A New Way of Ranking Procurement Technology Solution Providers in 2017: Best of Spend Matters SolutionMap

It has been quite a big year at Spend Matters.

And no, not in terms of racking up the greatest number of avian species sightings (even though I am a birder).

Within this big year, Spend Matters analyst and extended teams launched what we hope to be the primary tool for procurement solution providers to highlight their capabilities to the broader market — and most important, for procurement practitioners to use as their technology selection guide.

In this year-end Best of Spend Matters piece, we present a short history of SolutionMap in 2017.

Introducing SolutionMap

First we’ll take a quick second to recap. If you’re a procurement practitioner or software provider and have Rip van Winkled your way through the past year, here you go.

Each SolutionMap:

  • Ranks a technology within the procurement and supply chain spectrum
  • Consists of equal parts customer and analyst input
  • Reflects specific organizational needs through “buying personas”
  • Is updated quarterly to show market developments

The goal is to equip the user with a comprehensive roadmap to track market developments, assess provider capabilities based on organizational needs and identify best-fit provider shortlists.

Our inaugural SolutionMap for the procure-to-pay (P2P) solution areas (e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and P2P suites) launched in Q2 2017.

We followed up in Q4 2017 with updated maps for the three P2P areas, and added five maps covering strategic procurement technologies (SPT): sourcing, analytics, SRM, CLM and strategic procurement technology suites.

How to Use SolutionMap Right Now

Here’s our primer for the uninitiated. SolutionMap is free to use. Use it, learn it, love it.

Once you’ve taken a spin, please note:

The Spend Matters analyst team dives even deeper beyond high-level 2x2 visual quadrants of how groups of providers rank in each solution category on Spend Matters PRO. (These deep dives include detailed vendor scoring and analyst recommendations – here’s a peek inside.)

Here are the three PRO Vendor Summary Reports that were most widely read this past Q4 (paywall):

Contact our team today to learn how to get the most out of SolutionMap through PRO.

Our Founder’s Take 

In a paean to the Q4 2017 SolutionMap release and subsequent personal analytical takes on six solution providers, Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch let everyone in on a not-so-secret secret.

“Despite our marketing claims of having invested ‘hundreds of hours’ of analyst time in the process, the actual number felt like more in the thousands, by my own accounting,” Busch wrote. “I told one of my colleagues I felt like I was ‘in the Matrix’ at one point when looking at technology provider demonstrations.”

Here’s proof to that — Jason gave PRO readers a personal, intimate behind-the-scenes rundown on six key solution providers:

SolutionMap in Action

Fascinatingly enough, two of the providers in the last two bullets above — BravoSolution and Jaggaer — decided to merge, opening the door to unique Spend Matters analysis using SolutionMap.

Jaggaer acquiring BravoSolution — and, in another deal, Coupa acquiring Simeno — shook up the procurement technology market quite a bit right before the end of 2017. Both deals proved to be excellent testing grounds for our analyst team.

Regarding the Jaggaer/BravoSolution linkup, the team embarked on a detailed look at the capabilities of the combined entity by each solution category in the SPT SolutionMap.
The first two installments have already been published:

In each research brief, the teams answers six questions, including four derived directly from insights from our Q4 2017 SolutionMap datasets (analyst scoring) based on our SolutionMap methodology:

  • Comparatively, how does each respective spend analytics module stack up on a capability basis?
  • What are the functional strengths of each spend analytics module under the surface?
  • What are the “best fit” SolutionMap personas for each analytics module?
  • Who are alternative analytics providers?

A Free-To-Read Kicker

Lastly, here’s an example of how SolutionMap can play a complementary role in analyzing and assessing certain providers’ capabilities — in this case, BuyerQuest — for practitioners:

Keep an eye out for more of the above types of articles in 2018, and for more content (checklists, sample RFIs, etc.) tailored specifically for procurement practitioners to use in their arsenals.

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