Author Archives: Spend Matters Analyst Team



LLamasoft and Coupa: Exploring Procurement, Finance and Supply Chain Use Cases for Today and Tomorrow

contract lifecycle management

In our Spend Matters PRO coverage of Coupa’s acquisition of LLamasoft, we have defined and explored the linkages between direct procurement and supply chain functions and provided a functional overview of LLamasoft’s offerings and their connections to procurement.

In this analyst article, we turn our attention to use cases for the solutions today, as well as brainstorm what Coupa might do in the future with LLamasoft’s broader assets.

The benefits from applying LLamasoft (which focuses on supply chain planning, monitoring and analytics, or SCPMA) to procurement and finance/treasury use cases are further magnified when supply chain considerations are evaluated in tandem with other functions. After all, the power of optimization only starts to really come out when you continue to add additional datasets and constraints!

Let’s start with a chart that explores individual (e.g., procurement) and shared (e.g., procurement + finance/treasury) modeling scenarios using such an approach.

And then we’ll dive into how LLamasoft can change the notion of sourcing optimization and risk management (as two separate areas).

Disclosure: Spend Matters’ parent company, Azul Partners, provided due diligence services to Coupa as part of this transaction.

Coupa acquires LLamasoft: Defining and Exploring the Overlap Between Direct Procurement and Supply Chain

To understand the points of intersection between Coupa and LLamasoft, we must first understand the intersection between procurement and supply chain. These two functions are distinct within most companies. Procurement activities are historically centered on managing commodity and category spend, negotiating with suppliers, putting contracts in place, managing onboarding and compliance, and tactical/transactional buying. According to CSCMP, the primary activities of the supply chain function are orchestrating supply and demand both internally and with third-parties (including suppliers, logistics providers and customers).

Conceptually, while supply chain includes procurement as part of an end-to-end process, it is nearly always managed as a distinct function with different workstreams. In practice, while there can still be a significant skill set, talent and even academic (university program) overlap between both groups, both functions operate independently even if there is the partial or full capability of one group to speak the language of the other (depending on company sophistication and industry).

Let’s unpack this a bit to understand where Coupa and LLamasoft conceptually fit together and the challenges they are proposing to tackle.

Disclosure: Spend Matters’ parent company, Azul Partners, provided due diligence services to Coupa as part of this transaction.

Coupa acquisition: A functional overview of LLamasoft’s supply chain design offering and its intersections with procurement solutions

Just what do the functional intersections of direct materials procurement and supply chain solutions look like?

In the case of Coupa and LLamasoft, there are a number of fascinating use cases that can bring procurement and supply chain teams together — and that in fact LLamasoft has been addressing in a more limited fashion independent of Coupa to date.

But to understand precisely where the products from these two sets of companies will dovetail, it is first necessary to dig into precisely what LLamasoft delivers and how customers use its products.

Note: This is not our usual “Spend Matters PRO” multi-part Vendor Analysis of LLamasoft’s product suite (we’ll make that forthcoming, along with coverage of other supply chain providers with capabilities intersecting direct procurement, including Aera and Kinxaxis, which we recently received briefings and demonstrations on).

Rather, this PRO breaking news coverage is meant as a CliffsNotes-type introduction to specifically what types of capabilities LLamasoft offers and where they fit in the enterprise portfolio of broader supply chain management solutions.

This PRO series, part of our continuing coverage of Coupa’s acquisition of LLamasoft, provides an overview of LLamasoft’s supply chain solution footprint. It begins by defining the specific market in which it competes: supply chain planning, monitoring and analytics.

Disclosure: Spend Matters’ parent company, Azul Partners, provided due diligence services to Coupa as part of this transaction.

Release note, SolutionMap Fall 2020: Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management and Strategic Procurement Technology (SPT) Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the SolutionMap Fall 2020 release for the following five categories: Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, and Strategic Procurement Technologies Suite. The note reviews the process we follow and highlights what has changed since the last release.

This is the first Fall release since the start of semiannual SolutionMap cycles. Going forward, there will be two releases per year, Spring and Fall.

 What’s new in the Fall 2020 Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management and SPT Suites?

