SolutionMap update for Spring/Q1 2020 ranks 69 procurement technology vendors and adds AP Automation category

Spend Matters today has updated its free SolutionMap benchmark rankings for the new Spring/Q1 2020 release. The latest SolutionMap compares 69 procurement technology providers across 13 categories — which includes a new ranking map for Accounts Payable (AP) Automation vendors.

Six providers are featured in the first AP Automation category, which reflects the growing importance that vendors are placing on payments.

SolutionMap began in 2017 and has become the definitive procurement technology benchmark. It will now be updated in the spring and fall instead of each quarter.

AP Automation added as a new SolutionMap ranking category

AP Automation involves solutions and services that support the processing and payment of invoices. Vendors included in the new AP Automation rankings are:

  • Basware (also participating in SolutionMap’s P2P category)
  • Coupa (also participating in S2P and CW/S)
  • SoftCo (newly ranked)
  • Tipalti (newly ranked)
  • Tradeshift (also participating in P2P)
  • Yooz (newly ranked but participated in I2P in past SolutionMap cycles)

"AP Automation solutions and supporting services are a major portion of the Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) technology market,” says Xavier Olivera, Spend Matters’ Lead Analyst for the Procure-to-Pay category. “AP Automation enables a real end-to-end Procure-to-Pay (P2P) solution by adding simplified, more effective payment processing through an all-in-one payment management solution (rather than staying in the 'OK to pay' stage). AP solutions enable efficiencies to Accounts Payable workload — supporting the broader organization's goal of improving cash flow and optimizing working capital while balancing the needs of suppliers. Investment in this area is critical, not just for procurement transformation but also for supporting value creation across the whole business.”

AP Automation solutions and supporting services are a major portion of the Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) technology market and will be harmonized with the broader I2P SolutionMap in the future.

New Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap participants & other developments

In other SolutionMap developments for the Spring/Q1 2020 release:

  • Conga is a new participant in the Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) SolutionMap category.
  • Rosslyn Analytics is newly ranked in the Spend & Procurement Analytics category.
  • Suplari is newly participating in the Spend & Procurement Analytics category.
  • Wax Digital was acquired by Medius, and it now goes by “Wax Digital / Medius.”
  • Orpheus was acquired by McKinsey, and their offering is now “Spend Intelligence by McKinsey.”
  • Workforce Logiq is a new participant in the Temp Staffing category.
  • Xeeva is newly ranked in both the E-Procurement and Spend & Procurement Analytics categories.

Turn-Key persona added to the Temp Staffing SolutionMap category

The Turn-Key buying persona has been added to the Temp Staffing SolutionMap because, according to the Turn-Key definition, some TCO-oriented, 80/20-rule businesses favor a “combination of software capability and supporting services to contractually deliver results and a defensible ROI; pre-loaded capabilities, content and know-how” over a powerful technology tool that may also be complex relative to their needs. Read more about the Turn-Key buying persona here.

SolutionMap’s updates are now done twice a year

Spend Matters is switching SolutionMap to six-month, semiannual cycles (2x per year) versus quarterly (4x per year) cycles. The Spring release occurs in March, and the Fall release in September each year. The current 2020/Q1 SolutionMap cycle released today is the last quarterly update. The Fall 2020 information-gathering RFI cycle begins in a week and is set to be published September 10, 2020.

This change removes the overlap between RFI cycles and gives more time to complete the RFI process for participating providers and Spend Matters’ analyst teams.

Since launching SolutionMap in mid-2017, its rankings have been referenced by procurement professionals over 131,000 times, with the SolutionMap Accelerator toolkit gaining traction as a key way to conduct informed procurement technology selections.

Should you trust your gut or your data?

To illustrate how Spend Matters eliminates expert bias in benchmarking procurement technology vendors, Founder Jason Busch recently authored a white paper explaining how SolutionMap rankings are based purely on technical or functional criteria, against a defined scale and requiring a vendor to demonstrate proof to assign a specific score. It points out how SolutionMap analysts never judge or rate a procurement vendor at a business level. Also, SolutionMap analyst scoring is separated from customer scoring, which is represented separately (without consideration of any analyst input or rating). This allows for a clear separation of real-life user experience feedback versus the analysts’ technical capabilities ranking, allowing users to clearly identify how a procurement technology vendor is perceived through different lenses.

In another article, Busch details how companies can use SolutionMap’s findings.

“I have never found other analyst comparisons terribly useful in shortlisting or tech selection,” he said. “Certainly, their research can be valuable, but not for making actual procurement technology decisions or creating shortlists by comparing business requirements to very specific functional specifications and customer satisfaction metrics. At its core, SolutionMap can (and is meant to) replace the RFI process for companies; the other approaches are just meant to help add companies to include on an RFI distribution list.”

