Author Archives: Magnus Bergfors



About Magnus Bergfors

Magnus has been a procurement professional throughout his career with deep expertise in strategic sourcing and SRM. Before joining Spend Matters, he worked at Gartner as lead analyst and agenda manager on procurement and strategic sourcing applications. He started out in the early 2000s as direct materials procurement at AstraZeneca and worked in various procurement and strategic sourcing roles at Scandinavian Airlines, IBX, Atlas Copco Tools, Effective Sourcing AB and SAAB. He brings a Europe-centric eye to procurement technology analysis and the challenges affecting the CPO community.


Graphite Systems: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — Detailed Overview of the graphiteConnect Solution

Part 3 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis focuses on Graphite Systems’ offering and gives a detailed overview of the graphiteConnect solution.

The focus of its solution, graphiteConnect, has mainly been on SIM, but it has also expanded into SRM and supplier risk management.

In Part 1, we discussed the company background and graphiteConnect’s strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we provided a company SWOT analysis and looked at the graphiteConnect competitors.

Now, let’s dive into a detailed overview of the graphiteConnect solution.

Graphite Systems: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — SWOT and Competitors for its graphiteConnect solution

tech

For Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis series, we will look at graphiteConnect's competitors in the supplier management solution market and we'll offer a SWOT analysis on the vendor, Graphite Systems.

The supplier management solution market is red hot, and there are new solutions popping up left, right and center. However, the market is fragmented, and most vendors have their unique take on what supplier management means.

Spend Matters has defined five core building blocks of supplier management — Supplier Information Management (SIM), Supplier Performance Management (SPM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Supplier Risk Management, and Supplier Quality Management (SQM) — to give a framework on how to classify and compare vendors in this space.

Graphite Systems is a new vendor in this space that we introduced in Part 1. The focus of its solution, graphiteConnect, has mainly been on SIM, but it has also expanded into SRM and supplier risk management.

Let's take a look at graphiteConnect's competitors and the company's SWOT.

Graphite Systems: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Background of Company & graphiteConnect Solution, Strengths/Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips 

The first part of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis looks at Graphite Systems’ background, offers an overview of its graphiteConnect solution and details graphiteConnect’s strengths and weaknesses. But Graphite Systems is part of a larger story.

Networks are nothing new in the procurement technology space. But the focus of most networks has so far been primarily on transactions — connecting trading partners in a many-to-many network to facilitate exchange of purchase orders and invoices. Now, most of these networks have expanded some, and many also include some supplier information, but that has typically been limited to the most basic information needed to support the transaction.

This is now changing with Graphite System’s entrance into the marketplace.

It is arguably the first supplier management vendor that is building its solution, graphiteConnect, on a network model where suppliers enter and maintain their information once and can share it with any and all buyers in the network.

Part 2 of this series will offer a company SWOT analysis and a look at Graphite System’s competitors. In Part 3, we will provide a detailed solution overview.

Scanmarket: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 3) — Competitors and Market Overview, Analyst Summary

The third and final installment of this updated Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis covering Scanmarket provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and looks at Scanmarket’s competitors in a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison.

The landscape for e-sourcing (RFX, auction, category management, sourcing optimization, etc.) is still highly fragmented. There is not a single market-share leader or “dual” leadership in this sector (as is the case with Coupa and SAP Ariba for the procure-to-pay category).

However, one trend in consolidation stands out: Providers focused on the “upstream” areas like sourcing but also supplier management, contract management and analytics have a strategy of either building or buying their way into the procure-to-pay sector — or merging their capabilities with other solution providers in this market.

Yet one nearly full upstream provider focused on this market remains independent: Scanmarket.

(We say “nearly full” because it remains dependent on a partner for spend classification, and it has some functional gaps in the supplier management and contract management areas.)

Of course Scanmarket faces competitors from different segments of providers with either more targeted or overlapping functional footprints. And a number of newer generation e-sourcing providers have set a course to build out their suites to more directly compete with Scanmarket, even if this is more on a regional basis currently.

This Part 3 installment also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Scanmarket and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides a summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor.

Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Scanmarket as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of the solution’s strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s take a look at Scanmarket’s opportunities and threats as well as Scanmarket’s competitors in e-sourcing.

Scanmarket: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips

This updated Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis explores Scanmarket’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether Scanmarket’s solution fits their needs and whether they should shortlist the vendor.

