Author Archives: Jason Busch



About Jason Busch

Jason is the founder of Azul Partners and co-founder of Spend Matters. He spends most of his time contributing to building Spend Matters SolutionMap. But he divides the rest of his waking hours between research, writing, due diligence analysis, corporate finance advisory and mentoring dozens of firms and procurement organizations in the industry. Prior to Azul Partners, Jason got his on-the-job education in procurement technology working at FreeMarkets for five years in a variety of roles. Before that, he started his career in consulting and merchant banking. Jason holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. Current investment disclosures: Azul Partners, Inc., Koble, Inc., Public Spend Forum, LLC, RJSL Group LLC, Sigaria Ltd., Spendata LLC, and Spend Matters Europe Ltd.


A Potential Basware Takeover: Speculation Abounds

Earlier today, Basware, a Europe-based procure-to-pay provider that, through integrated partner capabilities, also offers broader source-to-pay solutions, responded to “media speculation” that it had received a takeover offer, resulting in a material run up in its share price. In a press announcement published Friday, Nov. 16, the vendor said it had been "approached with a non-binding and highly conditional indicative proposal for a possible tender offer for the entire share capital of Basware." The wording of the full release may provide some hints as to what kind of firm is considering an offer. But who the potential acquirer is perhaps matters less than what a Basware takeover could mean more broadly for the procurement technology market, in which Basware has made considerable gains within recent years.

So You Want to Build a B2B Marketplace: 8 Business Scenarios & Case Examples (Part 1)

global trade

Just what is a B2B marketplace?

Ask someone like the “gray hairs” on the Spend Matters team who were advisers to first generation industry-based exchanges during the .com era (1999-2001) and they’d likely tell you it was a great theoretical concept to bring buyers and suppliers together in support of procurement and supply chain processes and/or transactional document exchange — albeit one that failed in execution just about every time. But ask someone who is younger and they might point to Amazon Business as an archetype of a B2B marketplace model today. Both would be right, of course.

But what is important for our purposes is that B2B marketplaces are back.

At its fall 2018 analyst day, the technology provider Tradeshift noted that 30% of its 2018 (revenue) bookings have come from “private marketplace” deals (i.e., not selling applications such as invoice-to-pay or e-procurement alone but buy-side and sell-side marketplace enablement).

But just what is a marketplace today — beyond pointing to Amazon Business as one example — and why do they matter? And most important, why would you, as a procurement organization or distribution/business intermediary, want to build one?

This Spend Matters PRO series provides insight into these and other questions. Part 1 of this series begins by segmenting the market into (and defining) eight business scenarios that the groups can enable to go beyond standard procure-to-pay or storefront/e-commerce enablement, which include both “private” and “public” marketplace models. These include Digital Trading Company (“buy/sell” models), Extended Bill of Material Orchestration, Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) and Distributor “Value Add.”

For each of the eight areas, we provide a summary description of the marketplace concept, technologies (off-the-shelf) that can enable it, selected vendor shortlists, best-fit industries that it can support and best-fit spend categories (if applicable).

Later installments in the series will provider deeper insight into the following issues: what you’ll need to build one, technology vendors to consider capable of providing marketplace technology/infrastructure (based on Spend Matters’ SolutionMap benchmark data), and whether a marketplace, for procurement organizations, is a substitute for traditional cloud-based source-to-pay applications.

Spend Matters is involved in technology strategy and RFI projects for organizations building — or evaluating building — marketplaces using “off-the-shelf” technologies. Contact us to learn more.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Ivalua (Part 4) 

marketing

For those people who are not in the weeds of B2B catalog management and search but know enough to have an opinion, it might seem that Ivalua would have some cards stacked against it on a comparative basis. Consider on the one hand that Ivalua is better known as a source-to-pay suite provider than an e-procurement specialist (although in Spend Matters’ Q3 E-Procurement SolutionMap Insider report, Ivalua is a top performer, tying with three other providers for second place overall in analyst/functional scoring). And on the other hand, Ivalua is very much a workflow, business process and industry specialist vs. a provider paying particular attention to all of the nuances of B2B search and catalog management as a core differentiator.

But is such a hypothesis accurate?

As with everything Ivalua, you must peel the product and platform onion to understand the depths of what it is capable of (and no, Ivalua does not toot its own horn enough here, as it should, given how strong it is overall). But before exploring Ivalua’s catalog management and search/requisitioning capabilities in detail and helping our readers to answer this question, it is essential to develop a foundational understanding of the topics at hand. We recommend starting here:



The first three briefs in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Procurement Cloud Analysis (Part 2) and E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Jaggaer Indirect Analysis (Part 3) provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. It also provided an analysis of Tradeshift’s, Oracle’s and Jaggaer’s catalog management capabilities. Today, we turn our attention to another top-performing (based on Q3 SolutionMap analyst scoring) e-procurement provider: Ivalua.

Lost Sourcing Savings: Survey Data Suggest a Crisis (Part 3)

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on sourcing strategies, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. Check out Part 1  and Part of this series first. 

