A Deep-Dive On Basware – From Spend Matters US

Our US colleagues have covered eProcurement firm Basware in some depth recently. Spend Matters US has carried out a deep dive on the firm's product suite, which is available to subscribers to the Spend Matters PRO service.

Then Jason Busch, founder of Spend Matters US, wrote this article (freely available) looking at recent developments with the firm. As we reported here, Esa Thilisa stepped down as CEO recently, and then last week the firm announced a "productivity programme”. That in normal language means a number of redundancies in the firm. Basware presents this as a focusing of the business, following a few years where organic and acquisition based expansion has been the word.

Jason's analysis suggests that the product is generally strong; but he asks a few questions about the  culture of the firm and suggests ways in which the firm could move forward.

Software companies are not the sum of their products (only). The “best fit” products will only make their hands into the right set of customers if the stars align, unless the sales, marketing, channel/partnership/reseller, corporate development, product management, development and R&D teams are all operating in synch.

When you begin to step away from Basware’s solutions and the marketing group, which has done a commendable job putting together a storyline around them, the Finnish software company is more difficult to read. To this point, whether it can evolve quickly enough to capture market share at a pace that keeps up with the growth of key competitors such as Coupa, SAP Ariba and GEP and can carve out its own product mindshare (finance, treasury, working capital, etc.) niche for P2P is a question best debated over “sauna beers.”

His discussion of “sauna beers” takes us into the world of Finnish culture and business, in case you were wondering. It's well worth reading the whole article; and remember that the firm holds its major conference in a few weeks' time - November 23rd in London, with some great speakers. We might also see some interesting questions for the management, and we would expect to see more clarity about the new CEO’s strategy exposed to clients and prospective clients.

And to finish – here is one of Jason’s closing remarks in his article.

In short, Basware has such potential with the assets it has already. And its marketing message of making P2P a finance-centric solution, bringing in working capital visibility, control and other elements into the “spend” and expenditure question, is smart, even if it does threaten procurement a bit (it should, for the right reasons).

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