2019’s top 10 PRO briefs from Spend Matters’ analysts: Insights across all procurement technology

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Spend Matters’ PRO subscription content reflects the insights of our analysts: Jason Busch, Pierre Mitchell, Magnus Bergfors, Nick Heinzmann, Andrew Karpie, Michael Lamoureux and Xavier Olivera.

Their analysis results in Vendor Snapshots, product reviews, deep dives into SolutionMap data and more.

Here is a countdown of the top 10 most-viewed PRO briefs from 2019:

10. SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 2): Hard Questions on Integration [PRO]

By SPEND MATTERS ANALYST TEAM, May 28, 2019

In late April, SAP announced its “Intelligent Spend Group,” a combination of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur. As the new operating unit eventually becomes “one” from a product perspective as well, it is important to realize the level of complexity that SAP will confront along the way. For example, SAP Ariba product managers have to deal with their individual platforms/ecosystems (SAP Ariba, Fieldglass, and Concur), but also with integrating to the Ariba Network, relevant SAP applications (e.g., Integrated Business Planning), with partner apps in each of those ecosystems, and the move toward an SAP-centric application stack and platform stack.

For example, SAP has its own journey from ECC to SAP S/4HANA in the cloud via S/4HANA Cloud Foundation, S/4HANA Cross Engineering, S/4HANA Enterprise Architecture, and other toolsets. S/4HANA then needs to integrate to the SAP Cloud Platform applications that will themselves need to integrate with each other as they slowly migrate to an underlying SAP Cloud Platform that includes a range of areas described in this second of three briefs in Spend Matters' PRO research series.

9. Bullhorn Acquires Erecruit — Is It Relevant to Contingent Workforce Managers? [PRO]

By ANDREW KARPIE, October 21, 2019

Bullhorn, a leading provider of comprehensive software for staffing/recruiting agencies, recently announced its acquisition of its rival Erecruit. …

In this brief, we … focus on Bullhorn’s acquisition of Erecruit (what’s the context, what’s in it, what lies ahead). Then, contingent workforce managers can form their own thoughts about how important upstream supply chain (and specifically, technology) changes are and how much attention and consideration they merit.

8. Coupa to Acquire Exari: What Type of CLM Solution Is Coupa Getting? (Part 1) [PRO]

By JASON BUSCH AND PIERRE MITCHELL, April 16, 2019

Coupa just announced that it intends to acquire Exari, a leading provider of contract lifecycle management (CLM) solutions that has about 150 employees. In a disclosure to investors, it said the aggregate purchase price for the transaction is about $215 million in cash. Contract management is a red-hot space right now, and Coupa has a very strategic need for this product. Spend Matters believes that this acquisition is a very smart hand-in-glove acquisition even though it’ll require some alterations to truly fit properly. …

This Spend Matters PRO quick take analysis provides insight for Coupa customers and the broader market on specifically what the provider is acquiring. Unlike past acquisitions, we believe Exari represents the greatest stretch away from its core economic buyer (at least historically). Find out why.

7. Online Platform RigUp Raises $300 Million: Maybe Not Just Another Unicorn? [PRO]

By ANDREW KARPIE, October 28, 2019

Online marketplaces for connecting workers and businesses have been around since the early-to-mid 2000s. But it has only been in the past eight years that larger organizations have begun to take notice of them (more, perhaps, as curiosities than as full-fledged, digitally enabled suppliers of workers and services). The reality is that few, if any, of the top 5,000 private employers in the world have established compliant, online marketplace sourcing channels that would account for more than 1 or 2% of their contingent workforce spend. …

However, something does seem to be happening, if not on the large-enterprise demand-side, then on the supply-side, where, over the past year or so, significant capital has been flowing into some business-focused (versus consumer-focused) online marketplaces. That includes Austin-based RigUp, which recently announced a $300 million series D round. With a $60 million Series C round in January 2019 and four earlier financing rounds since its launch in 2014, RigUp’s financing now totals $423.8 million. According to the Wall Street Journal, the most recent “financing brings the valuation of the startup aimed at energy contractors to $1.9 billion.” …

In this Spend Matters PRO brief, we will take a look at RigUp, and we'll examine where it fits into the broader landscape of digital platforms for work and services platforms. We will also discuss reasons why RigUp might be a different type of animal and how that might affect the thinking of procurement practitioners pondering the viability of online work/services platforms as sourcing options.

6. GEP: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Company Background [PRO]

By MICHAEL LAMOUREUX, XAVIER OLIVERA, PIERRE MITCHELL AND JASON BUSCH, August 26, 2019

GEP, formerly Global eProcure, is an integrated source-to-pay (S2P) solution and services firm that offers managed services including full BPO capabilities, transformation services (i.e., consulting) and its own internally developed S2P technology suite. The combination of these individual capabilities from a single provider, especially as they become increasingly synergistic, makes GEP truly a standalone in the industry. …

This seven-part Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about GEP’s source-to-pay capability, as well as limited background on its associated services capability. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and overview to set the stage, as well as a few key differentiators to help in short-list decisions. Parts 2 and 3 will provide a detailed solution overview of each key area/module. Part 4 will dive deep into the GEP platform and solution strengths, while Part 5 will balance the analysis by diving into the GEP platform and solution weaknesses, at least with regard to other solutions on the market. (A weakness isn't a weakness if it's not a capability your organization needs, either due to its industry or the presence of that capability in another platform that is already being used.) Part 6 will provide a full SWOT analysis as well as commentary on the solution and recommended fit. Finally, Part 7 will finish up with an overview of the competitive landscape.

