Author Archives: Xavier Olivera

Vroozi: Vendor Analysis, 2021 update (Part 1) — P2P solution overview, strengths/weaknesses, Vroozi competitors

Vroozi strengths weaknesses

This two-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis offers an update on the procure-to-pay (P2P) provider Vroozi, which we last covered in 2018.

We’ll take a fresh look at Vroozi's capabilities, which have grown from a nimble e-procurement solution into a P2P suite with payment features.

This series starts by providing company information and details on key updates since our last review. We give a high-level solution overview, offer solution strengths & weaknesses, and detail Vroozi’s competitors. Part 2 includes a company SWOT analysis, a full description of Vroozi's solution suite, tech selection tips about the Vroozi solution suite and a final analyst summary.

Vroozi: Vendor Analysis, 2021 update (Part 2) — Deep P2P solution overview, SWOT, tech selection tips, analyst summary

Vroozi solution overview

The first part of this two-part series started by providing company information and details on key updates since our last review a few years ago. Part 1 also gave a high-level solution overview, offered solution strengths and weaknesses, and detailed Vroozi’s main competitors.

This Part 2 includes a full description of Vroozi's solution suite, a company SWOT analysis, tech selection tips and a final summary.

Making sense of the world of B2B payments and procurement technology: AP automation components (Landscape Overview)

AP automation payments

From an industry analyst perspective, AP automation is a fascinating market. It’s not like other areas of enterprise technology (e-procurement, sourcing, contract management, vendor management systems, customer relationship management, etc.) that typically debut in the Fortune 500 or Global 2000 before making their way into the middle market and smaller businesses. No, the rise of AP automation has largely been a bottoms-up journey. It is one that started with the middle market and small business users and vendors specializing in selling into these markets.

Today, AP automation technologies differ materially based on the breadth and depth of use cases (e.g., invoicing processing requirements — basic vs. advanced), company size, industry and technology systems environment, among other variables. It is challenging to compare head-to-head AvidXChange to Basware to Medius to Tipalti, for example, as we might with e-procurement providers for a particular software selection requirement — they all specialize in specific use cases and have carved out different niches that make them great (or not-so-great) depending on customer priorities!

This Spend Matters PRO series began with a look at the legacy world of B2B payments and how the incumbent/new universes have interplay with each other. Now we can turn our attention to segmenting and defining the modern non-bank world of B2B payments as it relates to procurement and finance technologies.

For the series, we’ll look at this sector’s four categories of providers:

  • Accounts payable automation providers
  • Procure-to-pay (and source-to-pay) providers address AP automation use cases along with deeper support for e-invoicing, ordering functionality and varying degrees of payment capability.
  • Dedicated payment solutions combine technology and services to automate or digitize B2B payments and/or deploy payment infrastructure.
  • Working capital solutions leverage data and bank relationships to enable early payments and optimize working capital.

This PRO landscape overview begins by providing a succinct introduction to AP automation (overall) and highlights our Fall 2020 SolutionMap vendor ranking/scoring (including providing an example of how Basware and Medius perform in our subscriber-only SolutionMap Insider ratings). Finally, it provides insight into the B2B payment capabilities offered by AP automation providers.

Compleat: Vendor Analysis — P2P solution overview, roadmap, Compleat competitors, customer feedback, tech selection tips, strength/weakness

Compleat solution

The technology space for solutions that automate purchasing processes like P2P is becoming more and more interesting. P2P suite vendors often get the news coverage, but many others have their own market niches. They have found value in their approach, and that is the case with Compleat.

It is a Nimble offering according to our SolutionMap’s P2P standards, but it also offers functionalities like creating purchase orders, ordering purchases on sites such as Amazon Business (without losing control of spending), and receiving and digitizing invoices to approve them and leave them ready for payment. Although these types of solutions do not match up with the extension of functionalities that large suites do, there is a market where their value is appreciated — in the middle market populated by small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs).

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis will focus on an overview of Compleat's P2P solution (iCompleat), its platform and services, solution functions, company roadmap, customer feedback, Compleat’s competitors, tech selection tips, and product strengths/weaknesses from our analyst.

