Featured SolutionMap Article Content

Go Deep or Go Home: A personal essay on my favorite SolutionMap persona

I make no apologies for my choice of favorite Spend Matters’ SolutionMap persona: Deep.

Although my colleagues might need to defend their selection as we begin a series of personal essays on personas (Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator, CIO Friendly as well as Optimizer for sourcing providers and Global for CWS vendors) my confidence is brimming because even though I know that my views represent a dying breed — those who pursue wisdom for the sake of learning and continuous improvement — the results of my favorite persona speak for themselves.

I am Deep. Without hesitation.

Jaggaer’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s vendor spotlight in the SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews of the three product lines that make up Jaggaer ONE, the solution provider’s new unified platform.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read customer reviews for Jaggaer Advantage, Jaggaer Direct and Jaggaer Indirect.

(Please note: For SolutionMap, each of the three product lines has been reviewed and scored on a standalone basis by both their customer users and the Spend Matters analyst team, respectively. Analysts have not yet holistically evaluated the three products as part of Jaggaer ONE's unified platform.)

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of qualitative — and select rating and quantitative — insights from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

SAP Ariba users’ reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

Today, the inaugural Spend Matters SolutionMap Customer Insights report features reviews from SAP Ariba’s customers. We are taking a deeper look into our SolutionMap database, which ranks providers in the marketplace according to their capabilities and their customers’ reviews of the companies. SolutionMap has more than 900 customer reviews, and we’d like to share that insight for a few providers, beginning with SAP Ariba. (SolutionMap Insider subscribers can see the reports, but non-subscribers can see a sample report in this story.) The Customer Insights summary includes ratings to what degree the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Comparing Coupa to Exari: Piecing Together a Top Tier Jigsaw Puzzle for CLM (SolutionMap Analysis)

With its announced intent to purchase Exari, Coupa has completed a full circle of acquisitions to bring best-of-breed applications to each area of the Strategic Procurement Technology (SPT) category of Spend Matters’ SolutionMap as Coupa expands beyond its original P2P roots.

Earlier acquisitions of Trade Extensions, Spend360 and Hiperos helped Coupa assemble an SPT jigsaw puzzle for sourcing, spend analytics and supplier management, and Exari, with its AI-based approach to deep contract modeling and analytics, represents yet another piece of an emerging tableau. And a critical one at that: In many ways, CLM forms the critical link within Coupa’s source-to-pay suite between upstream sourcing activities and downstream P2P, meaning there are significant opportunities to mine here for Coupa users in areas such as risk management, strategic supplier relationship management and, of course, savings generation.

Yet in addition to the question of how Exari fits into the larger Coupa strategy puzzle, there is also a relevant one about how the vendor fits into Coupa’s current CLM product strategy (and current contracts application), from a feature-function angle as well as a technical (integration) perspective.

As the Spend Matters Contract Lifecycle Management scoring in SolutionMap illustrates, Coupa’s current CLM capabilities are stronger in some areas than others, whereas Exari’s help set the benchmark in many areas.

When brought into Coupa, Exari would theoretically help close some of the gaps in Coupa’s offering relative to best-of-breed pacesetters, as well as suite competitors that have made investments in strong CLM capability.

The technical reality, however, is not quite as simple. Exari itself is a vendor built somewhat from acquired solutions, and while its CLM capabilities are best-in-class, its three main components (contract parsing, template creation and core CLM features) are all built on different technology stacks.

So where do Coupa and Exari fit together, and what are their areas of comparative strengths and weaknesses at the time of the acquisition?

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis provides an overview of the two providers’ capabilities, their comparative rankings in the CLM category and what combining the solutions into one offering could look like. It uses as the basis of comparison the Q1 2019 SolutionMap for Contract Lifecycle Management, which analyzes 13 vendors across dozens of functional categories, including contract creation and authoring, core contract modeling, analytics, expiry and renewal management, and compliance.

BirchStreet: What Makes It Great (Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

BlueCart

Invoice-to-pay requirements in the hospitality industry are unique. Not only do organizations require full visibility at the invoice line level and the ability to manage traditional matching and approval flows, solutions also must support decentralized environments (e.g., franchise models) while still enabling control and visibility — including support for category-specific (e.g., ingredient/food) requirements.

Moreover, global hospitality organizations need solutions that can meet global invoicing requirements, especially country-specific compliance.

BirchStreet, a procure-to-pay solution provider specializing in the hospitality industry and adjacent sectors, stands out in its ability to meet a range of invoice-to-pay capability requirements, both purpose-built for the markets it targets and standardized capabilities. This shows in Spend Matters’ Q1 2019 SolutionMap Invoice-to-Pay benchmark, where BirchStreet is an e-invoicing and payment leader based on demonstrated capabilities and real-world customer experiences.

SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does BirchStreet deliver best-in-class capabilities and top customer reference scores that help “set the bar” in invoice-to-pay, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where BirchStreet is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on 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.

Shortlist: What Makes It Great (Independent Contract Workers Analysis)

Shortlist is a provider of an enterprise technology solution that enables organizations to source, on-board, manage, directly engage and pay their independent contract workers (ICWs).

