SciQuest: A First Step to Integrating Sourcing and Supplier Management with P2P (Part 3)

Click here for Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

Looking forward to enabling broader finance and procurement integration in the verticals it specializes in, SciQuest sees a significant opportunity to pursue a more holistic solution on the source-to-pay side by going further down the A/P automation and electronic invoicing path, past where it is today. To this end, SciQuest is vocal in that it is "looking at the holes we need to fill" given the large A/P opportunity in such areas as "paper capture and dynamic discounting." This longer-term vision is not slowing SciQuest down in the interim. Their most recent release includes, for example, new mobile support for both tablets and smart phones. As an example, "SciQuest's complete suite of source-to-settle solutions is supported on the Apple iPad" today. Additionally, the AECsoft product line has long been fully functional over WiFi and on mobile devices like the iPhone.

However, SciQuest's strategy is not to build iPhone or other mobile apps. Rather, they believe mobile and tablet "browsers are sufficient." SciQuest's core belief around mobile applications is that "99.9% of the value is about speeding up the approval process." This starts with streamlined mobile search via a browser and ends with the workflow approval process and ultimate requisition approval.

Across the rest of the product suite, SciQuest is aiming for a number of enhancements tied to broader suite integration (and standalone capabilities) based on the acquired capabilities of AECsoft and further development on the existing platform, not to mention integration tie-ins with new areas. For supplier management, these include a unified new supplier process (under way today) and in the future, unified supplier data, a single supplier portal and ultimately a global supplier portal for companies, potentially leveraging a one-to-many registration and update capability for suppliers.

In sourcing, SciQuest is looking to develop a public sourcing portal (i.e., for the public sector), provide tighter integration for a three-bids-in-a-box type capability within its core P2P suite as well as ultimately a more collaborative sourcing approach, which we take to include more advanced sourcing capabilities that AECsoft had at the time of acquisition (and where SciQuest has taken the product thus far). Looking at contract management, beyond "simple contract integration" in the upcoming 11.3 release later this year, SciQuest is looking to add a standalone contract management capability for P2P customers (or any new customers), tighter contract integration within the P2P framework and sourcing environment and project-based contract management, which may be similar to what SAP has been working on with recent SRM and contract management capabilities of its own.

Jason Busch

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