas Kase look at how these latest enhancements are shaping an emerging value proposition that could provide a differentiated end-to-end suite competitor in the market to Ariba, SAP, Oracle, and Coupa. Our analysis today begins with a look at supplier management areas that SciQuest has put significant investment into, re-platforming the core IP gained from the AECsoft USA acquisition years ago.more ▸
I asked myself: Why isn’t Tableau, Qlik, et al providing some type of environment where third parties (consultants, MSPs/BPOs, content/intelligence providers, small ISV’s, etc.) could build cloud-based spend/supply analytics suites (for more on supply analytics, see here) on top of these high-flying “analytic PaaS” providers? So, I was extremely pleased, and amused, when I stumbled upon the demo site of Qlik, where they in fact had four separate product demonstrations for procurement-centric spend analysis; AP-focused spend analysis in an SAP environment; expense management; and materials management in an SAP environment.more ▸
You may have caught Pierre Mitchell's piece from last week on this topic (In Defense of the Signed Document), and we want to take it even further. Therefore, we're opening up this week's Ask the Expert webinar (on Thursday from 11-11:30 am Central) to ALL Plus/PRO members and procurement practitioners. As the orchestration between buyers, suppliers, and other third parties becomes more complex and increasingly digital, the need to seamlessly move across the document/data spectrum becomes more critical. Why? Jason Busch will count the ways.more ▸
After we published recently an article on what a suite constitutes, the people at Coupa contacted us, insisting that they should also be considered among the suite (source-to-pay) providers. Always ready to amend and update to give our readers the most accurate picture, we have now had a briefing with Coupa. While the company is best known for their procure-to-pay solution, their solution also includes many other areas. The question is of course: do they have a true end-to-end sourcing and procurement suite? Arguably Coupa has a more solid suite claim than BravoSolution does with their Basware fuelled approach (or vice versa). But what about others? In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, Thomas Kase, VP of research, “parks” the traditional suite definition and explores what Coupa has up their overall sleeves today -- a different type of suite.more ▸
"C2FO’s Marketplace Model Attracting Attention" is a new paper from David Gustin (managing editor, Trade Financing Matters). In it he outlines the strengths, weaknesses, and ultimate upside of the C2FO early payment model. Here’s an excerpt: “C2FO is an online, early payment system that hosts a daily market, where suppliers make dynamic bids for accelerated payment of their approved invoices by discounting those invoices in real-time events. C2FO has been described as a private NASDAQ for cash flow between buyers and their suppliers.”more ▸