Spend Matters updated the bubble size methodology of the SolutionMap rankings. The bubble size previously represented the number of customers served by a vendor. This method did not adequately convey a vendor's experience and resources to handle complex global deployments. As such, the new bubble size considers:

  • market scale based on the number of customers across the globe
  • number of full-time employees focused on the relevant solution(s)
  • revenue per customer in the relevant solution(s)

These factors were determined by the analyst team, and vendors were given the opportunity to validate the inputs.

For this Fall 2020 release, six vendors are new to a category within the SPT Suites and one existing SolutionMap participant expanded into an additional category.

The following new providers have been added for this release:

  • GraphiteConnect by Graphite Systems is a new participant in the Supplier Relationship Management & Risk SolutionMap category.
  • Ignite Procurement is a new participant in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.
  • Kodiak Rating is a new participant in the Supplier Relationship Management & Risk SolutionMap category.
  • ProcurePort is a new participant in the Sourcing SolutionMap category.
  • Symfact is a new participant in the Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap category.
  • VORTAL is a new participant in the Sourcing, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap categories.

Promena is now participating in the Supplier Relationship Management & Risk SolutionMap category as well as in Sourcing.

Now merged, Wax Digital / Medius is named Medius (Wax Digital) in the Sourcing, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk and Contract Lifecycle Management SolutionMap categories. Rosslyn Analytics is now shown as Rosslyn Data Technologies in the Spend & Procurement Analytics SolutionMap category.

Customer references now have a lifespan of two-and-a-half years. Some 138 new or refreshed customer references (and 60 individual map references) were added in the Strategic Procurement Technology areas.

Get a first look at the Fall 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

(SolutionMap Insider members: Access the latest Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Release note, SolutionMap Fall 2020: E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the SolutionMap Fall 2020 release for three categories: E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P). The note reviews the process that we follow and highlights what has changed since the last SolutionMap release.

This is the first Fall release since the start of semiannual SolutionMap cycles. Going forward, there will be two releases per year, Spring and Fall.

What’s new in the Fall 2020 E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap? 

Spend Matters updated the bubble size methodology of the SolutionMap rankings. The bubble size previously represented the number of customers served by a vendor. This method did not adequately convey a vendor's experience and resources to handle complex global deployments. As such, the new bubble size considers:

  • market scale based on the number of customers across the globe
  • number of full-time employees focused on the relevant solution(s)
  • revenue per customer in the relevant solution(s)

These factors were determined by the analyst team, and vendors were given the opportunity to validate the inputs.

Five new providers joined SolutionMap. AvidXchange, Corcentric Payables Automation (COR360) and Infor are now participating in the Invoice-to-Pay category. Uppler and VORTAL are now participating in the E-Procurement category.

Now merged, Medius (Wax Digital) includes E-Procurement, I2P and P2P.

Customer references now have a lifespan of two-and-a-half years.The E-Procurement, I2P and P2P customer reference set added 105 new individual customer references in Fall 2020.

Get a first look at the Fall 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

SolutionMap Insider members: Access the Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.

Release note, SolutionMap Fall 2020: Accounts Payable (AP) Automation

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the SolutionMap Fall 2020 release for the AP Automation category. The note reviews the process that we follow and highlights what has changed since the last SolutionMap release.

This is the first Fall release since the start of semiannual SolutionMap cycles. Going forward, there will be two releases per year, Spring and Fall.

AP automation is a major portion of the Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) technology market and will be harmonized with our broader I2P SolutionMap category in the future. For now, it will be considered a standalone map.

What’s new in the Fall 2020 Accounts Payable (AP) AutomationSolutionMap?

Spend Matters updated the bubble size methodology of the SolutionMap rankings. The bubble size previously represented the number of customers served by a vendor. This method did not adequately convey a vendor's experience and resources to handle complex global deployments. As such, the new bubble size considers:

  • global market scale based on the number of customers across the globe
  • number of full-time employees focused on the relevant solution(s)
  • revenue per customer in the relevant solution(s)

These factors were determined by the analyst team, and vendors were given the opportunity to validate the inputs.

Fourteen vendors are ranked in the category for this release, an increase of 8 vendors since this category’s debut last SolutionMap cycle.

For the Fall 2020 release, five vendors are new to AP Automation SolutionMap and three existing SolutionMap participants expanded their categories to include AP Automation.

