BravoConnect Dispatch: A Look at BravoAdvantage Release 17

Over the past few days at BravoConnect 2016, I’ve had the chance to talk to dozens of employees, customers and partners (and potential partners). But I’ve also spent some time doing what I enjoy best, which is looking at technology and also trying to understand what is coming down the pike.

While our full PRO Vendor Snapshot write-up is forthcoming over the next couple of weeks on Spend Matters — and I think it will surprise many of our readers which are not as familiar with BravoSolution as they should be — I thought I would share a preview today of some of what Bravo will be unveiling with Release 17, which will debut in Q1 2017.

Release 16 (2016) was a major step forward for BravoSolution and began to incorporate — among other capabilities — a more sophisticated supplier management solution (including onboarding/registration, performance management, risk management and more) and SourcingPlus (optimization) capability on a “punch out” basis that not only works transparently with the suite, but will in fact be fully integrated in the next release.

Incidentally, a number of BravoSolution sourcing customers that previously only signed up for sourcing (and often analytics) are now incorporating supplier management into their suite deployments as well (not to mention contract management, which has also come quite a long way).

Release 17 will see significant added capability, however, that centers around a number of themes. These include:

  • Broader and more-embedded analytics capability throughout the suite (leveraging Tableau as a front-end). As BravoSolution describes it, this will include additional cross-functional, ad-hoc and intuitive analytics collaboration. But Bravo’s data strategy is more nuanced than putting impressive-sounding adjectives in front of  “analytics.” It includes role-based analytics approaches for the power user (analysts), category managers and executives — everything from highly molded, purpose-built dashboards for specific needs to flexible and drillable cube structures. I should note analytics is already a differentiator for BravoSolution and Release 17 should stand out even more from others.
  • Improved capability around supplier value management, including task-based support for initiatives such as supplier collaboration, development and corrective action requests. A number of these enhancements are designed to support direct materials (manufacturing) collaboration with suppliers, but areas such as design engineering collaboration will not yet be included in next year’s release. Still, the extensions to an already best-in-class, suite-based supplier management capability will make the solution even more valuable.
  • Initial source-to-pay integration between the Puridiom solution and BravoSolution (including a redesign of Puridiom to look/feel like the BravoAdvantage suite). This will also include integration (the other way) between existing BravoSolution modules such as sourcing with P2P, but Puridiom will remain on a different code base throughout 2017.
  • Enhancements to the sourcing and program management components of the suite, including truly native sourcing optimization capability (which will no longer be a “punch-out”). This includes adding additional capabilities from Bravo Collaborative Sourcing (BCS) directly into SourcingPlus, including simplified “capacity, incumbency, bundling and round management” modeling and capability. Additionally, Release 17 will add increase mobile support for the modules, including sourcing and the various supplier value management components, across the suite.

Key Takeaways

Here are my key takeaways from the Release 17 enhancements:

  • BravoSolution is not sitting still in the procurement, spend and supply analytics game. Flipping the increasing role of analytics on its head, one way to look at Release 17 is a procurement analytics solution which leverages underlying modules (applications) to generate data which an organization can then use to drive strategy and report on performance in an integrated manner (e.g., intersection of spend analytics and insight with supplier management master data).
  • With Release 17, BravoSolution will differentiate itself in competitive situations when procurement organizations want to enable capabilities that sit outside of just individual modules. In fact, it is at the intersections of supplier management, contract management, sourcing, sourcing optimization and analytics together that cause BravoSolution to stand out the most – in other words, Release 17 makes the case for an integrated procurement technology suite (vs. individual modules) all the more sound.

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