5. SAP Ariba Live (Part 1): SAP Fieldglass Integration, the Ariba Network and Other Topics & Analysis [PRO]

By JASON BUSCH AND PIERRE MITCHELL, April 3, 2019

For the industry analysts in attendance, SAP Ariba Live 2019 kicked off Monday in Austin, Texas, with a candid Q&A session with Barry Padgett, president of SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass; Darren Koch, chief product officer of SAP Ariba; and Vish Baliga, chief technology officer of SAP Fieldglass. During the session, Padgett, Koch and Baliga shared the latest from SAP in terms of numbers growth and SAP Fieldglass’ integration into a common business unit with SAP Ariba, among other topics.

Many of these themes were echoed throughout the 100-plus breakout (and mainstage) sessions that took place Tuesday and Wednesday, including multiple sessions on the SAP Fieldglass integration as well as the Ariba network, among other topics.

This Spend Matters PRO live report provides insight into these updates from the public sessions and what’s driving them. It also includes an analysis and key takeaways from our first 24 hours at SAP Ariba Live.

4. Oracle Procurement Cloud Update — The Sleeping Giant is Waking Up [PRO]

By XAVIER OLIVERA AND PIERRE MITCHELL, October 14, 2019

Spend Matters attended Oracle’s recent OpenWorld conference to see the latest developments in its cloud ecosystem, especially within Oracle Procurement. Oracle continues to make progress in its strategy of transforming from a technology and products company to one of cloud services. It was a decision that has taken time to develop, but without a doubt this vision is beginning to crystallize as a unified solution within the Oracle Cloud (aka Oracle Fusion) technology platform.

Application-wise, Oracle is a slow and steady provider of cloud-based procurement applications, with a strength in P2P (as evidenced in its performance in our most current P2P SolutionMap ranking). And it’s making progress in its strategic procurement application areas — especially in contract management, where its solution is surprisingly strong relative to non-best-of-breed CLM players. But the game in the market is shifting beyond applications toward open platforms and ecosystems.

Can Oracle seize the opportunity?

3. Procurement Consulting Analysis: A review of KPMG’s procurement systems/technology practice [PRO]

SPEND MATTERS ANALYST TEAM, October 11, 2019

KPMG is a noted procurement solutions and technology consultancy, with a large, mature and experienced global practice for systems integration (SI). It has developed working relationships with a range of technology firms, including CoupaIvalua, SAP Ariba, Oracle and most recently GEP. It has hundreds of customer deployments under its belt.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides background on KPMG’s systems integration/technology practice in the procurement solutions market. It includes facts and figures, like a list of how many people at KPMG are trained to implement each tech firm’s solution. But, primarily, this PRO analysis highlights the voice and experience of KPMG’s clients. We also offer data-driven recommendations and analysis for organizations considering KPMG as a systems implementation and consulting partner.

2. If Ivalua is now a yardstick, how do competitors like Coupa, SAP Ariba, Oracle measure up to it? [PRO]

By JASON BUSCH, May 22, 2019

Technology vendors reach a milestone when other providers (as well as practitioner and consultants) start using them as a yardstick to measure and compare capabilities. And now with Ivalua reaching unicorn status and sharing current growth metrics that generally dwarf that of its larger peers — based on organic product growth — we expect to hear more and more procurement organizations ask about Ivalua in the same way they ask about SAP Ariba and Coupa. And of course from a SolutionMap perspective when it comes to technology selection, we can answer that question with hard, objective data on a capability-by-capability basis (now mapped to procurement business requirements).

But off-the-cuff, how does Ivalua and its unified suite compare to others?

I asked my colleagues on the Spend Matters analyst team who know different areas of Ivalua (and its peers) to comment not using the SolutionMap benchmark, but their own opinion.

1. With Barry Padgett leaving SAP, what’s next for new Intelligent Spend Group? [PRO]

By JASON BUSCH AND PIERRE MITCHELL, May 21, 2019

Barry Padgett has left SAP only weeks after being named president of the newly created SAP Intelligent Spend Group (ISG), a combination of SAP Ariba, SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass.

The PRO brief goes on to examine three fronts that SAP must face: New ERP (and SAP) Market Dynamics; integration; and competition from Coupa, Ivalua and Jaggaer.

It concludes with this: “The SAP Intelligent Spend Group will approach the three different battlegrounds from an underlying position of strength — in sheer size and individual composition. But continued double-digit growth should not be taken for granted given all of the underlying dynamics at play.”

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