The E-Sourcing Category

‘I Think Demand Management Is the Bigger Play,’ Roy Anderson Touts Visibility into Spend, Risks of Not Buying In (Part 2)

“I saved you all $5 million,” procurement veteran Roy Anderson tried to tell one CFO he worked for. “To this day, he’s never totally believed that.”

In Part 2 of Anderson’s conversation about his career and digital changes in the industry, he talks about change management, demand management and how he did convince another CFO that Anderson’s team had saved him $150 million.

Anderson, now at Tradeshift, sat down with another procurement veteran, Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, to share some laughs and lessons about how the industry has adapted to technology over the last 40 years.

The following is the second of three-part series of their conversation, which has been edited for clarity. Part 1 ran Monday, and Part 3 will run Friday.

Zycus Sourcing: What Makes It Great (Analysis)

Zycus got its start in spend analytics. But over the past decade, it has quietly become one of the largest independent source-to-pay providers. Within its broader suite, Zycus sourcing is a stand-out capability, where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark average score for the majority of capabilities.

Zycus has taken a modular approach to how it sells and positions its sourcing capabilities on top of its underlying architecture. And it’s gaining traction in the procurement technology suite market not only due to its functional breadth and depth — but also because it offers some of the most attractive pricing in the market today (despite that it delivers materially greater functionality than the majority of its peers).

As of Q3 2018, Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within procurement technology and related markets. At present, Spend Matters maintains a solution benchmark on 17 sourcing providers, spanning some 125+ requirements. The Sourcing SolutionMap has some of the toughest requirements in any SolutionMap area — putting this highly competitive technology “supply” market to the test.

But how does Zycus sourcing comparatively stack up in the functional and capability weeds? It turns out Zycus performs strongly and is a recommend fit for all core sourcing SolutionMap personas. To understand where Zycus stands out — and why this matters for sourcing and category teams — let’s dive into the fields that comprise the sourcing benchmark and explore exactly what makes Zycus great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Wax Digital: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

Some vendors prefer to wax poetic. Others prefer to wax digital. One such source-to-pay provider likes waxing digital so much, that it even calls itself Wax Digital. And it is our latest source-to-pay vendor to get the in-depth PRO treatment here on Spend Matters (before its debut in Q4 SolutionMap).

By now you are all familiar with its primary source-to-pay competitors, including SAP Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, iValua, Jaggaer, SynerTrade and Zycus, as they have been covered extensively on PRO and appear in the SPT & S2P solution maps, and while you are quite familiar with the American S2P providers (Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Jaggaer and Zycus) and now the European S2P providers (iValua and SynerTrade), you're likely not as familiar with their English counterparts, namely Proactis and Wax Digital, as they have not had as much exposure in recent years. And Wax Digital is definitely a provider that should make your familiarization list.

Wax Digital, which has been around for almost two decades, is one of the largest European providers of source-to-pay solutions, with users in over 100 countries around the globe. It is available in 15 languages out of the box and supports all currencies under ISO 4217 for its 250,000+ global users.

Part 1 of this analysis provides a detailed company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit for when organizations should consider Wax Digital. The remaining parts of this research brief will dive into product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

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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.

‘I Have Plenty of Stories’ — Roy Anderson Details Procurement’s Digital Roots and Its Future

Procurement veteran Roy Anderson understands the current digital revolution that holds so much promise, and some pain, for businesses because he’s been a leader of it for over 30 years. From Raytheon in the 1980s to building procurement software from scratch to today’s AI buzz, he has a story for every step of the way:

“Moving to a printed requisition was what [stakeholders] thought was automation.”

“Simplify the process. ... Eliminate the excess and then automate the mundane. … It’s still valid today, on how to do business.”

“As I did strategic sourcing, I found problems. I have plenty of stories around problems you find. ... Your current suppliers know bad things have occurred, but they always want to stay quiet.”

Anderson, now with Tradeshift, sat down with another procurement veteran, Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, to share some laughs and lessons about how the industry adapted to digital changes over the last 40 years. The following is the first of three-part series of their conversation, which has been edited for clarity. Part 2 will run Wednesday, and Part 3 on Friday.

Disrupting the Source-to-Contract Cycle: Putting Contract Management at the Start of Sourcing

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The sequential source-to-contract cycle is an accurate representation of how most procurement organizations identify and select suppliers. But it’s not necessarily the best way to approach this process. The typical sourcing cycle begins by searching for and evaluating suppliers on two key criteria: capability and price. Yet evaluating suppliers on these criteria alone does not provide a complete picture of whether that company can and should win the business. For many reasons, contract management should not be considered a final step in the sourcing process. Instead, procurement should include contract compliance at the beginning of the cycle, defining it as an essential reason alongside capability and price.

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

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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) [Plus+]

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.

SAP Ariba: What Makes It Great (E-Procurement SolutionMap Analysis)

It will likely come as no surprise that SAP Ariba is a top-ranked functional provider within the E-Procurement SolutionMap for Q3 2018. But among the 22 providers ranked in the latest e-procurement release, SAP Ariba stands apart from the pack in a number of key areas, showing demonstrated innovation in various e-procurement components and disruptive technologies that many other providers are placing less emphasis on, yet could be crucial in selection decisions.

As of September 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on over 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does SAP Ariba stand out most and help “set the bar” in e-procurement? And why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where SAP Ariba is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Lost Sourcing Savings: Survey Data Suggest a Crisis (Part 2) [Plus+]

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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) [PRO]

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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.