Scanmarket is one of the last remaining independent “upstream” procurement technology suite providers. While it brings particular capability and expertise in running both simple and complex RFX and auction processes (and formats), it also offers a range of adjacent capabilities in project management, supplier management and contract management.

On many levels, Scanmarket is one of the heirs to the specialized e-sourcing capability pioneered by firms like FreeMarkets and Procuri. And it also represents a targeted and cost-effective alternative to full-suite providers. In addition, Scanmarket offers deeper sourcing capability than procure-to-pay specialists in the market today.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Scanmarket in the procurement technology area.

The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, a look at Scanmarket’s competitors, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Let’s examine at Scanmarket’s strengths and weaknesses.

Scanmarket: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

In Spend Matters’ last PRO Vendor Analysis of Scanmarket, we noted that the market for source-to-contract suites (inclusive of spend analytics, e-sourcing, supplier management and contract management) was less crowded than before. Many providers with capabilities focused on this area expanded their product offering to transactional procurement, and the number of targeted suite providers focused solely on the source-to-contract (S2C) market declined.

But over the last three years, the competition here has started to increase again. Many of the new generation of e-sourcing providers have followed in the footsteps of their predecessors and added contract and supplier management capabilities to their offerings. And in some cases, vendors that started out in contract lifecycle management (CLM) or supply base management (SBM) are expanding into e-sourcing as well.

But given the demise of IBM Emptoris and Jaggaer’s acquisition of Bravo Solutions (although it technically added P2P before the acquisition), Scanmarket has emerged as the veteran vendor in the S2C space — and it is probably the vendor with the most traction and the largest customer base. Since our 2017 analysis, Scanmarket has focused primarily on improving its contract authoring and supplier management capabilities. And it is a solution provider that is more than standing its ground in a market where consolidation and the march to hybrid strategic and transactional suites is becoming the vendor norm.

This updated three-part PRO series provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations, suppliers and partners make informed decisions on Scanmarket’s source-to-contract capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Scanmarket in the procurement technology area. The rest of the research series will cover product strengths and weaknesses, a look at competitors, a company SWOT analysis and tech selection tips.

Let's take an updated look at Scanmarket.

Market Dojo: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 3) — Competitors and Analyst Summary

While the procurement technology market has changed in some ways, sourcing suites still compete in a fragmented global marketplace with everyone from large ERPs and full source-to-pay suites to well-funded startups to bootstrapped ventures. They are all competing for a growing pie, consisting of Global 2000 organizations often going to market for a second or third time (or buying an alternative technology), as well as a growing number of middle market organizations adopting and digitizing strategic sourcing processes for the first time.

E-sourcing specialist Market Dojo is one of dozens of providers in this large market.

But when you consider how many of its peers represent pure-play sourcing providers versus broader source-to-pay (S2P) and procure-to-pay (P2P) suites, the market thins considerably — and does so even more if you narrow the list of e-sourcing providers to those with a strong middle-market track record and orientation.

This final installment of our updated multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis series covering Market Dojo offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other vendors that companies may wish to shortlist that compete in the same markets. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations.

Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses, a SWOT analysis and tech selection tips, like a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo.

Now, let’s look at Market Dojo’s competitors.

Market Dojo: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses

Since our 2016 analysis of Market Dojo, the e-sourcing provider has addressed a number of our identified weaknesses and added an entirely new module — Contract Dojo for contract management. Market Dojo also has continued to build on its strengths in its easy-to-use e-sourcing solution.

Founded in 2010, Market Dojo is a viable shortlist candidate in the e-sourcing market and one of the leading vendors centered on capability and delivery/cost models aimed at middle-market procurement organizations. This updated Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis explores Market Dojo’s strengths and weaknesses and offers a SWOT analysis, providing facts and expert insights to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider. Also see other tech selection/shortlist tips.

Part 1 of our analysis provided company background information and a detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended-fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo. The last installment of this three-part series will offer a user selection guide, a look at Market Dojo’s competitors, and more evaluation and selection considerations.

Market Dojo has not only developed an e-sourcing suite but also done so in a bootstrapped manner. Market Dojo has grown from a provider of “pay-per-drink” auction events to a full sourcing suite with RFX, document and template management, supplier information management (SIM), basic contract management, innovation management and category management (analysis and strategy).

Let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Market Dojo’s solution.