The new providers are:

  • AvidXchange
  • Corcentric Payables Automation (COR360)
  • Infor
  • Medius (Wax Digital) — now merged has newly entered AP. It also is newly participating in Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), plus it’s continuing Wax’s participation in E-Procurement, CLM, Sourcing and Supplier Management.
  • SourceDay

The providers expanding into AP Automation are:

  • Determine (Corcentric) — also participating in Source-to-Pay (S2P)
  • GEP — also participating in S2P
  • Opus Capita — also participating in I2P, E-Procurement and P2P

Customer references now have a lifespan of two-and-a-half years before they need to be updated. The set of AP Automation customer references had 66 new individual customer references for this release.

All readers can get a first look at the free Fall 2020 SolutionMap rankings here.

SolutionMap Insider members can learn more about each vendor in the Fall 2020 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.

Release note, SolutionMap Fall 2020: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services

The SolutionMap Fall 2020 release marks the seventh research cycle for Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, the sourcing and management of three underlying spend categories: Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (formerly Independent Contract Workers, or ICW).

This release note is part of our SolutionMap Insider subscription content. This latest SolutionMap update is the first Fall release since the start of semiannual SolutionMap cycles. Going forward, there will be two releases per year, Spring and Fall.

What’s new in the Fall 2020 Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) SolutionMap?

Spend Matters updated the bubble size methodology of the SolutionMap rankings. The bubble size previously represented the number of customers served by a vendor. This method did not adequately convey a vendor's experience and resources to handle complex global deployments. As such, the new bubble size considers:

  • global market scale based on the number of customers around the world
  • number of full-time employees focused on the relevant solution(s)
  • revenue per customer in the relevant solution(s)

These factors were determined by the analyst team, and vendors were given the opportunity to validate the inputs.

VectorVMS is now participating in the Contract Services/Statement of Work category in addition to Temp Staffing. TalonFMS is now shown as Talon in the Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services category.

Customer references now have a lifespan of two-and-a-half years. The Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) SolutionMap categories have 112 active customer survey references.

Full List of Providers in Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S)

The full list of providers includes:

  • Beeline
  • Coupa
  • Elevated Resources
  • Field Nation
  • Shiftgig
  • Shortlist
  • SirionLabs
  • TalentNet
  • Talmix
  • Talon
  • Upwork Enterprise
  • VectorVMS
  • VNDLY
  • Workforce Logiq
  • WorkMarket (ADP)

Get a first look at the Fall 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

(SolutionMap Insider members: Access the latest Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Release note, SolutionMap Fall 2020: Source-to-Pay

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the SolutionMap Fall 2020 release for the Source-to-Pay suite category, reviewing the process that we followed for this update.

This is the first Fall release since the start of the semiannual SolutionMap cycles. Going forward, there will be two releases per year, Spring and Fall.

What’s new in the Fall 2020 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap?

Spend Matters updated the bubble size methodology of the SolutionMap rankings. The bubble size previously represented the number of customers served by a vendor. This method did not adequately convey a vendor's experience and resources to handle complex global deployments. As such, the new bubble size considers:

  • market scale based on the number of customers across the globe
  • number of full-time employees focused on the relevant solution(s)
  • revenue per customer in the relevant solution(s)

These factors were determined by the analyst team, and vendors were given the opportunity to validate the inputs.

The providers in the Fall 2020 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Jaggaer ONE (Direct and Standard), SAP Ariba, Synertrade and Zycus. All of these providers were required to participate in SolutionMap for each underlying module, as well. These individual areas include Sourcing, Spend and Procurement Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management & Risk, Contract Lifecycle Management, E-Procurement and Invoice-to-Pay. All of these providers are also included in the individual Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) suite views.

 Customer references now have a lifespan of two-and-a-half years. The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 922 individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Fall 2020*.

*Customers using more than one module that a vendor provides can opt to fill out a single survey (e.g., a customer using two modules for P2P and four modules for SPT would need to fill out only one survey).

Get a first look at the Fall 2020 SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphics here.

(SolutionMap Insider members: Access the latest Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

Coupa, BELLIN and Treasury Management Systems: What CPOs and CFOs need to know about TMS and links to procurement technology (S2P, P2P, AP)

market intelligence

Earlier today, Coupa announced its acquisition of BELLIN, a treasury management system (TMS) provider. We covered the announcement on Spend Matters.

