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Zycus Analyst Day — 3 Quick Insights

07/01/2019 By

Along with colleagues Pierre Mitchell, Xavier Olivera and Nick Heinzmann, I attended Zycus’ analyst day in Park City, Utah, on Friday. Analysts from Ardent, Gartner, Levvel (formerly Paystream) were also in attendance. While I’ll leave it to my esteemed colleagues to provide more insightful commentary on where Zycus stands today overall, let me share three quick insights that I walked away with.

First, Zycus remains steadfast in its commitment to delivering a full suite of capabilities and driving to world-class support, including making continued investments and enhancements in its procure-to-pay capabilities. This includes not only platform- and application-level enhancements, but also focusing on delivering increased overall customer satisfaction. Spend Matters spoke to a number of Zycus customers at the event that echoed the continued improvements Zycus has made in availability/uptime, software quality, application/modular cohesiveness and related commitments. This is welcoming to hear, as Zycus needed to improve in these areas based on previous SolutionMap peer reference insights. While work remains to unify all aspects of its suite — as it does with nearly all vendors — Zycus appears to be on the right track.

Second, artificial intelligence (AI) underpins the significant investment that Zycus is making in its overall product and go-to-market strategy. But Zycus is taking a different approach to AI than most suite vendors, such as Coupa, which is embedding AI at the core of its standard platform. In contrast, in the near future, Zycus’ AI engine/platform, Merlin, will be available in distinctive applications that will be sold and marketed independently of the “i-line” of Zycus products — more along the lines of a Catalytic, LevaData, Seal Software or Xeeva. In other words, these stand-alone solutions will augment/replace/improve specific human functions within sourcing, contract management, procurement, AP and related areas rather than just enhancing existing modular capability. We should note these capabilities are not generally available yet, but the Spend Matters team looks forward to reporting more on them in the near future.

Third, Zycus’ CEO, Aatish Dedhia, is taking the long view on competing in the market and remaining independent. I had the chance to spend time talking to him about his view on the sector, and Dedhia believes that customers will benefit most from organically developed suites without having to worry about various assets being smashed together through M&A. This extends to Zycus, which Dedhia wants to lead and steward for many years to come without the distraction of taking outside investment or acquiring companies. Dedhia’s view is a contrarian view in the market, one that goes against the grain of the CEOs of his competitors. He believes only home-grown R&D investment tied to profitable, organic growth — without external funding — is what will benefit his customers the most over the long haul.

Stay tuned for further insights from my colleagues in the days to come.