SolutionMap is used by procurement organizations to swiftly identify a vendor shortlist during the tech selection process, as well as help procurement practitioners create a flexible procurement roadmap and technology architecture across the source-to-pay (S2P) and procurement services spectrum to take today’s and tomorrow’s needs into account. This includes the aforementioned self-service “Accelerator” toolkit but also tailored services, including scenario modeling for organizations with very deep and/or unique technology requirements.

“SolutionMap is the great equalizer between buyers and sellers of procurement technology solutions,” Busch says. “It is the only benchmarking methodology that is fully transparent, considers equal parts technology analyst and customer scoring (individually and separately), and allows business users to create a one-to-one map based on their requirements to what technology vendors can provide based on demonstrated, generally available capability.”

Based on equal parts objective technology capability ranking (done by our analysts) and customer feedback scores with set weightings, SolutionMap evaluates vendors in the following 13 categories of procurement technology:

  • Accounts Payable (AP) Automation
  • Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM)
  • Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW)
  • Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S)
  • E-Procurement
  • Invoice-to-Pay (I2P)
  • Procure-to-Pay (P2P)
  • Sourcing
  • Source-to-Pay (S2P), a suite view that includes all P2P and strategic procurement technologies’ categories
  • Spend and Procurement Analytics
  • Strategic Procurement Technologies (Sourcing, Analytics, CLM, SRM)
  • Supplier Relationship Management and Risk (SRM)
  • Temp Staffing

You can visit spendmatters.com/solutionmap to view the free ranking charts by RFI category and buying persona or to learn more about the methodology. Procurement technology selection and benchmarking intelligence services are available at a premium.

In total, the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap considers well over 1,000 functional and platform components across the source-to-pay and services procurement modules and suites listed above. For the customer score, it leverages 1,000+ user/peer reviews, which factor into the transparent vendor rankings.

Instead of providing a single view of the benchmarking data, the free version of SolutionMap is built on “buying personas” that provide multiple ranking graphics for each module based on key buyer requirements.

Begin exploring procurement software vendor rankings now, in the quadrant-graphic format below, for free: Visit the SolutionMap homepage.

Note: All SolutionMap persona graphics are centered at the average of participating vendor scores across the analyst score (y) axis and customer score (x) axis for that specific graphic and scaled accordingly. Vendor and customer scores, and hence relative placement of a vendor's bubble, will differ by graphic as each score or response is weighted differently across the different personas.

Detailed updates and analysis on all the changes reflected in today's update will be available in the release notes briefs, as part of the SolutionMap Insider subscriber offering (paywall):

Browse all available SolutionMap content and articles here, including the Spring/Q1 2020 Provider Scoring Summary reports, which are interpretations of the results.

What Is Spend Matters SolutionMap, and How Do I Use It?

Each SolutionMap:

  • Ranks the top software companies used by procurement and supply chain organizations
  • Consists of equal parts analyst scoring and customer input
  • Reflects specific organizational needs through buying personas for each map
  • Updates twice a year — with Spring and Fall releases — to show market developments in each category

SolutionMap provides procurement and supply chain organizations with a comprehensive means to compare software companies across categories, assess vendor capabilities based on organizational needs and identify best-fit shortlists for tech selection.

In short, it enables procurement practitioners to create a flexible procurement roadmap and technology architecture.

Now it's time to take a spin if you haven't already.

Begin your journey here:

SolutionMap Procurement Software Rankings

When you arrive at the SolutionMap home page, you will be able to:

  1. Choose a software category
  2. Select your persona
  3. View SolutionMap vendor rankings

You’ll also be able to learn about each procurement software category and persona definition in detail, as well as read up on the Spend Matters analyst team’s methodology, before seeing how this quarter’s participating vendors performed.

Want to Get the Most Mileage Out of SolutionMap?

pierre mitchell headshot

Our Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell lays out the many possibilities for how we can help you get the most mileage out of SolutionMap.

“We can do scenario modeling of vendor capabilities and play out different scenarios such as off-the-shelf technology options versus different levels of customization, bundled vendors versus a traditional suite offering, running relative newcomers against established vendors,” Mitchell said.

“And we can provide counsel on creating a more flexible architecture and roadmap based on the current and future needs of a procurement organization.”

See our tech-selection services page here.

Round Out Your Procurement Software Roadmap: SolutionMap Insider

On a self-service basis, anyone can sign up for our SolutionMap Insider subscription. This includes members-only access to Provider Scoring Summary reports and ratings of all participating procurement software companies.

The subscription features:

Learn more here, including how to contact us for more info, such as pricing. (Discounts are available for multiple subscription areas.)

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