And on Spend Matters Nexus, a subscription service that focuses on sector M&A, we provided background insight into BELLIN, treasury (as a function) and the value proposition for procurement and AP in bringing procurement and treasury systems closer together from a systems perspective.

In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we provide an introduction to treasury management system (TMS) components, describe the rationale for a TMS (over manual or kludged processes) and describe their touch points (foundational and advanced) with procurement technology systems / process architectures — including source-to-pay, procure-to-pay and accounts payable systems.

This research brief is aimed specifically at CPOs and CFOs, as well as source-to-pay process leads/owners and treasurers.*

But before we begin, let us tease out why this move should be perceived as exciting by CFOs. To bastardize one of the most famous statements of all time, this is a small step for Coupa, and a GIANT leap for procurement technology. Think about what “business spend management” is for a minute.

What is “spend”? It's cash flowing out the door.

So in practice, business spend management in Coupa jargon is essentially supplier cash disbursements management — ideally impacting cash before disbursement! But treasury is cash with a big C and therefore it’s spend with a capital "S." In practice, this is Coupa's first real foray — any vendor’s, for that matter — into broadening into "big spend management,” something we wrote about 5 years ago in fact!

Prior to making this more concrete in terms of what comprises a treasury management solution and its touchpoints with a source-to-pay (or procure-to-pay) procurement architecture, let us also keep our eyes on the prize by broadening the focus of business spend management.

If the business itself (i.e., CFO/CEO/board) is focused on return on invested capital (ROIC) and C as a proxy for cash (although in practice it’s always harder to liberate it than it is in theory), then procurement can transcend its role of just improving "R" through “spend”/savings, and take a more strategic role in bringing procurement and treasury together:

  • Freeing up cash through working capital improvement programs
  • Variabilizing costs to reduce invested capital and asset footprints
  • Reducing costs of capital and improving earnings (e.g., rebates) via innovative trade financing programs
  • Aligning spend planning and cash planning to sync up procurement and treasury with each other and the business during the FP&A process
  • Investing cash into innovative suppliers (e.g., digitally disruptive ones) rather than T-bills

OK, enough (attempting) to wax eloquent on the future of finance and procurement for now.

Let’s get down to what we’re here to introduce today: “TMS 101,” BELLIN, Coupa, the enterprise opportunity, and impact on the market.

* For vendor analysis, market and M&A-centric analysis, see our Spend Matters Nexus coverage of the deal.

Workforce Logiq: What Makes It Great (Temp Staffing SolutionMap Analysis)

Workforce Logiq is a global industry leader, offering a range of contingent workforce/service solutions — like MSP, direct sourcing that the company calls “self-sourcing,” classification compliance, payrolling and analytics from the recently acquired ENGAGE Talent. The Workforce Logiq technology platform was significantly upgraded/modernized over the past two years, bringing it up to technological parity, at the very least, with competitors. Currently, the company’s VMS capabilities are available only as a part of an overall managed services agreement.

The company manages over $3 billion in spend across 50 countries with about 50,000 active buy-side users. Today — demonstrating its wide applicability — Workforce Logiq serves large and midsize enterprise clients across many industries, with over 75% of clients in IT Services, Technology, Telecommunications, Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Energy, Retail and Media.

Workforce Logiq leverages a range of proprietary technology solutions (e.g., VMS, self-sourcing/talent pool management, data management and AI-driven predictive analytics, etc.) to deliver its service solutions to clients. CEO Jim Burke has shared his view of the company as “a technology-enabled services business” that combines “technology, data and a global team of industry expert advisers.”

Over the past two years, the company has invested heavily in its technology. That includes significantly upgrading its VMS technology solution as well as acquiring ENGAGE Talent, a data management and AI-driven analytics platform. The modernized VMS and cross-over to the ENGAGE Talent platform has resulted in Workforce Logiq significantly stepping up its technology game relative to many of its competitors.

Workforce Logiq’s VMS capabilities include those for the sourcing and management of temporary staffing and SOW-based services. However, in our Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap ranking of technology vendors, the VMS was scored only in the Temp Staffing category. In that SolutionMap category, the scoring also accounts for the availability and on-going integration of ENGAGE Talent analytics capabilities.

