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Zycus Horizon Dispatch: Facts, Investment and a New Artificial Intelligence (AI) Direction

10/29/2018 By

Fellow Spend Matters analyst Xavier Olivera and I touched down last night in Leesburg, Virginia, to attend Zycus’ Horizon annual customer event. It feels like the source-to-pay provider’s largest annual conference yet. In a series of posts today and tomorrow, the Spend Matters team will provide live coverage from the event.

Zycus CEO Aatish Dedhia kicked off the Monday morning keynote session with an update on the firm he started. Here are some of the highlights.

Zycus: By the Numbers

Dedhia noted that Zycus grew 24% year-over-year since the last Horizon customer event (October 2017 to October 2018). Over the same time period, it saw 31% employee growth. He also suggested sourcing (and strategic procurement technology/suite areas) have been an important contributor to growth. Spend Matters estimates that Zycus has in excess of $50 million in annual revenue on a trailing basis.

Offices, Partnerships and Product Enhancements

During his talk, Dedhia shared that Zycus has opened new commercial/client service offices in Dubai, Singapore and Melbourne over the past year. He also noted that the solutions provider has opened a new development/R&D center in Bangalore to complement its existing development operations in Mumbai. The rationale for this new office investment was to access the local market for talent in India.

In addition, Zycus continues to expand its partnership offerings, adding local systems integration partners around the world. In Dedhia’s words, Zycus wants to give customers the choice of using Zycus team members for implementations, third-party consultants or a combination of the two — all supported on the ground (not just remotely).

Finally, Zycus is making significant module/product enhancements (more on this in subsequent coverage), including introducing a specialized logistics/transportation sourcing module built on a sourcing optimization foundation. Dedhia shared that 80% of the customer need (based on Zycus’ research) for sourcing optimization was centered on logistics/transportation spend, hence its reason to focus on this area.

Looking Ahead: Artificial Intelligence

Dedhia said Zycus intends to take a long view on technology investments. At the forefront of that efforts is “surrounding” Zycus’ suite of source-to-pay products with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities — while also embedding it at the core of product architecture and strategy. This is an immediate focus, and Zycus is recruiting beta users from its customers for its initial AI-based applications.

The first AI use cases will focus primarily on the automation of routine tasks that include transactional and strategic procurement technology areas. From an enablement and business process capability, these include the following specific AI-based enablement areas:

  • Strategic/transactional procurement — Supplier On-boarding RPA, Buyer’s Desk (transactional procurement enablement), Invoice Email Attachment, Invoice Metadata Extraction, Request Fulfillment, Approver Reminder, Requester Reminder
  • Strategic procurement enablement — Contract Management (Metadata Extraction, Clause Classification, Clause Recommendations/Changes and Risk Analytics) and Sourcing (Buyer/Supplier Negotiations and RFQ/Auction Assembler)

Stay tuned for additional live coverage from Zycus Horizon.