Negotiatus: Vendor Analysis — P2P/payment solution overview, roadmap, Negotiatus’ competitors, tech selection tips, strength/weakness

Negotiatus solution

In procure-to-pay solutions (e-procurement, invoice-to-pay, AP automation), we see different ways to incorporate content (goods and services) to be purchased — and different methods to support the function of processing payments. The P2P provider Negotiatus has interesting solutions for these two topics.

For example, Negotiatus' solution can incorporate external content from any website or marketplace through a URL address, something that enterprises of all sizes could find valuable to fight maverick spend.

To address payments, Negotiatus has a rare way to support them — by consolidating a buyer's invoices and paying them on its behalf, creating operational efficiencies.

In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we will give an overview of Negotiatus' P2P solution, platform and services, a vision of its roadmap, a competitive market analysis of Negotiatus' competitors, and some key analyst takeaways on its strengths and weaknesses.

Glantus: Vendor Analysis — Solution overview for AP automation, roadmap, Glantus’ competitors, tech selection tips, strength/weakness

Glantus solution

In the automation of business processes, all kinds of technology providers find ways to tackle problems and address each company’s needs. Accounts payable automation is no exception. And in this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis article, we’ll check out Glantus, a provider with a different technology approach to automate the AP process.

Glantus' value proposition is based on the integration of data from all transactional systems that are related to the AP process, regardless of the complexity of the system landscape. Glantus then cleans, enriches and classifies all the data for the ultimate purpose of the AP process — the validation and approval of the invoice for payment.

This Vendor Analysis will give an overview of Glantus’ AP solution, with a look at its platform and services, as well as a brief description of its solution functionalities. We’ll detail its roadmap for the future, and we’ll share insights into Glantus’ competitors in the AP automation market. We also will have some key analyst takeaways about Glantus’ strengths and weaknesses.

Accounts Payables Automation update (Part 3) — Providers in the market and SolutionMap insights

Accounts Payables automation providers

For Spend Matters’ re-evaluation of the AP automation sector’s technology developments, Part 3 of this PRO analyst series will focus on the providers in the market — discussing their value propositions, showing charts of their functionality in key areas and linking to more of our Vendor Analysis reviews and other coverage of the vendors.

Part 2 highlighted the six key elements of AP automation that we evaluate for our SolutionMap scoring and ranking of vendor offerings. And Part 1 detailed our plan for re-evaluating the 2020 tech developments in AP automation and what we can look for in 2021.

Based on the six elements of AP automation that we analyzed, here is a brief description and analysis of vendors that have participated in our Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) or AP Automation categories for SolutionMap in the last couple of years.

This is not a deep or detailed analysis of the vendor’s capabilities — just a visual of their high-level ability to perform in the six areas: supplier enablement, e-procurement, core invoice processing, payments, financing and analytics.

For a more detailed analysis, please visit our SolutionMap page, or get in touch if you need more information about these vendors.

Now let’s look at some providers in the market.

Accounts Payables Automation update (Part 1) — Re-evaluating the sector’s technology developments

Accounts payables is a business process with great operational workload that needs to be handled with great efficiency and effectiveness. If not done well, it might generate significant additional costs to the business and add risks like business fraud or damage commercial relationships with suppliers — all of which harm a company’s bottom line.

Although the pain points of the accounts payable process are the same today as in the past, the importance of its automation has become greater recently as businesses look for more value creation than just operational efficiencies. And that counts even more so with the arrival of COVID-19, which has shaken up the status quo of all companies’ processes.

Today, procurement technology providers have been funded with millions of dollars to create better solutions to automate this process and improve AP’s integration with other business processes, like procurement (2- and 3-way match), accounting (reconciliation), and treasury (cash flow optimization).

New technologies and the development of advanced solutions have made it possible for many more companies to have access to AP automation solutions that were previously unthinkable for an SME, and for large and global companies. Examples include the cloud, API integrations, artificial intelligence, RPA, digital payments, data extraction solutions, etc.

Therefore a year ago, we at Spend Matters started with a new SolutionMap category that compares AP Automation offerings.

However, the evolution of the AP automation solutions in 2020, and the sector’s push to include other business processes, has led us to rethink the approach we take toward the AP automation function and how we'll analyze it in 2021.

In this three-part Spend Matters PRO series, we will explain what we are seeing in the AP automation market, the components of our analytical approach and the state of the AP automation solution market.

