Author Archives: Xavier Olivera



Fraxion: Vendor Analysis — Background, Overview of P2P Solution, Strengths/Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis offers a candid take on the spend management provider Fraxion and its capabilities in procure-to-pay (P2P).

The coronavirus crisis has small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) scrambling for digital solutions, so the providers have to step up their game to stay competitive. The solution providers will have to invest in their capabilities and offer a solution that generates the expected value.

This review includes a look at Fraxion’s solution set, a perspective on what is comparatively good and not so good about the solution, and a selection requirements checklist for organizations that might consider Fraxion.

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

In this final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we’ll do an in-depth look of the Infor Nexus solution overview, providing a complete look at its procurement offering for direct spend.

Part 1 of the series focused on Infor Nexus’s solution strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on Infor Nexus competitors and the technology market that they are in.

In this final section, we will look at the Infor Nexus solution, which covers the direct materials procurement process and supply chain collaboration — from orders through shipments, invoice, payments and supply chain financing, backed by its business network where buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers and financial institutions collaborate and exchange documents.

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

e-invoicing

In Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we’ll look at Infor Nexus’s competitors and market landscape, as well as provide a company SWOT assessment.

Infor Nexus’s value proposition is focused on the direct material purchasing space. Infor Nexus procurement’s business model starts from the PO reception (issued by the ERP) and goes up to the payment and financing process, passing through the matching, approvals and fulfillment processes.

In Part 1, we focused on Infor Nexus’ company details, a brief solution overview, and its solution’s strengths and weaknesses. The third and final installment provides a more in-depth overview of Infor Nexus procurement’s platform capabilities.

Infor Nexus: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Company & Solution Overview and Solution Strengths/Weaknesses 

direct materials sourcing

In this three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we are first going to focus on Infor Nexus’s strengths and weaknesses in direct/supply chain procurement.

Infor Nexus also is a supply chain business network where buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers and financial institutions can collaborate and exchange documents to automate its supply chain processes flowing between all stakeholders.

Its solution provides buyers and suppliers a single source for automated order management, collaboration and creation of fulfillment documents (invoice, packing list) with N-way document matching and flexible workflow to streamline the AP process.

Part 1 will have some company details, a brief solution overview, and Infor Nexus’s solution strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we provide a company SWOT assessment and look at Infor Nexus’s competitors as well as the overall market in which Infor Nexus plays. In our third and final installment, we provide a more in-depth overview of Infor Nexus’s platform capabilities.

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

In this third and final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we provide a complete Uppler solution overview, looking at each main module in the Uppler offering.

Part 1 of the series focused on Uppler’s strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on Uppler’s competitors and the e-procurement technology market that they are in.

In this final section of our coverage, we will look at Uppler's solution, which offers a cloud-based software solution to create B2B marketplaces and e-procurement platforms backed by support services for a fast implementation and supplier onboarding. It also supports suppliers with fast enablement so they can quickly start doing business with buyers.

Let’s look at Uppler’s platform features, e-procurement features, and its capabilities for e-payments and services.

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

e-procurement

In Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we'll look at Uppler’s competitors, examine the market in which they compete and provide a company SWOT assessment.

The e-procurement solution market is one of the more crowded, competitive and varied within procurement technology. According to our SolutionMap definition, we can find many Nimble types of solution that are local or regional well positioned such as Uppler. There are also those specialist eProcurement providers which are very deep in functionality , there are those that are part of a P2P or S2P suite or platforms, and also those more oriented to direct purchasing (order management) and those that can deliver private and public marketplaces (generic and industry specific); all of them competing for a very large and also diverse market of businesses and organizations.

In Part 1, we focused on company details, a brief solution overview, and the Uppler solution’s strengths and weaknesses. In our third and final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of Uppler’s platform capabilities.

Let’s now look at Uppler’s competitors — like Coupa, Vroozi and BuyerQuest — and examine more players in the e-procurement market. 

Uppler: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Company Background, Solution Details, Strengths/Weaknesses

In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we will address Uppler’s strengths and weaknesses in its e-procurement solution.

Uppler, founded in 2014, is a software company that offers a cloud-based solution to create B2B marketplaces and e-procurement platforms. Although its headquarters is in New York, its roots are in France, with its parent company UPL France. Although its client base remains small and mostly based in France, Uppler has important clients in industries such as automotive, food and beverage, chemical and insurance.

Part 1 of this three-part series also will have some company details, a brief solution overview and Uppler´s strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we will provide a SWOT assessment and an overview of the competitive landscape in which Uppler plays. In our third and final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of Uppler’s platform capabilities.

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

In this third and final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis of AvidXchange, we provide a detailed solution overview of each main module of the AvidXchange solution.

Part 1 of the series focused on solution strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on AvidXchange competitors and the technology market that they are in.

In this final section of our coverage, we will look at AvidXchange solutions, which has three main components in one SaaS platform: AP automation, payment services and invoice acceleration — backed by a supplier network of 680,000+ mid-market suppliers across the U.S.

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

Competitors

In Part 2 of Spend Matter’s look at AvidXchange, we'll provide a company SWOT assessment and an overview of the AP automation market and AvidXchange’s competitors.

The vendors with AP automation create a varied market. We find specialized AP automation solutions that focus on the SME market as well as invoice-to-pay solutions and supplier networks with AP automation capabilities — like e-invoicing, payment processing and even financing. And the procure-to-pay suite vendors can unify the entire payment process with the purchase.

