Author Archives: Andrew Karpie



Enlighta: Vendor Analysis — Solution overview, Enlighta competitors, roadmap, tech selection tips, analyst insights

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis provides an overview of Enlighta and its solution for supplier governance/risk management, contract management and service execution management. While there are solutions that address some of these processes, Enlighta’s focus is on complex services suppliers — including, but by no means limited to, IT outsourcing, BPO, telecom and facilities management.

The sourcing and the management of complex services and service providers remains a challenge for most organizations. Perhaps the weakest points in the source-to-pay (S2P) lifecycle for complex services are post-signature contract management, supplier management (performance and risk) and service execution management. But these areas are critical to managing services effectively.

Enlighta offers its clients highly configurable functional capabilities built on a sophisticated, scalable technology platform with integrations to major third-party procurement and other solutions. From ingesting contractual documents and requisitioning services under a SOW to monitoring supplier risk and managing supplier performance at the project and activity level, Enlighta’s capabilities are broad and deep (and that’s not a hyperbolic statement).

In this Vendor Analysis, we try to cover much ground in just several pages to provide insight into Enlighta and its solution in terms of platform, functional capabilities and supporting services. We also look at Enlighta’s short-term roadmap and competitive environment, and we identify Enlighta’s best-fit use cases and conclude with our take on this provider’s place in the solution landscape.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insiders’ Hot List: March 2021

Welcome to the March 2021 edition of Spend Matters Insiders’ Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space. For those new to this Spend Matters PRO column, each edition covers the month’s important or interesting technology and innovation developments in the CW/S space.

Our last Hot List for February 2021 covered a range of developments, including the Beeline and Brightfield guided-buying collaboration, Globality’s integration with SAP Fieldglass, WillHire’s industrial staffing solution, and much more.

March has shown that CW/S technology and innovation are blooming, and the overall landscape is being gradually altered. From inside formal contingent workforce programs, this may not be visible. Therefore, it’s good to step outside every once in a while, take in the scenery and smell the roses.

So let’s see what was going on in March 2021.

SAP Fieldglass Assignment Management launches to tackle projects and track worker access, compliance and pay

SAP Fieldglass Assignment Management

SAP Fieldglass Assignment Management is a new solution that enables organizations in asset-intensive industries (like Oil & Gas, Chemicals, Utilities) to manage the execution and accounting of day-to-day plant maintenance work conducted by external workers, the provider said in a demo with Spend Matters. Read more about the benefits of tracking projects, workers, compliance and pay in near real time. And our analysts give their key takeaways from the demo.

Five scenarios for VMS 2025: Scenario 3 — Extended workforce rising

Extended workforce platform

This is Scenario 3 of the Spend Matters PRO series in which we consider different scenarios for VMS in 2025. These scenarios represent exploratory thinking (not predictions) on our part. And they are not necessarily meant to be mutually exclusive. In any case, they are intended to be tools to assist contingent workforce and services procurement managers in their thinking about the future.

The first scenario, named “The Status Quo,” explored a world in which VMS continues to evolve and flourish (alongside other enterprise software solutions, such as human capital management, or HCM) as a distinct, specialized enterprise solution for sourcing of temps and, potentially, other forms of contingent workforce.

This second scenario, named “Procurement Rules,” explored a world in which procure-to-pay (P2P) — or even source-to-pay (S2P) — technology suites integrate or subsume the capabilities of VMS (or vice-versa?). A trendline to this scenario has already emerged. SAP Ariba and Coupa each have embarked on such a path through acquisition, and other procurement solutions could follow, whether by acquisition/integration or as extensions of their own platform.

This post on Scenario 3, “Extended workforce platform rising,” explores a world in which the established VMS procurement-oriented solution model* gives way to an extended workforce solution model. That extended workforce model, among other things, addresses an organization’s needs to manage its extended workforce (all forms of non-employee workforce engaged indirectly under contract through suppliers/providers of services or directly as individual contractors).

