Earlier in the year, Jaggaer (formerly SciQuest) announced a new release Gazelle (17.1), which marked the largest set of enhancements to the solution set since Accel KKR’s acquisition of the company and the subsequent changing of the product development and management guard at the vendor.
While the Spend Matters team is looking forward to getting a full deep dive of the latest product releases as part of our SolutionMapSM efforts in the coming weeks, we recently spent time with Jaggaer to understand some of the product philosophies and investments the new team is embracing, as well as to take a cursory look at some of the suite's new capabilities and new stack-level investments, including an entirely new standardized BI front-end.
Adding Customers, Specializing in Targeted Industry Sectors
Jaggaer shared with Spend Matters that it added 22 new accounts (nearly all in the private sector) in the first quarter of 2017, as well as “100 upsells” of current customers. Building on the history of SciQuest’s vertical focus within higher education, life sciences and the public sector, the newly incarnated Jaggaer is doubling down on development, product management and marketing efforts to drive specific offerings and configurations across targeted industries. These additional vertical markets are manufacturing, transportation, CPG and retail.
In taking an industry-specific approach to procurement technology, Jaggaer is moving down a path that other suite vendors have pursued only selectively and opportunistically (e.g., SAP Ariba within oil and gas). It is a strategy that, if largely configuration driven, will be much easier to replicate than those followed by previous generations of supply chain vendors, which could not practice “postponement” via configuration but rather had to hard code industry-specific offerings.
Thanks to cloud-based deployment and technology models and configuration-driven approaches, the technology time is right for this type of model, and there is clearly a need within procurement today. Yet it is an unproven path thus far in North America, as firms have generally had to make do with one-size-fits-all products and suites to date. (Europe has seen greater specialization of procurement technologies, especially in the manufacturing sectors.) We’ll monitor Jaggaer’s verticalization path closely and report back on it throughout the year.
Solution Changes and Enhancements
From a solution perspective, we learned during our recent briefings, discussions and product views (of static screens, not yet full demonstrations) that Jaggaer is:
- Putting analytics and data visibility first, using Looker (over Qlik, Tableau, Birst, etc.) as a common BI dashboard and front-end for its analytics-specific products (e.g., Spend Radar and Portfolio Savings Manager) and across its suite. The early Looker dashboards and visualizations we saw feature significant flexibility around drilling into summarizing and presenting information, drilling into data (e.g., filters) and linking project and program visibility (e.g., schedules). A common theme is giving users the ability to create their own views that “make sense” to them, according to Jaggaer. Deeper analytics now cascade into the suite, as well, including the ability to drill into line-level costing within sourcing from a total cost management/workup perspective. See selected (and other) screen shots below from the latest release.
- Driving modular-level enhancements, such as enhancing the user experience for suppliers as they respond to questionnaires via a common portal interface for vendor management requests, and enhancing comparison grids and matrixes for analyzing supplier responses either within the context of an event or within a general supplier/category management context. Other modular enhancements include incorporating the ability to create custom classification structures within Portfolio Savings Manager; adding new lookup tables and freight pricing integrations (e.g., for LTL) within Advanced Sourcing Optimizer (ASO); offering automated review workflows within Total Contract Manager; incorporating credit memo requests and “trade in” capability within Spend Director; and enabling cross-border transactions and compliance capabilities within Accounts Payable Director.
- Moving to a common platform model across the suite, including linking individual modules (built on different stacks) such as ASO via a common schema sharing. These efforts incorporate exposing multiple levels of APIs that go beyond single sign-on and a standardized look/feel. This will result in deeper levels of functional/workflow integration in subsequent 2017 releases in sourcing, following a path that BravoSolution has gone down with its own optimization product. It should be noted the majority of the Jaggaer suite is now built on a common stack, as well (e.g., Sourcing Director, Total Supplier Manager, Total Contract Manager, Spend Director and Accounts Payable Director).
- Moving beyond a quarterly (or four-month) base release cycle, which the previous management team had followed. The goal is to move to monthly enhancements, and the team has prioritized Advanced Sourcing Optimizer (ASO) as one of the first modules to get this treatment.
- Focusing on selling the value of combined modules rather than the individual elements of feature/functionality within individual applications. This strategy appears to be working, and we should note this is a general trend in the market, as it would appear the majority of new sales are starting off as suite-based deals.
Looking Ahead: 2017 Roadmap
Jaggaer told Spend Matters the higher-level themes of its product roadmap center on three key areas: driving enhanced collaboration within user organizations (procurement, business users, finance, etc.) and suppliers; broader levels of suite-based integration centered on pushing data and intelligence between modules to improve decision-making; and enabling analytics and reporting capabilities that go beyond spend analysis and savings/portfolio tracking to sit on top of the entire suite and user experience.
From what we’ve seen so far in the analytics areas with the new “Looker” platform and dashboards, it would appear Jaggaer, with its Gazelle 17.1 release, is off to a galloping start, at least in this area. The other recent enhancements aren’t too shabby, either, going far beyond just an updated UI and modular workflow integrations.
Stay tuned for deeper coverage and analysis of Jaggaer as we dive deeper into this rapidly evolving suite.