Marketboomer: Vendor Analysis — P2P Solution Overview, Roadmap, Customer Feedback, Marketboomer Competitors, Analyst Insights 

This Spend Matters PRO will look at Marketboomer, a provider whose procure-to-pay offering is called Purchase Plus.

When we talk about P2P solutions, we normally refer to horizontal solutions — those that cover the requirements of a wide range of industries and markets. P2P vertical solutions, however, cover the requirements of specific industries, given their specializations in either processes or functionalities.

This is the case for Marketboomer, a P2P solution that is specific to the hospitality industry (mainly from Australia).

This industry requires very specific purchasing practices depending on the country or countries of operation, as well as product inventory management and just-in-time logistics. It also handles products like food and drinks, whose prices vary daily, and this industry also has the complexity of enabling local suppliers (sometimes for just one product) that have little digital or IT capabilities. Horizontal solutions hardly meet the needs of vertical industries, so it is necessary to have solutions like Marketboomer, at least for hotel purchasing.

This Vendor Analysis will give an overview of Marketboomer's Purchase Plus solution (just P2P), a look at its platform and services, and a brief description of its solution functionalities. Then we’ll examine the company roadmap, assess a verified customer reference, do a market analysis of Marketboomer’s competitors, and give some key analyst takeaways.

Kissflow Procurement Cloud (KPC): Vendor Analysis — Solution Overview, Roadmap, Customer Feedback, Kissflow’s Competitors, Analyst Insights 

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis will give an overview of the Kissflow Procurement Cloud (KPC) solution.

Cloud-based solutions have been great at improving accessibility in the market because they lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and speed up implementation of business solutions like e-procurement or procure-to-pay.

However, cloud platform technology and solutions have limited the ability to develop custom functionalities or processes that are still required or used in some businesses and specialized industries. This isn’t about configuration capacity, but custom developments.

Solutions with a PaaS model offer the advantages of a cloud-based solution, and the ability to carry out customized functionalities or processes for their clients. This is a highly desirable value proposition for many organizations and industries.

Kissflow Procurement Cloud is one such platform solution that offers both benefits for its customers.

This Vendor Analysis also will offer a look at Kissflow’s platform and services, a brief description of its solution functionalities, a vision of its roadmap, feedback in a verified customer reference analysis, a competitive market analysis, and some key analyst takeaways.

Veriscape’s Symphonia: Vendor Analysis — Solution Overview, Roadmap, Customer Feedback, Symphonia Competitors, Analyst Insights 

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis will give an overview of Veriscape's Symphonia e-procurement capabilities, and we’ll also consider how ERP systems and e-procurement solutions have evolved.

A response to the rigid ERP systems to support the indirect purchasing function in the 1990s was the development of e-procurement solutions, which initially functioned more as a product catalog management solution. They had a buying front-end (e-store) to create a purchase requisition coupled with an approval process.

As we well know, these solutions have evolved significantly in order to meet more complex business requirements. But just because e-procurement solutions have evolved technologically and functionally does not imply that all organizations have evolved (matured) at the same rate.

We still see many organizations that focus on the challenges from 20 years ago, and not necessarily with high technology or great functionality, but only rely on an improved shopping front-end (e-store) for usability purposes (vs ERPs), and a content management solution that can handle the consolidation of all indirect product catalogs, some services (template-based) and the integration with punch-out catalogs (third-party websites).

This still is a huge market opportunity, and companies like Veriscape that began 20 years ago have managed to keep winning customers with this vision.

This review is about Veriscape’s latest product release, Symphonia. We will look at its platform and services, give a brief description of its solution functionalities and examine its roadmap. It also will include a verified customer reference analysis, a look at Veriscape’s competitors/market analysis, and some key analyst takeaways.

MineralTree: Vendor Analysis — Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips, Commentary

Eliminating paper-based financial processes is the main benefit for payment automation solutions in the SME market. It is an important and growing area of opportunity that is generating efficiencies and savings for companies. MineralTree is a solution provider that is helping mid-market companies have greater control, visibility and certainty in their accounts payable process while generating AP process efficiencies and savings.

In September, MineralTree closed a $50 million Series D investment round with Great Hill Partners, .406 Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures. And it is expanding its SME market share through its recent acquisitions of Inspyrus and Regal Software.

The focus of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis is to offer a candid take on MineralTree and its capabilities. The review includes a look at its 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 the vendor.