* By solution model, we mean a kind of “solution architecture” based on the problems (needs) that organizations/people have now. Solution models, which are therefore generally accepted as “what is needed” in the market and increasingly intertwined with industry assumptions and practices, are also persistent, though gradually evolving over what may be many years. An example of two solution models could be flip phones vs. smartphones.

Beyond VMS: Beeline introduces its extended workforce platform

Beeline, the global, contingent and extended workforce technology solution provider, announced a strategic product shift today. The company, which has been known for its core VMS solution for two decades, is now going to market as an extended workforce platform.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insiders’ Hot List: February 2021

Welcome to the February 2021 edition of Spend Matters Insiders’ Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space. For those new to this Spend Matters PRO column, each edition covers the month’s important or interesting technology and innovation developments in the CW/S space.

In February, coronavirus infections in the US dropped significantly, people are getting vaccinated, but we’d all like to see production, distribution and points of service working like a well-oiled supply chain.

Heading into 2021, the CW/S industry continues to advance with technology being a significant impetus. In fact, it seems that pandemic conditions have been a boon to many CW/S technology solution providers. One news items explores if LinkedIn will go head-to-head with Fiverr and Upwork

Also, as the economic recovery hopefully continues to accelerate, businesses will be figuring out how to manage their total employee and non-employee workforces and the mix of third-party services. And that will impact how technology will be used and what will be required of solution providers.

So let’s see what else was going on this month.

Complex services are complicated — What’s procurement to do? (Part 2) Vendors and first steps

complex services

Part 1 of this two-part Spend Matters PRO series provided a simple definition of complex services: essentially, all of those services procurement categories that are outside of contingent workforce/temp staffing (i.e., those which do not have well-established process and technology models that are basically the same across industries and organizations). Part 1 also discussed potential misconceptions about these services and the potential for sourcing and managing them within a source-to-pay (S2P) framework.

The manifold, varying and time-dependent characteristics (i.e., the "complexity") of services can make the systematic procurement of different services more or less complicated and challenging — but not insusceptible to organization and management. After all, humans routinely master complex challenges (e.g., making heart valve replacements routine, etc.) with analysis, engineering and technology. By extension, the most “complex” services can be managed consistently, even if the underlying basis of systematic management is actually highly complicated.

That said, the sourcing and management of services as a procurement discipline is in its infancy. And so is the technology.

Part 2 will further discuss how organizations could approach procurement of these services realistically, based on the potential benefits of tackling certain services categories with effective processes and technology solutions. Part 2 also will examine the state of complex services technology vendors/solutions at this time.

Note: Spend Matters and SIG have launched a buy-side survey to learn more about how organizations use technology today to source and manage complex services; buy-side practitioners can take the survey here and obtain the study findings when complete.

Complex services are complicated — What’s procurement to do? (Part 1)

Spend on services by US-based organizations is estimated to be over $10 trillion. Contingent workforce (the engagement of temp workers and individual contractors) represents only a small fraction of total services spend. External spend in the other complex services categories (e.g., marketing, facilities management, IT, BPO, etc.) is vast, and it is complicated.

Numerous problems adhere to the (perhaps unrealistic) aspiration to holistically source and manage complex services across an enterprise. But even if that aspiration is set aside, effective sourcing and management of complex services categories remains complicated and challenging, and it can appear daunting to procurement professionals. At the same time, many of these professionals are aware of their organizations’ shortcomings in process and technology and the missed opportunities to achieve savings and other benefits.

But is the road to sourcing and managing complex services just a dead end and not worth traveling?

We don’t think so, if the matter is approached realistically. Rather than embarking on an unplanned trip around the world in an old car, taking some limited well-planned excursions with just the right vehicle may be the way to go.

For this reason, Spend Matters is pursuing research into the opaque world of sourcing and managing complex services with technology (beyond the now highly visible contingent workforce category). Shedding light on how complex services are or can/could be sourced and managed with existing and new technology will be a stepwise process, but the research should help practitioners to achieve greenfield cost savings and performance improvement in various services categories.

