References and Selecting a Provider: Wallmedien, Ariba, and More

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Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with a practitioner about his use case and experience in rolling out a procurement and vendor management solution from Wallmedien. This provider is not as well known in the US as it is in Europe, but has significant experience enabling complex procurement environments, especially with SAP back-ends and existing SRM investments.

Even though we speak with at least a few reference customers per week in our regular course of work, this conversation stood out. The piece that follows will hopefully provide some useful insight for both providers and practitioners. Providers will see how to truly identify the types of customers (and references) that are more than passionate about the functional capabilities that software providers can offer. For practitioners in the process of identifying solutions, we hope this quick research brief can show the value a single great reference discussion can provide.

Please note this is an anonymized version of our notes from a single call. As you read, please remember that these are the thoughts from one practitioner (albeit a well-informed one, in charge of procurement at a fairly large organization), and it is based on his and his organization’s experiences. It is critical to triangulate perspectives from multiple viewpoints when it comes to software analysis – demonstrations, various references accounts, management interaction, third-party analysis, etc.

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