Its offering was recently evaluated in Spend Matters’ SolutionMap framework with the Independent Contract Workers (ICW) enterprise solution category. That segment is the most dynamic part of the contingent and workforce and services (CW/S) procurement technology market, which also includes SolutionMap’s Temp Staffing (Vendor Management Systems/VMS) and Contract Services/Statement of Work solution segments.

Most ICW enterprise solutions have emerged over the past five years within the context of the so-called gig, freelance and peer-to-peer “economies” — a world of innovative platforms like Uber and Airbnb versus the establishment world of enterprise software applications inhabited for decades by providers like SAP and Oracle.

While some new providers have stood up external platforms like online marketplaces that function effectively as third-party suppliers of talent, others have stood up enterprise software solutions that organizations can use to source and manage talent in ways that VMS, ATS and HRIS systems cannot. Shortlist falls within this latter category.

Shortlist provides a comprehensive, fit-for-purpose software solution that can be used by organizations to manage their independent contract workers (ICWs) and small-scale service providers (SSPs). The solution provides support in almost every aspect of the ICW/SSP source-to-pay lifecycle.

SolutionMap: 58 Procurement Software Companies Ranked (Q1 2019 Update)

Q1 2019 Spend Matters SolutionMap procurement software company rankings

Spend Matters today released its Q1 2019 SolutionMap, ranking 58 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 how to access rankings for free!

Zycus: A Comparative Analysis of the S2P Suite (Source-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

Zycus is part of an exclusive club.

It is one of the few source-to-pay suite vendors on the market that can offer at least adequate functional support across all six modular areas that Spend Matters tracks for S2P using only its internally developed capabilities. This stands in contrast to several of its biggest competitors, which have to varying degrees of success acquired and integrated best-in-class vendors or other suites to bolster their own capabilities.

And while Zycus cannot today claim its technology runs its suite of applications on a single data model, more than 95% of the solution is unified, and when compared against the market, it generally presents broad-based and out-of-the-box capability. Its solutions not only provide strong baseline (sometimes above-the-benchmark) functionality but they come from a single provider that is responsible for making it all work together.

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis examines Zycus’ solutions by modular and suite view to help interested parties understand the best components that make up the vendor’s end-to-end offering. It provides insight into which areas Zycus is strong in (and where it lags), how competitive individual modules are compared with best-in-class alternatives, and how combinations in the form of procure-to-pay (P2P), strategic procurement technology (SPT) and source-to-pay (S2P) suites stack up in comparison to Zycus’ broader peer group, including Coupa, Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, Ivalua and SynerTrade.

For this analysis, our report uses the aggregate results of nine SolutionMaps from Q4 2018 (the most recent in our quarterly update cycle), comparing a total of 58 solution providers across more than 600 granular functional benchmarks, which are aggregated into more manageable, tiered buckets for the purpose of this analysis. (Those procurement organizations leveraging SolutionMap for a software selection process gain insight into comparative performance at a significantly more granular level of detail that maps business requirements to functional performance.) The SolutionMap analyst ratings, also called the Solution scoring, used in this analysis are based on more than 3,000 hours of live product demonstrations and validated vendor RFI responses.

In subsequent briefs exploring SynerTrade and others, we will take a similar approach to analyzing source-to-pay providers, breaking down where end-to-end platforms excel (or fall below the functional benchmark) on module and suite bases. Previously, we covered the suite performances of Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, Ivalua and Coupa.

Coupa: A Comparative Analysis of the S2P Suite (Source-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

It is impossible today to discuss procurement and finance software solutions without mentioning Coupa. Since its founding in 2006, Coupa has grown into one of the best-known providers of technology for corporate purchasing as well as invoicing and payments, sourcing, and spend analysis. And its philosophy of business spend management (BSM) resurrected — and improved upon — the original premise that gave rise to Spend Matters back in 2004 (spend does matter).

The awareness of Coupa in the market is due in no small part to its 2016 IPO, which brought the provider into the wider public eye while also providing it with the balance sheet to support an aggressive M&A program. The result is that Coupa can now claim some of the most advanced procurement-specific capabilities in multiple technology areas, as it has acquired several market-leading vendors and integrated their functionality into its own platform.

But where does Coupa excel the most, and where do its comparatively few weaknesses lie, measured against both best-of-breed vendors for standalone technology areas (e.g., contract lifecycle management) and competing suite providers (e.g., procure-to-pay, source-to-pay)?

 This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis examines Coupa’s solutions by modular and suite view to help interested parties understand the best components that make up the vendor’s end-to-end offering. It provides insight into which areas Coupa is strong in (and where it lags), how competitive individual modules are compared with best-in-class alternatives, and how combinations in the form of procure-to-pay (P2P), strategic procurement technology (SPT) and source-to-pay (S2P) suites stack up in comparison to Coupa’s broader peer group, including Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, Ivalua, Oracle, SynerTrade and Zycus.

