eProcurement / Procurement Content

How to Use SolutionMap Buying Personas

The needs of each procurement organization — as well as procurement-solution providers’ organizations — are too nuanced for “one size fits all”-style rankings and recommendations from other industry intelligence firms and experts. That’s why Spend Matters ranks procurement and supply chain software providers through the prism of buying personas. With the Q3 2019 SolutionMap released today, let's revisit why this is an essential approach to the procurement technology market.

Q3 2019 E-Procurement: Provider Scoring Summary

This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of E-Procurement solution providers. It is part of our Q3 2019 SolutionMap report series, also featuring Spend Analytics, Sourcing, Supplier Management, Contract Management and Invoice-to-Pay providers. Our Q3 release also features SolutionMap for Procure-to-Pay and Strategic Procurement Technology suites.

SolutionMap: 56 Procurement Software Companies Ranked (Q3 2019 Update)

Spend Matters today released its Q3 2019 SolutionMap, ranking 56 procurement software companies across 12 solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management, Contract Lifecycle Management and Contingent Workforce & Services. Click on this article to see which new providers joined the rankings, and to see how to access rankings for free!

Q3 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Source-to-Pay Suites

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release for Source-to-Pay, reviewing the process that we followed for this quarter’s release.

The providers in the Q3 2019 Source-to-Pay SolutionMap include Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, 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.

SAP Ariba did not update their scoring and, as a result, had their scores adjusted based on a common shift factor (that preserves positional integrity relative to peers) and any platform updates, or lack thereof, that the analysts have received since the last time the RFIs were filled out. We expect them to participate in upcoming releases.

The Source-to-Pay customer data set is composed of a subset of the 831 individual organization references included in the overall SolutionMap scoring as of Q3 2019*.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into the nature of the expanded RFI, methodology, customer references and additional changes in the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release.

(SolutionMap Insider members: access the Q3 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

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

Q3 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider Release Note provides insight into the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P), reviewing the process that we follow and highlighting what has changed since the last release.

The E-Procurement, I2P and P2P customer reference set added 19 new individual customer references in Q3. There were no new providers added for Q3, although Zycus has successfully been scored against the new Q2 2019 RFI requirements for the first time.

As Jaggaer has unified three of its product lines — Jaggaer Indirect, Jaggaer Direct and Jaggaer Advantage — into Jaggaer One, which allows customers and prospects to select the best modules from each offering to fit an organization’s unique needs, Spend Matters has broken out the naming convention for the Jaggaer offerings more specifically for Q3 2019 SolutionMap in the persona ranking graphics. This means that in the E-Procurement category this quarter, the solution/product formerly known as Jaggaer Indirect is now listed as: Jaggaer eProcurement.

Please note: as none of the Jaggaer product lines have yet been evaluated against Q2 2019 RFI requirements by the Spend Matters analyst team, they are not able to appear in this quarter’s editions of the Provider Scoring Summaries. Please refer to the Q1 editions for their latest scoring.

Most of the providers participating in the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, I2P and P2P will fully update their RFIs in next quarter’s cycle (Q4 2019) and receive updated scoring following the submission and demonstration of new and updated capabilities based on production releases of their platform. (Non-GA capabilities are not considered in SolutionMap scoring.)

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into these and additional changes in the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release.

(SolutionMap Insider members: access the Q3 Provider Scoring Summary reports right here.)

7 Simple Ways to Control, Automate Your Accounts Payable

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Finly, a provider of business spend solutions.

Accounts payable involves a lot of challenges, like providing payment approvals on time, budgetary restrictions, ensuring policy compliance and keeping the accounting systems up to date. Organizations reach a saturation level where manually processing all these becomes increasingly tedious and difficult to maintain.

An automated accounts payable system is a great way to overcome these issues and increase effective communication as well as employee productivity. To control your accounts payable, let’s understand the bottlenecks involved in the manual process of accounts payable.

When is the right time for mid-market digital transformation?

Procurement software providers that target large enterprises get a lot of attention, but the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning is raising the profile of vendors who serve a vast group of businesses that also are doing some heavy lifting — the mid-market companies seeking to digitally transform.

One of those providers is Paramount WorkPlace, which focuses on the procure-to-pay areas of e-procurement and e-invoicing for the middle market practitioner. And it also has a sliver of the enterprise market. We talked to Paramount for a Q&A to gauge how it’s helping to deploy technology and aid digital transformation across a range of businesses.

Ivalua: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Downstream Solution Overview [PRO]

supplier network

Ivalua has been growing steadily since Spend Matters’ comprehensive update in 2016, with the suite provider adding clients, offices, employees and capability around the globe. After we provided an updated background in Part 1, we delved into Ivalua’s primary upstream solution components around spend analysis, strategic sourcing, direct sourcing and contract management in Part 2.

Today, this seven-part Spend Matters PRO series will continue our solution overview with a look at the downstream components — namely catalog management, e-procurement and order management, e-invoicing, expense management, payment management and IVA for guided buying. After we review these downstream components, we’ll finish up our solution review with a couple of the cross-platform capabilities around risk and performance management, supplier information management and master data management (MDM). After we finish with our solution overview, in Parts 4 and 5, we will dive into Ivalua's particular strengths and weaknesses from a solution perspective.