In the case of AvidXchange, it has a very particular focus on the U.S.-based SME market, which makes it compete in a more direct way with AP specialists with a SME focus. However, we do not leave out the possibility that AvidXchange’s competitors come from I2P vendors, supplier networks and P2P providers because some of these are entering the medium-high market of companies with AP automation capabilities.

In Part 1 of this PRO Vendor Analysis, we focused on AvidXchange’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 AvidXchange’s platform capabilities.

Let’s look at its opportunities and threats, as well as AvidXchange’s competitors.

AvidXchange: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Overview and Solution Strengths/Weaknesses 

In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we will examine AvidXchange’s strengths and weaknesses. The privately held software company automates the accounts payable and payment process. Its market focus targets North America within the middle market businesses in sectors like real estate, homeowners associations, construction, financial services and healthcare.

This series is set up in three parts to help readers doing tech selection or trying to understand competitors in the procurement technology market.

Part 1 will give company details, a brief solution overview, and AvidXchange’s strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we will provide a SWOT assessment and an overview of AvidXchange’s competitors and the market landscape. In the final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of AvidXchange’s platform capabilities.

Let’s take a look at AvidXchange.

Aligning your digital P2P strategy to your ‘post COVID-19’ business environment (Introduction)

Companies’ plans and the markets' demands for procure-to-pay process digitization have accelerated and evolved over the last five years, but that change is nothing compared to the COVID-19 disruption seen in the first half of 2020.

The coronavirus crisis made all organizations react and rethink the pace of their digital transformation strategies, which now often must be carried out in months rather than years. As we say in Mexico, "El miedo no anda en burro" or "fear does not ride a donkey,” which means it hits you fast.

Digital transformation (in this case for P2P processes) must now take place ASAP — especially if you’re trying to match invoices back to manual contracts that are sitting in the deserted office! Organizations can no longer think that situations like COVID-19 will never happen again, and businesses that do not digitize their processes now will not be able to compete or even survive.

But to have a great P2P digital strategy, there is more to understand. The changes that businesses are facing are not just about those caused by COVID-19; it is about those forces that are magnified by COVID-19: geo-political accommodation that is happening in the world, the change of global powers, oil prices, gold, the U.S. dollar volatility, social responsibility, global sustainability, global supply chain risks, security.

All of these and other factors greatly affect "B2B procurement" — and we intend to discuss what can be done about it.

The goal of this Spend Matters PRO series is to support buying organizations with a list of key questions (and potential answers) to build a solid and holistic procure-to-pay digital strategy. I will outline 10 major business requirements within the current environment that require strong P2P capabilities. I will then highlight 13 critical digital P2P capabilities that support these requirements.

P2P becoming central to meet key business demands

P2P solution providers know that today is the perfect time for procurement to generate value for a business because COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains (see our Coronavirus Response series here) and the crisis has shown that P2P activities have become central to keeping businesses' operations on track, efficient, financially healthy (and keeping suppliers healthy too), and protected from risk/fraud. P2P is obviously more than just issuing POs and processing invoices, but also includes capabilities (described in great detail in our SolutionMap vendor rankings) such as:

  • Integrating e-procurement, e-invoicing and e-payments processes with each other and also to upstream sourcing and supplier management processes.
  • Keeping spend under management, in compliance, optimized and risk-free (e.g., supporting category management objectives)
  • Supporting effective cash-flow planning, monitoring and “optimization” (e.g., with supply chain financing possibilities)
  • Strengthening suppliers collaboration and relationship management as everything is becoming virtual

These business demands are core focus areas for companies. And there are new ones — but let's first illustrate how a changing business environment, a constantly evolving global organization, an ever-growing and more prepared competition that pushes to keep innovating, etc. are making all these demands continuously evolve. They are creating a more complex P2P scenario for all organizations that the P2P strategy and solution providers need to support to keep businesses’ eyes on the prize.

Just as an example to illustrate how business demands are evolving, let’s consider this: Not long ago, the most important topic in B2B procurement was to achieve e-procurement user adoption in order to increase spend under management. Vendors such as BuyerQuest and Coupa came up with an Amazon-like user interface, which became the most important e-pro feature to have.

Today that is not enough.

Now the UI is more about having the user experience (UX) not just delight the users, but now includes “pathing” them on intelligent workflows — and this intelligence keeps evolving and improving. The changing business environment keeps ratcheting up new demands for P2P processes and the value they need to create. It’s not an easy task to meet those demands, but it is possible with today's emerging technologies and system's integration platforms.

In the rest of this Spend Matters PRO article, I will discuss the business issues/requirements that P2P leaders need to satisfy in order to align with them and deliver P2P value, and then use this to discuss the critical P2P capabilities needed to support them. Only then can these leaders (and supporting solution/service providers) align their digital capabilities to them as well.

In future analyses, we’ll dive into these specific capabilities, link them to business pain points (and ROI and business cases), and detail what digital strategies and providers can help implement them.

Taulia: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitor Comparisons, Tech Selection Tips

In this final installment of Spend Matters’ PRO Vendor Analysis on the working capital and e-invoicing provider Taulia, we offer a company SWOT analysis, a look at Taulia’s competitors, tech selection tips and summary commentary.

In Part 1, we covered Taulia’s background and a detailed solution overview, as well as a recommended-fit suggestion to consider Taulia as a technology solution provider. In Part 2, we covered the solution’s strengths and weaknesses.

Now let’s take a deeper look at Taulia and where it competes.