For this analysis, our report uses the aggregate results of nine SolutionMaps from Q4 2018 (the most recent in our quarterly update cycle), comparing a total of 58 solution providers across more than 600 granular functional benchmarks, which are aggregated into more manageable, tiered buckets for the purpose of this analysis. (Those procurement organizations leveraging SolutionMap for a software selection process gain insight into comparative performance at a significantly more granular level of detail that maps business requirements to functional performance.) The SolutionMap analyst ratings used in this analysis are based on more than 3,000 hours of live product demonstrations and validated vendor RFI responses.

In subsequent briefs exploring SynerTrade, Zycus and others, we will take a similar approach to analyzing source-to-pay providers, breaking down where end-to-end platforms excel (or fall below the functional benchmark) on module and suite bases. Previously, we covered the suite performances of Jaggaer, SAP Ariba and Ivalua.

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

BlueCart

If you’re outside of the hospitality, restaurant, food service, casino and food manufacturing industries, you’ve probably never heard of BirchStreet. But if you’re involved in purchasing goods and services in any of these markets — from CAPEX spending to bananas to booze — then chances are you’ve encountered this top-performing Spend Matters SolutionMap provider — or you’re already using it on a daily basis. And based on SolutionMap customer reference reviews and data, you’re quite happy indeed.

But how does BirchStreet stack up to other e-procurement vendors, especially those less-specialized providers trying to break into these markets? Join us as we explore what makes BirchStreet great based on SolutionMap’s analyst and customer benchmark data.

As of December 2018, SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. Within SolutionMap, where does BirchStreet 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 BirchStreet is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on 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.

Ivalua: A Comparative Analysis of the S2P Suite (Source-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

FM Global Resilience Index

Ivalua is a source-to-pay procurement suite technology provider that, until recently, has not gotten the attention its capabilities would suggest it deserves on the global stage -- only in the past few years has it started to gain the type of momentum in North America as its functional prowess would imply. Still, the provider has a longer history in Europe, where its roots and the majority of its customer base still lie. But in comparison with suite providers like Coupa and SAP Ariba, Ivalua has not captured as much of the market’s attention with respect to association with specific capabilities or investments.

That’s a shame, because when ranked on a highly granular basis across the numerous functional areas that make up the Spend Matters SolutionMap benchmark, Ivalua often scores in the top tier of all providers for the majority of capabilities and, in the aggregate, among the most functionally advanced platforms across many modules. A key factor in this strong performance is Ivalua’s engineering approach: Its entire suite was built in-house on a single platform over the last 19 years, placing it in a small group of providers that offer an end-to-end solution on a single technology stack. Moreover, it has a stated philosophy in terms of M&A/acquisition to "buy and replatform" rather than buy and integrate. To be fair to its competitors, however, Ivalua only has one deal under its belt (we'll see if this holds in the future!)

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis examines Ivalua’s solutions by modular and suite view to help interested parties understand the best components that make up the vendor’s end-to-end offering. It provides insight into which areas Ivalua is strong in (and where it lags), how competitive individual modules are compared with best-in-class alternatives, and how combinations in the form procure-to-pay (P2P), strategic procurement technology (SPT) and source-to-pay (S2P) suites stack up in comparison to Ivalua’s broader peer group, including Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, Coupa, Oracle, SynerTrade and Zycus. It provides a full review and analysis of the Ivalua's procurement technology suite capability.

For this analysis, our report uses the aggregate results of nine SolutionMaps from Q4 2018 (the most recent in our quarterly update cycle), comparing a total of 58 solution providers across more than 600 granular functional benchmarks, which are aggregated into more manageable, tiered buckets for the purpose of this analysis. (Those procurement organizations leveraging SolutionMap for a software selection process gain insight into comparative performance at a significantly more granular level of detail that maps business requirements to functional performance.) The SolutionMap analyst ratings used in this analysis are based on more than 3,000 hours of live product demonstrations and validated vendor RFI responses.

In subsequent briefs exploring Coupa, Oracle and others, we will take a similar approach to analyzing source-to-pay providers, breaking down where end-to-end platforms excel (or fall below the functional benchmark) on module and suite bases. Previously, we covered the suite performances of Jaggaer and SAP Ariba.

The Bonfire Customer Experience: What Makes It Great (Sourcing SolutionMap Analysis)

complex sourcing

Usability is proving the single most important killer app for the next wave of sourcing technology adoption. And providers such as Bonfire are proving that absolute feature/function capability alone is less important than providing an optimally rich user and customer experience that will maximize adoption and customer satisfaction.

This is not a new strategy. Bonfire is in fact following Coupa’s playbook. As we have noted before, “such was Coupa’s first act, before it focused on investing in functional leadership to complement best-in-class usability.”

Today, Bonfire is headed down a similar path in the sourcing market. Its customer references and candid feedback from Spend Matters’ Q4 2018 Sourcing SolutionMap suggest it is not a typical provider but rather one that is redefining an entire market by focusing on customer adoption and the user experience. Like Coupa, it is creating a movement among procurement organizations.

But where and how does Bonfire stand out in this competitive technology market with customers?

As of December 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does Bonfire stand out most and help “set the bar” in sourcing, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Bonfire 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.