Investing in P2P? Read our New Briefing Paper, Courtesy Coupa

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We've just published a new briefing paper, sponsored by Coupa, spend management software providers. It’s called “Should Mid-Market Organisations Invest in eProcurement Systems? The Key Questions Answered”.

Unusually for us, it is targeted at one particular part of the market - what we have called "mid-market" organisations. Broadly, that means organisations with annual revenues from perhaps a couple of hundred million up to a billion or so. Having said that, we'd like to think it would be interesting for any organisation thinking of investing in purchase to pay technology for the first time, or indeed looking to replace / upgrade / add to their current transactional purchasing systems.

The paper takes the form of a Q&A, with around a dozen questions between me and an imaginary CFO (Finance Director), from a typical organisation in that position considering that question around P2P. It answers questions about technology, but more importantly looks at the business issues and benefits to be considered if you are considering investment in this area. It is available to download now here, free on registration. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetites!

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Should Mid-Market Organisations Invest in eProcurement Systems? The Key Questions Answered

So why should we be looking at this now - what makes this the right time?

It is easier than ever to implement procurement technology generally and purchase-to-pay systems specifically. The software solutions are more cost-effective than ever, and used properly, they will deliver greater benefits than have previously been likely. Even if you looked at P2P just three or four years ago, recent developments mean that this is a more attractive proposition now – you would be surprised at the pace of change.

OK, let's go through those three points. Why is it easier to implement now?

Whilst the "cloud" has become a bit of a cliché, it has changed the whole way that organisations can access and use software. "Software as a service" means that you don't have to install the software on your premises, which makes it quicker and easier to deploy new solutions. We are often talking about weeks rather than months or even years for implementations! The provider is responsible for service, and the levels of availability for instance are usually higher than firms achieve when running software in-house. The provider also takes care of upgrades and improvements, which are automatically applied to "your" software so you can benefit from that immediately.

Cloud solutions also draw on the combined best practice of multiple organisations, which means best practices can be used as the benchmark for the basis of the design. Standard solutions allow you to configure to meet your needs, but avoid expensive and time-consuming “customisation” exercises that were once needed in most implementations.

Finally, systems are now easier to implement particularly from the user perspective - the best solutions are highly intuitive, with a consumer website feel to them. This means that the change management and training effort, cost and time required is far less than it used to be.

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