6 Factors that Impact the Cost, Hassle and Heartache of E-Procurement and P2P Deployments [Plus+]

p2p deployment

In this research brief, we explore the specific elements that impact the costs and hassles of P2P implementations and ways of controlling them — or at least managing expectations upfront. What’s perhaps most valuable in our findings is that these six elements don’t just show up during the course of a given implementation — they’re often visible upfront if you know where to look. And they can even prove to be leading indicators of trouble to come before you sign a contract with a vendor. In short, if you know what potential roadblocks to look for upfront, you can minimize or avoid unnecessary costs and hassle down the e-procurement road. Here’s how.

Guided Buying 4.0 — A Framework to Consider (Part 1: Guided Buying in E-Procurement) [PRO]

Many people know the term “Industry 4.0,” which describes the latest industrial revolution that combines big data, cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), hyper connectivity, human-machine interfaces, robotics and embedded analytics that feature artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning. It’s revolutionizing manufacturing and supply chains, but what about the most basic processes that deal with B2B buying?

That brings us to the concept of "guided buying." It’s not new, but in the last five years of my experience as an analyst of P2P solutions, I have realized that it is a term used without much precision. I can compare it to terms like “platform,” "best practices," “world class” and others that have been overused so widely that they’ve lost the force of their meaning. Terminology should be defined with a specific scope, intent and substance for it to really be useful. So, I’ve been recently collaborating with my colleagues to provide more specific insights on this concept, and we’ve decided to develop a maturity framework to help do this.

The act of guiding is a deliberate and proactive process that helps the person being guided achieve their objective and reach their destination. This is a concept that we have applied to the purchasing function for several years. In fact, almost 15 years ago, the first analyst who wrote about this concept of "guided buying" was my friend, mentor and Spend Matters colleague, Pierre Mitchell. Here is some of what he wrote back then.

“Think about an end user who, rather than going to a clumsy Intranet site to find a few local e-catalogs and supplier ‘punchout’ sites, gets instead a corporate Google-like interface and types in whatever they’re looking for. Then, the user gets automatically guided to preferred supply sources/channels (e.g., an e-procurement catalog, a supplier website, an internal inventory location or a requisition that’s electronically escalated to the proper commodity manager) based on commodity taxonomies, supply strategies/policies, preferred supplier listings, commodity manager skills, local inventories, specialized knowledge rules and supplier website content (or that of specialized content providers). In other words, users are guided to preferred supply sources before a maverick spend ever occurs.”

Today, what's interesting is that we already have the IT tools and solutions that we did not have 15 years ago. Today, companies can apply the concept of "guided" in all areas of the organization, including in contracting and sourcing. However, the focus for this part of this series is in the transactional purchasing area within procure-to-pay.

Let’s take a look at this problem, our framework, and some strategies and solutions.

SAP Intelligent Spend Group analysis: 10 observations of the new Ariba-Fieldglass-Concur business unit [PRO]

Last week, SAP released its financial results for the second quarter 2019. In the announcement, presentation and earnings call, SAP broke out revenue for its new Intelligent Spend Group (in previous quarters, it broke out revenue for the similar “Business Network” segment). This business unit consists of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur. According to SAP, quarterly performance for the group represented approximately $880 million (USD) in revenue based on actual reporting in euros of €786 million. At constant currency levels, revenue was up 17% year-over-year, or 22% factoring in currency changes.

This Spend Matters PRO brief begins by highlighting some of the additional detail provided on the earnings call and then provides 10 observations on the current state of the business unit based on customer, channel and other checks conducted by the Spend Matters analyst team. Spend Matters PRO subscribers also have access to previous coverage of SAP Intelligent Spend Group. Recent briefs include:

* SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 1): Customer Analysis, Solution Integration, Roadmap [PRO]
* SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 2): Hard Questions on Integration [PRO]
* SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 3): How can the SAP spend platform ‘Run Simple’? [PRO]
* With Barry Padgett leaving SAP, what’s next for new Intelligent Spend Group? [PRO]

GoProcure: Vendor Introduction (Part 2 — Product Strengths and Weaknesses, SWOT and Selection Checklist) [PRO]

In our last Spend Matters PRO brief, we introduced you to GoProcure, a four-year-old provider based out of Duluth, Georgia, that is deploying a B2B marketplace and platform for tail-spend management. Bringing together basic RFQ and requisitioning tools, a marketplace for procuring goods and services, and complementary services like a buying desk, GoProcure is positioning itself as capable of covering the full range of tail spend in a market where most vendors address some but not all of the tail. And while its coverage is not necessarily exhaustive, GoProcure’s current iteration does encompass a lot of capabilities — albeit in a bit of a fragmented manner. Whether it’s a fit for a procurement organization’s unique challenges and needs, however, will come down to how exactly one conceives and chooses to tackle the tail.

Part 1 of this brief provided some background on GoProcure and an overview of its offering. In Part 2, we provide a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a high-level SWOT analysis and a short selection requirements checklist that outlines the typical company for which GoProcure might be a good fit. We also give some final conclusions and takeaways.