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Ivalua NOW Paris event: A Dispatch on the Art and Science of Procurement

04/15/2019 By and

Spend Matters analyst Michael Lamoureux attended Ivalua’s customer event, Ivalua NOW Paris: The Art of Procurement, last week and found several advancements in the provider’s offerings, saw some improvements to its capabilities and learned about plans to upgrade its solution.

In his dispatch posted in full on Spend Matters UK/Europe, he discusses his findings and gives a flavor of what it was like to be among the 500 attendees, how the company with European roots turned it up a notch compared to Ivalua’s NYC event last year and mentions that the event even included a private tour of select areas in the Louvre.

“A key message,” he writes, “was that as procurement evolves from tactical purchase order, invoice and payment processing to strategic sourcing and category management to a focus on organizational value and alignment, it becomes just as much art as science.”

Lamoureux is an expert in artificial intelligence (AI), and he didn’t quite agree with one session at the event that heralded Procurement 4.0.

“We are barely entering the age of Procurement 3.0,” he writes. “And while we all need something to look ahead and aspire to, the reality is that most ‘leading’ organizations have barely mastered the core of Procurement 2.0 (which started in the late 2000s), there is no fully enabled Procurement 3.0 platform (and leaders like Ivalua are just starting to implement the core requirements), and we shouldn’t expect to see one for at least another six years.

“Procurement 1.0 started in the late ’90s with the rise of Free Markets and e-Auctions. Procurement 2.0 started in the late ’00s with the rise of integrated S2C offerings that allowed for strategic sourcing, TCO, optimization, analytics and SRM. Procurement 3.0 is just starting with the introduction of commonplace RPA and fledgling AI (assisted, not augmented or artificial, intelligence) in select areas by industry-leading players. If history holds, it will likely be another eight years before we have full Procurement 3.0 platforms given that each previous epoch lasted about a decade).”

See the details in the full story, but Ivalua has made some substantial advancements in:

  • Direct Material Management
    Bill of materials gets a lot of support from Ivalua, but it cannot create a BoM (that happens in ERPs). Its roadmap includes BoM creation.
  • UX
  • Integrated Cross-Catalog Search Capability in One Search
    “If this takes off, and more partners sign up, they could be challenging pure-play P2P leaders like BuyerQuest for the easiest catalog buying experience,” Lamoureux says.

They’ve also made noticeable improvements in:

  • Category Management
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Better Purchasing Policy and Tax Compliance Report
    “Being Canadian, I never knew that supporting Canadian tax codes, which are different in every province and territory, was so much more complicated than VAT!” Lamoureux said.

He also saw minor improvements in guided buying, invoicing and direct supply chain support.

Read the full story here on the Spend Matters UK/Europe site.