Author Archives: Andrew Karpie



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

Welcome to the May 2021 edition of the 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.

I wrote the first Hot List in February 2018 and have done one every month since that time. It has always been interesting and enjoyable to share my monthly discoveries with readers. But because I am departing from Spend Matters to pursue other types of roles in the human capital/contingent workforce space, this is my last Hot List. But now and then, you may see other posts by me on the Spend Matters website as we part industry colleagues and good friends.

Our Hot List for April 2021 covered a range of developments, including the sale of iWorkGlobal and the acquisition of Business Talent Group by Heidrick & Struggles; the persistent growth of alternative legal service providers; and the continued development and funding of online platforms, block chain and neobanks.

In May, new events and developments (and investments!) in the CW/S space have continued at a steady pace, demonstrating a dynamic and innovative industry ecosystem. And remember, it is important to look at both the forest and trees to get the full picture.

Let’s see what was going on in May 2021.

SimplifyVMS: Vendor Analysis — Contingent workforce solution overview, competitors list/market analysis, tech selection tips, analyst summary

VMS

This one-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis of SimplifyVMS will provide a company background, a detailed solution overview, a market/competitor analysis, tech selection tips and an analyst summary with a strength/weakness section.

As the use of contingent workforce continues to expand and evolve among buying organizations, new ways of sourcing and engaging different kinds of contingent workers are becoming a focus of both established VMS providers as well as new technology solution providers. While staff augmentation/temp staffing remains the major core of contingent workforce management programs, new sourcing and engagement options are being developed. 

At this time, most VMS solutions are aiming to enable a multi-channel sourcing approach (that includes SOW and independent worker engagements). They are also looking to enable a more agile contingent workforce management solution for their customers, based significantly on modern technologies and architectures that afford greater flexibility to change and innovate.

It is here that the newer entrants to the VMS solution market, like SimplifyVMS, can have an advantage over their more established competitors that may have the same aims for their customers but must clear “technology debt” to get to the same place. 

Started in 2016, SimplifyVMS launched its early “simplified” VMS solution in 2017 focused on the market for small to midsize businesses, with the intent to not just repave the cow path but to build a flexible contingent workforce platform based on an open, unified, scalable architecture. Today, SimplifyVMS serves over 70 SMB and large customers with workers in 80 countries. It provides a robust solution that addresses the requirements for sourcing and managing temp workers sourced through staffing suppliers, workers of third-party contract services providers and directly sourced independent contract workers. 

Beeline acquires UK-based JoinedUp to go after the global market for a shift-based contingent workforce solution

Beeline, a leading technology solution provider in the vendor management systems (VMS)/extended workforce solution space, announced the acquisition of UK-based JoinedUp, described as “a high-volume workforce solution catering to the challenges and complexities experienced in the field with shift-based temporary labor.” JoinedUp will operate as a Beeline operating unit with its own brand, and JoinedUp’s full team has been retained. Other terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Utmost raises $21 million to expand its Workday-centric extended workforce system/VMS

Utmost, an extended workforce system and VMS provider with native integration to Workday, announced a $21 million Series B round of funding. The round was led by Mosaic Ventures with participation by existing investors, Greylock Partners and Workday Ventures, and by new investors, Acadian Ventures and Alumni Ventures Group. The new funds “will accelerate product innovation and expand Utmost’s presence across North America and Europe,” the announcement said.

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

Welcome to the April 2021 edition of Spend Matters Insiders’ Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space.

As the battle against COVID-19 across the world continues, labor markets have been recovering and the CW/S intermediation industry has continued to evolve steadily as well.

Let’s look at what was going on in April 2021.

How are jobs shifting in Covid era? Brightfield releases Q1 2021 Extended Workforce Intelligence report

Brightfield, the contingent workforce analytics provider, has released a second Extended Workforce Intelligence Report. The first report was issued in December 2020. These reports have been able to track and provide insights into the demand for contingent workers and the levels of contingent workers on active assignments over the course of the Covid pandemic to date.

Read some insights from the report.

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.