The eProcurement / Procurement Category

A Potential Basware Takeover: Speculation Abounds

Earlier today, Basware, a Europe-based procure-to-pay provider that, through integrated partner capabilities, also offers broader source-to-pay solutions, responded to “media speculation” that it had received a takeover offer, resulting in a material run up in its share price. In a press announcement published Friday, Nov. 16, the vendor said it had been "approached with a non-binding and highly conditional indicative proposal for a possible tender offer for the entire share capital of Basware." The wording of the full release may provide some hints as to what kind of firm is considering an offer. But who the potential acquirer is perhaps matters less than what a Basware takeover could mean more broadly for the procurement technology market, in which Basware has made considerable gains within recent years.

‘More people in the tools, lower risk, faster processing, better results’ — Roy Anderson sums up procurement’s future (Part 3)

“Use your suppliers to get the work done more efficiently, effectively and start to manage the overall supplier base like an orchestra leader,” procurement veteran Roy Anderson says, laughing at the image — but not the lesson. “That orchestra leader can’t play every instrument and certainly isn’t going to sing every song, but has to be able to have the structure and the reporting and the analytics to be able to manage it more effectively.

“That’s the future. A virtual procurement operation living on a marketplace of capabilities is the future of procurement.”

In Part 3 of Anderson’s conversation about his career and digital changes in the industry, he talks about being at Tradeshift (“where ideas win”),  how “every CPO has a bandwidth problem” and the promise of AI.

Anderson, who became Tradeshift’s CPO and digital transformation officer in September, sat down with another procurement veteran, Pierre Mitchell of Spend Matters, to share some laughs and lessons about how the industry adapted to technology over the last 40 years.

The following is the last of a three-part series of their conversation, which has been edited for clarity. Part 1 ran Monday, and Part 2 ran Wednesday.

Wax Digital: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

In Part 1, we introduced you to Wax Digital, a source-to-pay provider from the UK that you may not be familiar with, especially since it has not yet participated in Solution Map (although that changes this quarter). Wax Digital is a provider of note as it is one of the few providers that has a relatively complete, integrated, source-to-pay offering on one code base that is already used globally in over 100 countries. In our last article, we overviewed some of the key parts of Wax Digital’s platform. In this post, we dive into its strengths and weaknesses.

‘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.

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.

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Spend Analysis Requires Human Expertise for Data Optimization, Data Visualization

From recent conversations during this fall conference season, it’s clear many procurement teams are still struggling with poor-quality spend data. Combined with the challenges of data lakes, corporate changes from mergers and acquisitions, and an overall pressure to get more savings year over year, procurement leaders are finding it difficult to align their talent and technology strategies for their digital transformation efforts.

Whether it be companies in the market for spend visibility for the first time or those looking to focus on spend analysis and visibility to engage digital transformational efforts, organizations will, for now, still need to get the basics of spend analysis right with human interaction and expertise combined with innovative technologies that will evolve and improve over time.

The Tip of the Spear: How Serco Has Used Spend Data to Generate Business Value

Spend data is a gold mine of valuable information for improving the procurement process as well as driving enterprise-wide decision-making. FTSE 100 services provider Serco learned this first hand when it engaged Simfoni, a provider of spend analytics tools, to change the way it gathered, presented and analyzed its data. Using spend analytics as the tip of the spear, the Serco team developed “should cost” predictive cost models to develop better bids for potential clients — and support what every CEO wants: profitable growth. 

Spend Matters hosted a recent webinar in which experts discussed the topic. Featuring Serco Head of Procurement Andrew Spafford and Simfoni Managing Director Stefan Dent, the event centered on the role that spend data should play in an organization’s decision-making process. Spend Matters Chief Research Officer Pierre Mitchell moderated.

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.

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.

Tradeshift Analyst Day: Roy Is Back

Am I the only one who missed seeing Roy Anderson on stage in the last few years? Roy is an illustrious (and animated) CPO — and he's back in the game in a dual role as Tradeshift’s internal CPO and as its digital transformation officer. He’s also externally facing with Tradeshift customers and partners. Today in New York, Roy took the stage at Tradeshift’s analyst event, combining his mix of standup (think "Car Talk" meets procurement) and storytelling.

Tradeshift Analyst Day: The Marketplace Strikes Back

I touched down in New York City today for a quick stop at Tradeshift’s fall 2018 analyst day. The theme of the event is marketplaces, a topic that brings me back nearly 20 years to the heyday of the B2B marketplace era. But now — unlike when Commerce One, Tradex (which Ariba purchased), Metiom, i2 TradeMatrix and all the industry-based “exchanges” looked much better in PowerPoint than they performed in theory —  the technology to support them is real.