SciQuest’s Product and Solution Strategy: A New Leader, A New Philosophy

road aSuruwataRi/Adobe Stock

SciQuest’s new Vice President of Product Management Deb Woods is not a conventional head of products. While she has a product management background, Woods has also worked in procurement and supply chain as a practitioner and is extremely experienced leading corporate development efforts as well. This is arguably the perfect combination for what SciQuest needs in the current product leadership role as it finds itself under new (private) ownership with backing for both organic and inorganic investments.

Free to download: Making the Business Case for Procurement Suites over Standalone Modules — Benefits, Rationale and Hard-Dollar Returns

Earlier Tuesday at Next Level, Woods provided a new look into SciQuest’s product strategy and direction in a main stage presentation titled “Source to Settle … Where to Next.” Referring to herself as the appointed “new sheriff in town” — a label given to her by peers — Woods is taking a different approach to product strategy and SciQuest’s product roadmap than in the past.

In short, SciQuest is moving away from thinking about individual modules and capabilities and instead looking at procurement priorities overall — and then working backward to map functionality of what it does in its modules (today) to current and emerging needs. The approach is clever, as it enables the full leveraging of existing assets while also highlighting gaps that need to be filled based on real-world requirements either through incremental product investment or acquisition.

Woods shared the four key procurement enablement areas SciQuest is prioritizing:

  • Business process optimization with the goal of “providing the tools to optimize business processes,” including workflow efficiency, organizational consolidation, best practices, regulatory and process compliance, mobile users, globalization and spend tracking
  • Data and insights to provide “real-time” actionable data, including core reporting (ad hoc, dashboards), benchmarks and predictive insights (e.g., spend forecasting, work process scheduling)
  • Risk and performance management, an almost “catch-all” area of focus outside of savings and efficiency that includes contract compliance (e.g., regulation, CSR, diversity), score carding and performance management (e.g., implementation timelines, KPIs) and supply chain risk mitigation (e.g., financial risk, disaster and recovery planning, audits)
  • Return on investment, which includes going beyond sourcing to tracking and identifying new savings opportunities in areas such as finance (dynamic discounting, invoice-to-contract), integrated spend planning and tracking and “total” spend visibility (incorporating T&E, card data, services information, facility management datasets, direct spend and asset management)

The roadmap for each of SciQuest’s underlying product lines will have to support one or more of these four areas as they map to higher-level procurement and business needs rather than just checking the feature/function checklist.

As our analysis of SciQuest’s corporate and product strategy continues later this week on Spend Matters PRO, we’ll offer a deeper look into roadmap items, as well as our comparative and competitive analysis of these plans relative to the direction of competitors in the procurement suite sector.

Also stay tuned for a detailed full suite SciQuest Vendor Snapshot this fall, along with reviews of Ariba, GEP, Coupa, Zycus and BravoSolution and others, all publishing in 2016. Recent Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshots can be found below, and information on subscribing to Spend Matters Plus and PRO premium content is here. (Please note: public sector, higher education and not-for-profit procurement organizations qualify for special pricing on Spend Matters PRO.)

Analytics8 SpendView



EC Sourcing



Market Dojo






Share on Procurious

Discuss this:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.