The Spend Matters SolutionMap’s Spring/Q1 2020 release contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on 69 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does Workforce Logiq stand out most and help “set the bar” in solutions for the sourcing and management of temporary staffing, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations?

Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Workforce Logiq is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. The columns share insights from each SolutionMap update, which are now released in the spring and fall. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, these columns offer quick facts on the vendor, describe where it excels, provide hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and conclude with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Analysis of Apttus-Conga deal — Background, transaction analysis and a bit of armchair speculation

Mergers and Acquisition News in procurement industry

Apttus made waves in the CLM market this week with an announcement of its intent to acquire Conga, merging the two firms under the Conga brand to create a hefty player for “configure, price, quote” (CPQ) software, CLM and document management with roughly $400 million in revenue. The deal is perhaps not the transaction one would expect of either player. Both vendors have considerable product overlap, bringing together a set of sell-side CLM capabilities and deep historical hooks into the Salesforce ecosystem.

Still, there is some rationale for the deal. As you peel the onion on customers, the CLM market and where future deals could arise, you can see the potential logic behind Apttus owner Thoma Bravo’s move. At its core, the deal is about quickly producing scale, as the combined firm counts well north of 11,000 customers. It also brings a significant toolbox of CLM adjacent tools (e.g., CPQ, BPM/workflow management) into one ecosystem, which in turn creates a competitive alternative to the other elephant in the CLM room (especially from a customer count standpoint), DocuSign, which with its acquisitions of SpringCM and Seal Software has built its own contract management ecosystem enabled by its ubiquitous e-signature product.

So just what exactly do Apttus and Conga offer customers today, and what are the key takeaways for the CLM market? Spend Matters has not yet been briefed on the “new Conga” product merger plans and firm strategy, but we do have deep background into Conga, given its recent participation in the Spring/Q1 2020 CLM SolutionMap, and a few ideas about how the transaction could play out for another strategic buyer down the road.

Let’s explore these now ...

Release note: Accounts Payable (AP) Automation is new for the Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap

Spend Matters is pleased to announce the debut of a new SolutionMap category — AP Automation — for today’s Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap release. AP Automation has been released in addition to the Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap ranking and 11 other technology categories. This release note provides SolutionMap Insider subscription members with details about the evaluation process.

Six vendors are ranked in the category for this release, when SolutionMap is shifting from quarterly updates to spring and fall updates. This is the last quarterly release and the first spring release, so you’ll see it labeled “Spring/Q1.”

This category undergoes the same rigorous two-part process where Spend Matters’ analysts compare vendors by examining hundreds of solution capabilities and ranking vendors according to feedback from the providers' own customers.

AP Automation includes solutions and services that support the processing and payment of invoices. These solutions include e-invoicing capabilities such as invoice capture and digitization, invoice validation, invoice matching, GL coding and approvals. They also support payment-related functionality for payment file creation, mass payments (p-card, check, ACH, FX), one-time payments (v-cards, PayPal), payment reconciliations, credit memo management, trade financing (early payment and dynamic discounting) and payment transmission (including cross-border). Solution vendors may also provide some level of supplier management and supplier collaboration via supplier networks and/or portals.

AP automation is a major portion of the Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) technology market and will be harmonized with the broader I2P SolutionMap category in the future. For now, it will be considered a standalone map.

For this Spring/Q1 2020 release, three existing SolutionMap participants expanded their categories to include AP Automation, and three vendors in the AP Automation category are new to SolutionMap. If an existing provider expanding into AP Automation had previously received Invoice-to-Pay customer references, they were applied to the AP Automation category. The set of AP Automation customer references had 15 new individual customer references for this release.

The new providers are:

* SoftCo
* Tipalti
* Yooz (participated in I2P in past SolutionMap cycles)

Those providers expanding into AP Automation are:

* Basware (also participating in P2P)
* Tradeshift (also participating in P2P)
* Coupa (also participating in S2P and CW/S)

All readers can get a first look at the free Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap rankings here.

SolutionMap Insider members can learn more about each vendor in the Spring/Q1 2020 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.

Read the full release note for more details on the evaluation process.