Spend Matters Almanac 50/50: 50 Providers to Watch for 2014

Earlier today we announced the Spend Matters Almanac Top 50/50 list for Providers to Know. Our second list, on 50 Providers to Watch, includes many exciting and up-and-coming players in the procurement sector that we think our readers and members would do well to learn about – and learn from.

Like we said earlier about the 50 Providers to Know, the 50/50 is not a ranked list. Neither is it a “nominated” list. There’s no cost to winning. And keep in mind that both lists, but especially 50 Providers to Watch, are subject to change from year to year—and we anticipate it. If you’re not included this year and think you should be, please contact us and let us know why. We’re happy to give you full consideration for the 2015 list.

Many smaller organizations made the 50 Providers to Watch list because a disproportional amount of innovation comes from upstart, entrepreneurial firms. But there are bigger organizations too, including some very large vendors that are not as established in the procurement market, but that we see forging a new path forward. Every vendor on this list deserves a peek under the hood for anyone who wants to be in the know:

blur Group
Boston Consulting Group
Bureau van Dijk
Censeo Consulting
Crossflow Payments
Dow Jones
EC Sourcing Group
Future Purchasing
GT Nexus
IBX (Capgemini)
Opera Solutions
Power Advocate
Rage Frameworks
State of Flux Technologies

Inclusion in the 2014 50 to Know is meant to indicate to a procurement practitioner, advisor, or consultant that a company is worth knowing or taking a look at. The 50 to Know is not a ranked list. We cover vendor shortlists in given technology, solutions, and service areas in Spend Matters PRO.

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Voices (4)

  1. Theresa Gallo:

    Did not see SmartProcure—free to Government agencies–one if it’s kind in the marketplace. Sole source provider of State ad Local Spending data–recording back to 2008.
    The agencies use the data at NO charge to accomplish their goals.

  2. Daniel Perry:

    I would have liked to see Unimarket on either list.

    Full disclosure, I’m from Unimarket.



  3. Jason Busch:

    Dear frequent commentator:

    First let me say please use your real name (given how many links you get back from us when you comment usually) and for disclosure purposes given you’re a vendor that was not on the list. Tisk, tisk, tisk … sent you a personal note on this.

    Aside from this, we can’t all agree on every name, but appreciate your comment. As to the sponsor comment, any long time reader or member knows we don’t care if folks spend a penny with us or not about our viewpoint (this cost us one of our biggest clients, mind you)! If you look across our network, a smaller percentage of sponsors made the list, more on the US site because, perhaps, they’re forward thinking and can back up claims with references (see below) — and many of the companies on the list we have absolutely no commercial relationship with. We have our reasons for including some of the ones you criticize and will be writing about them in due course.

    As to some on your list, perhaps they’ll make it next year, and some I’ve spent a fair amount of time with, including providing significant advice (free) to them as they got off the ground — at least one of the others I find full of BS without naming names (personally — can’t speak for the entire team).

    Here’s a hint on potential criteria for inclusion (not a MECE list):

    – They had material briefing and formal interaction with us throughout 2013 (last year) and could back up claims with references or we had knowledge of their customers / deployments separately. Many will make it in 2015 who are just starting to share more with us this year in terms of product, references, etc. 🙂
    – Someone stood up for them on our team and fought for their inclusion
    – The list would be incomplete without them

    BTW, in terms of which list, Coupa is a “know” in the US in terms of P2P … they are invited to the table as much as anyone including the big ERPs. MM4/Xchanging go together now (hence their listing on the “know”, otherwise would have been “watch” in terms of MM4).

    Thanks again for chiming in and your personal list … I can all but PROMISE a few of the names will be on it next year — you and our team agree on trending — and I agree personally!

  4. Amazon, who are they?:

    At first this sounded exciting, “Our second list, on 50 Providers to Watch, includes many exciting and up-and-coming players in the procurement sector”.

    And there are some great names in there, such as Tradeshift with their latest funding to burn, or Oxygen, Taulia, Sourcemap or blur Group with their innovative solutions.

    But many of these are companies that have been around for more than a decade, so you would expect them to either be on the ‘Providers to Know’ list or not on any list at all. EC Sourcing Group for example, not exactly making waves in the 10+ years they’ve been around. No disrespect meant, but they’re no Coupa or MM4 or Tradeshift, all of which have become truly global companies in their short existence. Perhaps we need a new category called, ‘Providers who are still around’, of which a good chunk of this list can be lumped.

    Coupa and MM4 are both in the ‘Providers to Know’ category, but really they deserve to be in this ‘Providers to Watch’ category, as that indicates a very positive road ahead for them and inherently means they are a provider to know anyway, as you mention in the footnote beneath the graphical table. Certainly both these organisations would have much greater growth potential than say Scanmarket.

    There are some notable exceptions as well. What about the GSA with their recent reverse auction tool? That would be very interesting to watch. There is the equivalent called the GPS in the UK who are also worth watching as they tender national contracts. There are the likes of DueDil who are heavily funded, or Wax Digital, who have an $800,000 government grant project coming out to market imminently. There’s cloudBuy who are looking to raise $7m this year on the back of their rebranding – that should be something to watch.

    NexTenders have released a new lite product and are trying to grow on a global scale from their Indian background. Then you have the young and growing companies, like SourceDogg with their low-cost offer or Market Dojo with their Dojo brands, or Keelvar with their optimization solution. ProcurePort have a good range of interesting products and a recent marketing overhaul. BiP Solutions are another, with their 2011 eSourcing product which is rapidly propagating through the European Public Sector: an important market given the EU mandate that 100% of procurement is to be electronic by 2015.

    There are some interesting start-ups like Deltabid, Scout, Freightos and Per Angusta amongst others, several of which should be interesting to watch.

    Perhaps this Top 50 list looks so unimaginative because you’ve not had the chance to explain your choice, but have merely provided a company name. On the other hand, good to see the sponsors have made either list; that would have been embarrassing! Apart from Paladin Associates that is…

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