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Beeline and SAP Fieldglass: The VMS Gets a Second (and Third) Act

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Is it time to shine a new type of spotlight on the contingent workforce and vendor management system (VMS) stage? Perhaps. But if so, we’ve got to treat the two main actors, Beeline and SAP Fieldglass, differently from the rest, given the duopoly position that the two find themselves in within the traditional VMS market.

Yet, if you excuse the musical analogy, the traditions might not be as important as, say, those in Fiddler on the Roof. And that’s because the stage itself is changing.

As we note in a Spend Matters PRO research brief, The Venerable VMS: A Situation and SWOT Analysis of the VMS Solution Category, “Business requirements have begun to expand beyond contingent workforce management to the management of SOWs/services, directly sourced independent/freelance workforce and online marketplaces. A range of VMS solution providers have, to greater or lesser degree, begun to address those requirements, in particular, SOW/services management.”

The VMS as Hub, Not Island

In addition to the SOW/services management comment above, we can now add independent/freelance workforce and online marketplaces, as SAP Fieldglass recently introduced its new digital services offering, which preconnects popular independent/freelance workforce and online marketplaces directly into its core application. (Stay tuned for a Spend Matters PRO research brief on this new offering in the coming weeks.)

This solution comes on the heels of Beeline’s initiatives to expand the value proposition of the core VMS in a similar direction. As we note in Part 2 of our Vendor Snapshot series on Beeline, “A unique feature of Beeline Self-Sourcing is the integration with external platforms. These are API-based integrations, not punchouts to each platform. This ensures that business (and MSP) users receive candidate information in a standard format so that it is comparable with candidates from other sources.”

For our complete analysis of Beeline, see our PRO series below (we hope to have a similar writeup on SAP Fieldglass in the future):

Also see additional links to PRO coverage of the services procurement technology market at the end of this post.

A Permanent Fixture

Even if requirements are changing, the VMS itself is here to stay.

As we note in our VMS SWOT analysis, “Strengths can perhaps be boiled down to the fact that VMS solutions are now ‘fixtures’ within enterprises. While it is true that one VMS solution can replace another, it’s unlikely, at this stage of the game, that an outgoing VMS would not be replaced by another VMS. When it comes to contingent workforce management, the VMS solution, generally speaking, is bolted down in the enterprise — less so for SOW management, where the solution footprint is incomplete.”

VMS: The Next Act

Both Beeline and SAP Fieldglass continue to innovate — as do their lesser known peers. (We’re particularly excited to see what next-generation VMS Vndly has in store.) For a primer on innovation in the services procurement technology market, check out: How Innovative is Your VMS Provider? In this brief, we introduce a framework to assess what innovative technology components VMS providers are embracing — or not.

In terms of comparing technology innovation and raw solution capability on an apples-to-apples basis — not to mention customer satisfaction — Spend Matters is currently fielding its first SolutionMap RFI for services procurement. Nearly a dozen providers are participating in the first round, and we look forward to welcoming additional providers in subsequent quarters.

The stage is changing fast as we get ready for the second (and third) acts not only with Beeline and SAP Fieldglass but also a range of new entrants. We’ve jumped from Fiddler on the Roof to Hamilton in terms of the 21st century services procurement stage. Get ready!

In the meantime, if you’re evaluating the VMS, VMS/MSP or broader services procurement solutions market, don’t hesitate to get in touch.