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WNS Acquires The Smart Cube (and OptiBuy)

12/16/2022 By

WNS, a large Mumbai-based global services provider of BPO, MSP, transformation and digital services just announced that it has acquired The Smart Cube, a provider of analytics and market intelligence services with a specialization in procurement and supply chain. WNS also acquired OptiBuy, a small Poland-based procurement consultancy with a strength in S2P operational and systems consulting.

Terms were not disclosed, but here is some general background:

  • WNS has roughly 50,000 employees, but strategic procurement services are delivered primarily through WNS Denali, a firm that is roughly 1% of its size on an FTE basis. It was formed based on a 2017 acquisition of Denali Sourcing Services (see our deep dive PRO analysis on the deal here). The number for broader procurement/supply management services is roughly double that and then that number escalates by a few orders of magnitude when considering transactional P2P that includes AP (due to WNS BPO services in F&A). WNS Denali is one of the services providers that we cover in the Procurement Services market. A deep-dive analysis on them can be found in our procurement services directory and associated research (more providers will be added in 2023 during the next wave of our procurement services study). A free downloadable PDF synopsis can be found here.
  • OptiBuy has roughly 80 employees, and while nearly all FTEs are in Poland, OptiBuy is strong in the DACH region and an S2P implementor with a strength in Ivalua (which is strong in direct procurement, especially for automotive) — a good complement to the existing WNS relationship with Coupa (less so with SAP Ariba). It has deep experience implementing Ivalua both in Europe and the Middle East.
  • The Smart Cube is almost 1,000 employees strong, larger than WNS Denali, but the firm also offers analytics and intelligence in supply chain and the sell-side while also serving the investment community and broader enterprise centers of excellence for digital analytics/intelligence. For some background on the firm, check out our two-part interview with one of the two founders (ex-Kearney procurement consultants) here and here, and for more of a deeper dive on their procurement intelligence services — e.g., standard services (including freemium) vs. custom service lines. You can download a high level analysis here.

The OptiBuy acquisition is basically a “map gap” deal to get better local S2P tech capabilities and pick up some broader S2P solution capabilities (e.g., Ivalua).  The Smart Cube acquisition is a bigger deal and helps close some gaps within WNS Denali (i.e., closing the gap in six competency areas to Best-in-Class based on the two dozen competencies in our Procurement Services provider benchmarking) on the technology side in terms of automated knowledge management (a journey that The Smart Cube made many years ago) and also turning those analytics (including AI/ML) outward through digital solutions rather than just Supply Market Intelligence managed services.

The Smart Cube Acquisition may also help WNS get more line-of-business-focused rather than big ITO/BPO deals and also help with productizing market intelligence into more traditional IT-centric analytics services — and help align with WNS-Triange (previously WNS Research and Analytics practice).

We’ll pick up on our coverage of the deal with additional insight as well as customer, competitive and market analysis next week on Spend Matters PRO, leveraging our professional services segmentation model that looks at the procurement solutions landscape from all vantage points including consulting (e.g., strategy, transformation, operating models), outsourcing and S2P tech implementations.