If we were to point fingers at where technology can help companies drive implemented savings, five areas would rise to the top: demand aggregation, collaboration (internal and supplier), strategic sourcing (with an emphasis beyond driving to negotiated outcomes alone), analytics and architecture/information management. We won’t investigate the latter topic in this series because of the detailed analysis that our analyst team has already conducted. Yet in the other areas discussed, it’s worth exploring the different technology options, beginning with tools that support demand aggregation strategies.

Tradeshift Analyst Day: Roy Is Back

Am I the only one who missed seeing Roy Anderson on stage in the last few years? Roy is an illustrious (and animated) CPO — and he's back in the game in a dual role as Tradeshift’s internal CPO and as its digital transformation officer. He’s also externally facing with Tradeshift customers and partners. Today in New York, Roy took the stage at Tradeshift’s analyst event, combining his mix of standup (think "Car Talk" meets procurement) and storytelling.

Tradeshift Analyst Day: The Marketplace Strikes Back

I touched down in New York City today for a quick stop at Tradeshift’s fall 2018 analyst day. The theme of the event is marketplaces, a topic that brings me back nearly 20 years to the heyday of the B2B marketplace era. But now — unlike when Commerce One, Tradex (which Ariba purchased), Metiom, i2 TradeMatrix and all the industry-based “exchanges” looked much better in PowerPoint than they performed in theory —  the technology to support them is real.

AdaptOne: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis

supplier management

The supplier management technology market is among the most fragmented of those in the procurement technology landscape.

It comprises multiple segments (and sub-segments), and Spend Matters now tracks approximately 50 providers that compete within niche segments of it. One of these providers is AdaptOne, a vendor specializing in supplier information management that perfectly matches Spend Matters’ SolutionMap “Turnkey” persona for supplier management. This Spend Matters PRO report provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about AdaptOne’s solution — and whether its “turnkey” services-driven approach is right for them.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider AdaptOne in the procurement, supply chain and finance technology areas. Part 2 covered product strengths and weaknesses. This final installment offers SWOT analysis, explores competitive alternatives to AdaptOne and provides insight into evaluation and selection considerations, including a prioritization/fit checklist.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search (Part 3): Jaggaer Indirect Analysis

procurement software

Since its early days, Jaggaer has quietly been one of the true leaders in search and catalog management as a component of e-procurement. While Jaggaer has several product lines, its Indirect solution (formerly SciQuest) continues to excel at e-procurement. Its search and catalog management also remain areas where it continues to deliver on the innovative capabilities that originally differentiated its solution in the higher education/laboratory and life sciences area, today applied more broadly to the additional vertical sectors Jaggaer is targeting.

This Spend Matters PRO series examines the catalog management capabilities of some of the top vendors within e-procurement. Most of the leading solution providers featured in the E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps can handle the nuances required of search and catalog management.

The first two briefs in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis and E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Analysis, provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. Today, we turn our attention to another top performing e-procurement provider: Jaggaer Indirect.

Lost Sourcing Savings: Survey Data Suggest a Crisis (Part 2)

consultant

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on sourcing strategies, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. Check out Part 1 of this series here

As much we like to jump to some “geek” answer to solve savings and supplier implementation challenges, hopefully you have realized by now that the right technologies alone will not get a procurement organization very far in overcoming the savings implementation hurdles. Indeed, the diversity of challenges surrounding implementing sourcing savings in both manufacturing and non-manufacturing environments run deep across functional and organizational DNA and capabilities. Tackling these first will enable procurement organizations to use the right set of technologies as a glue that binds all of the jigsaw pieces of the rest of the savings implementation equation permanently.

Zycus Horizon Dispatch: Product Strategy Emphasizes 3 Key Areas

As the second day of Zycus’ Horizon customer event kicks off in Virginia (see day one coverage: Facts/Investment/New AI Direction and Building the Partner Ecosystem) we thought it would be useful to distill what we’ve learned so far as the global provider (now with about 1,000 employees) continues to build out its procurement technology suite. From the various main stage sessions and conversations we had with key Zycus personnel, we can segment Zycus’ product/solution strategy into three areas.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Procurement Cloud Analysis (Part 2)

tech

This Spend Matters PRO series examines the catalog management capabilities (within e-procurement) of some of the top vendors. Most of the leading solution providers featured in the E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps areas can handle many of the nuances required of search and catalog management. For all the gory detail of what comprises catalog management and why it matters as part of an e-procurement system, we encourage PRO subscribers to start here:

The first research brief in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis, provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. It also provides an analysis of Tradeshift’s catalog management capabilities — and how it stands out in the area through its many-to-many approach.

Today, we turn our attention to another top-performing (based on Q3 SolutionMap analyst scoring) e-procurement provider: Oracle (specifically its Procurement Cloud/Fusion product line) and explore its catalog management and search capabilities.

Zycus Horizon Dispatch: Building the Partner Ecosystem

Earlier Monday at Zycus’ Horizon annual customer event in Virginia, CEO and founder Aatish Dedhia provided significant evidence that his source-to-pay firm has responded to the need to build out a global partner ecosystem, especially one centered on local customer implementation and enablement. Zycus global implementation/enablement partners now include over 35 organizations.