Forrester eProcurement analysis – everyone’s a winner!

I think we've said it before. Just as cars are now all pretty reliable and pretty good - although some are still better than others - it strikes us that procurement software is going the same way.  There isn't much around that doesn't do a decent job; with the proviso that you still need to understand which job it was built to do. And of course how it will meet your more specific needs, current environment and so on.

And that seems to be the view of someone far better equipped than me to make those judgements. Duncan Jones of Forrester research has published their latest e Procurement review, which looks at 14 providers.  And his conclusion is...they're all pretty good.

Ariba and Basware have a slight overall edge, "because of their superior user experience and wider supplier enablement capability". But none of the options are exactly duds:

Oracle E-Business Suite and SAP nudged ahead of the remaining products thanks to broad functionality,superior analytics for key performance indicators (KPIs), and support for global enterprises. E-Plus and SciQuest offered good general products with some excellent category-specific support. Capgemini Procurement Services and Hubwoo rate highly as requisitioner UI and supplier enablement layers on top of SAP’s Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) platform, while Lawson and Oracle PeopleSoftare smart choices for their enterprise resource planning (ERP) customers.

The 'entry qualifications' for the review mean that some of the interesting but relatively small (in a global context) UK / European players don't get featured; so there is no Proactis, EGS or Onventis for instance; just as Coupa don't make it from the US side.

Jason Busch at Spend Matters US has covered this in more detail (see here), and he points out that despite the general positive comments (which he agrees with), the ERP-based providers still tend to have weaknesses in three main areas. They are supplier onboarding; master data and catalogue management; and invoice automation and related connectivity. He comments:

The Spend Matters bottom line is that if you're going down the ERP eProcurement path -- which is a suitable strategy, given the current state of ERP procurement capabilities -- it's essential to consider third-party vendors in the three areas outlined above

And there's another post from Jason commenting on the report here .

You can also get the report free (on registration) from the Basware site; and there's a webinar run by CPO Agenda* and Basware on March 23rd featuring Duncan Jones himself - see here if you're interested.

But one worrying thought; if we're getting into a situation whereby all the providers offer pretty comparable and good quality solutions, will that mean the end of the line for analysts and bloggers?

. . . .

(* Supply Management and CPO Agenda pretend Spend Matters doesn't exist because 'we're competition'.  We still feature them, and indeed any other publication or website,  when there's something interesting to tell our readers.  Another good reason for following Spend Matters!)

First Voice

  1. Pete Loughlin:

    I think it is (or at least nearly is) the end of the line for bloggers and analysts if they only concentrate on e-procurement. Their audience is the vendors and the late adopters. That’s not to say there isn’t some really exciting other stuff emerging around purchasing and P2P technology

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