As a first major step in this direction, we have launched a buy-side survey of how technology is used to source and manage complex services; buy-side practitioners can take the survey here and obtain survey results down the line.

In this PRO analysis, we look at procurement’s challenge in improving management of complex services at a high level. In Part 1, we provide an overview of complex services categories, what makes them different and what process framework applies. In Part 2, we will review the state of supporting technology solutions and suggest different ways to frame and overcome shortcomings and challenges.

What’s behind the investment in Globality’s services sourcing solution?

Globality provides a procurement technology solution that uses AI to enable organizations to source complex services across multiple categories. At organizations across all industry verticals, services comprise, on average, 50%-60% of external spend. Most of these services categories are not well or comprehensively managed, and purpose-built technology solutions have been scarce.

Globality recently completed a $138 million Series E round from Sienna Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Groupe Bruxelles Lambert, and Softbank Vision Fund, bringing the company’s total funding to $310 million since its inception in 2015. This funding will support the company’s continued growth, including go-to-market and client-facing activities and, of course, product development, including user experience design (UX), industry vertical expansion, spend category additions, internationalization, etc.

To understand what is driving this investment, it is helpful to look back and examine Globality’s development as a business and its strategic momentum over the past 1-2 years. We were able to catch-up with Globality’s Chief Revenue Officer, Keith Hausmann and review what’s been happening at Globality and where it is headed.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insiders’ Hot List: January 2021

Welcome to the January 2021 edition of Spend Matters Insiders’ Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space. For those new to the Hot List, each edition covers the month’s important or interesting CW/S technology and innovation developments.

Our last publication was a Special Edition — Hot List, published at the end of December 2020. It covered developments that occurred in December; it also provided an overview of all Hot List coverage over the course of 2020. The December 2020 developments included PRO Unlimited’s launch of RatePoint; Globality’s new SAP Ariba connector extensions; Turing.com’s $32 million Series B Round; Facebook’s possible entry into the contingent workforce space; the launch of gig worker neobank Unit Financial and its $18.6 million funding round; and more.

Turning to January, welcome to 2021. We’ve started the year in the midst of a surge in Covid-19 infections, the beginning of vaccinations, an attack on the US Capitol and the inauguration of a new US president. With lots of gears changing in the US and across the world, the CW/S space seemed to continue its moderate pace of new developments driven by or related to technology. How the industry will respond to these and new changes over the course of 2021 remains to be seen. So for now, let’s focus on what was happening in the first month of the year.

Contingent Workforce/Services Technology: Considerations for 2021 and Beyond COVID-19 (Part 2)

services technology 2021

In Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO series, we continue our examination of key trends in five main contingent workforce/services technology solution categories for 2021. And we discuss how organizations and executives — shaken awake by months of pandemic pressures and economic disruptions in 2020 — may be taking a fresh look at CW/S technology and recalibrating their perspectives on how it may work for them.

Part 1 of this two-part series covered the first three solution categories, and Part 2 examines categories 4 and 5. It also provides an analyst wrap-up, with views of what may be the most important areas and trends to pay attention to in 2021.

Contingent Workforce/Services Technology: Considerations for 2021 and Beyond COVID-19 (Part 1)

services

We are entering a new year full of uncertainty driven by the coronavirus pandemic. Over the course of 2021, the coronavirus vaccine may gradually lift most COVID-19 restrictions across the economy. But organizations will continue to be redesigning and reconfiguring themselves through and beyond 2021.

With respect to Contingent/Workforce and Services (CW/S) in 2021, major questions loom:

  • What have organizations learned from forced adaptation to COVID-driven uncertainty, disruptions and constraints?
  • What longer-term changes will organizations take forward as they eventually emerge in a post-COVID world?
  • How will this impact their technology decisions and deployments?

To provide some CW/S technology context for decision-makers, this PRO analysis will — using a broad brush — examine trends in five main contingent workforce/services technology solution categories and suggest what to expect in 2021. Additional readings are also suggested for each of the categories.