Market Dojo: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview

The e-sourcing market is going through a shift. Most of the traditional e-sourcing vendors targeting large enterprises have either built out their offerings to full source-to-pay (S2P) suites or been acquired by P2P vendors that also offer full S2P. But there still are a number of sourcing specialists remaining out there, and more are entering the market often focusing on ease-of-use or trying to use AI as a differentiator. These vendors are typically targeting the mid market or lower enterprise market and often have a more regional presence and focus, typically as a result of more modest resources and funds to spend on sales and marketing.

One of the more established sourcing specialists is UK-based Market Dojo.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis is an update of our 2016 look at Market Dojo, when we concluded that its solution was a shortlist candidate to fill the sourcing needs of middle market procurement organizations that require a simple, but solid, platform to transform their sourcing efforts and bring it into modern times.

Since then, Market Dojo has been busy improving its platform and addressing weaknesses we saw. The focus has been on adding advanced lot capabilities (like allowing more advanced bidding and pricing structures), improving supplier information management (SIM) and adding Contract Dojo, a simple but functional contract repository.

Beyond this, one of the biggest investment areas for Market Dojo has been in what it calls “customer love,” most noticeable in the addition of a customer success team (although it's currently only one person) and strengthening of support capabilities.

In addition to providing RFX, auction, SIM and contract management capability, Market Dojo also offers an innovative category management application that can help an organization analyze its categories, prioritize opportunities and identify the sourcing strategy that is most likely to be effective. This is a unique application that is not even present in the suites of many larger providers, at least not as pre-configured as in Market Dojo’s case.

This three-part Spend Matters PRO series will provide company background, a detailed solution overview and SWOT analysis of Market Dojo, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider the provider. The series also provides insight into detailed product strengths and weaknesses, offers a user selection guide, suggests competitive alternatives, and offers summary evaluation and selection considerations.

Part Analytics: A New Vendor in Direct Materials Analytics

Analytics is hot! According to the 2019 Deloitte Global CPO Survey, analytics is the technology that CPOs believe will have the most impact on their businesses over the next two years. And there is no shortage of vendors wanting their piece of the pie. New analytics vendors are emerging both in the traditional spend analysis space but also in more specialized areas.

One such specialist vendor is Part Analytics.

It focuses on analyzing bills of materials (BOMs) to help identify savings opportunities and drive compliance. The two founders, Jithendra Palasagaram and Jesil Pujara, have more than 25 years of experience in procurement and engineering at organizations such as GE Healthcare and Schneider Electric.

They founded Part Analytics with the intention of digitizing manual Excel-based processes and enabling data-driven analytics of, at least initially, electronics BOMs to help identify savings opportunities and risks. This was partially fueled by their experience of the disconnect between OEMs and EMSs (electronics manufacturing services) where the OEMs often have limited insight into specific component costs that then go into larger assemblies. 

Xeeva: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — In-Depth Solution Overview

PaaS

In this third and final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis of Xeeva, we provide a complete overview of each main module of the Xeeva offering, which covers most areas of an S2P suite. Part 1 of the series focused on solution strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on Xeeva’s competitors and the technology market that they’re in.

Today, we’ll look at Xeeva’s suite, which has four main components: spend analytics, data enrichment, sourcing, and procure-to-pay (P2P). These are powered by the XVA platform and the Xeeva Marketplace.

In this final section of our coverage, we will provide an overview of each of these modules, as well as the supplier information capabilities of the Xeeva Marketplace. Data enrichment is, in practice, an add-on to the analytics offering, so we will cover these together.

Xeeva: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — SWOT, Competitors & Market Overview, Tech Selection Tips

A competitive analysis on Xeeva is difficult because the source-to-pay provider doesn't just compete against the handful of players trying to bring machine learning and AI to the S2P space. It also takes on all of the traditional source-to-pay vendors who offer modern sourcing experiences, especially if they are augmented with market intelligence, best practices, community intelligence or other modern "guided" capabilities that can help a buyer make a better decision. That's basically what buyers are looking for and what AI-enabled or "cognitive" intelligence is supposed to deliver. So this essentially puts Xeeva head-to-head with the majority of the big S2P suite players that all have at least one of these capabilities.

However, we will do our best to analyze Xeeva’s competitors. In Part 2, we also will provide a SWOT assessment and an overview of the competitive landscape in which Xeeva plays.

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we focused on Xeeva’s company details, a brief solution overview, and its solution’s strengths and weaknesses. In our third and final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of Xeeva’s platform capabilities.