Featured SolutionMap Article Content

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

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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.

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

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When source-to-pay suite provider Jaggaer announced in early February the release of Jaggaer ONE, a platform that unifies the provider’s acquired solutions into a single offering, it took a big step forward in clarifying the firm’s strategy. Using a services-oriented architecture (SOA) that allows users to select discrete business processes (i.e., modules) from Jaggaer’s portfolio of technology solutions, Jaggaer ONE has articulated a vision for the company beyond bringing the code and customers from SciQuest, Pool4Tool and BravoSolution under one roof.

Jaggaer noted with the release of Jaggaer ONE that it is unifying three of its product lines — Jaggaer Indirect, Jaggaer Direct and Jaggaer Advantage — without moving them onto a single code base, allowing customers and prospects to select the best modules from each offering to fit an organization’s unique needs. It’s a cafeteria approach that allows clients to assemble a “synthetic” source-to-pay suite rather than wrestle with a patched-together “Frankensuite” (or “Frankensuite’s monster,” if you have to be that guy).

But with three distinct product choices that each cover some or all areas of the source-to-pay cycle, Jaggaer ONE presents opportunities for too much choice. How can current Jaggaer clients, prospective customers, systems integrators and consultancies determine which modules to select from the Jaggaer ONE portfolio, and how do the best-performing modules from Jaggaer ONE fare when compared against other market leaders for specific point or suite products?

This Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis examines Jaggaer’s solutions by modular and suite view to help interested parties understand the best components that make up Jaggaer ONE. It offers insight into which areas Jaggaer is strong in (and where it lags), and how competitive this SOA-unified suite is compared with other procure-to-pay (P2P), strategic procurement technologies (SPT) and source-to-pay (S2P) in comparison to its broader peer group including Coupa, Ivalua, Oracle, SAP Ariba, Synertrade and Zycus.

Overall, the results paint a comparatively promising picture for Jaggaer ONE on a functional basis, and our hats go off to the Jaggaer team for assembling such a robust set of suite building blocks — with additional enabling solutions for specific industries that extend beyond what SolutionMap even prioritizes as key ranking criteria.

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, Ivalua, SAP Ariba 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.

The SpendHQ Customer Experience: What Makes It Great (Spend and Procurement Analytics SolutionMap Analysis)

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Editor’s note: This “What Makes It Great” column is normally reserved for SolutionMap Insider Subscribersbut SpendHQ has generously agreed to support access for readers who are not yet members.

Spend and procurement analytics solutions are fundamentally  designed for business users rather than IT organizations — or should be. Why? Because procurement is their master.

But all too often, IT-led business intelligence initiatives — or spend analytics solutions built on the premise of BI-centric reports rather than a design-centric philosophy around procurement and category management needs — end up becoming the vehicle by which an organization looks at its spend and supplier data. The result? Some of the most salient potential insights go unfound.

SpendHQ, a solution built “by procurement and for procurement users,” takes a different approach entirely to the spend analytics process and the presentation of spend and category intelligence. This is reflected in what its customers have to say about its solution and how their experience compares to users of more traditional, BI-centric spend analytics.

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 SpendHQ stand out most and help “set the bar” in spend analytics from a customer-ratings perspective, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations?

Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where SpendHQ is great, sharing both customer anecdotes and ratings.

“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.

HICX: What Makes It Great (Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SolutionMap Analysis)

The market for supplier relationship management (SRM) and risk solutions comprises many segments. HICX, a specialist provider in this sector, stands out as a commendable generalist for supplier management that delivers best-in-class capability in targeted areas, especially the subcomponents of master data management (MDM). In practice, few companies ever decide to purchase a single solution to address their broad-based needs for supplier management, highlighting the individual importance of solutions that target MDM and adjacent supplier management areas.

Spend Matters SolutionMap has hundreds of functional requirements for supplier management, of which only a subset will be critical for specific organizational needs (e.g., MDM, supplier diversity, supplier risk management, supplier performance management, supplier compliance management, supplier development). As of December 2018, SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 providers across the procurement technology landscape.

But where does HICX stand out most in the supplier management market from a functional perspective, and why should this matter for procurement organizations?

Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where HICX 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.

Vndly: What Makes It Great (Temp Staffing/VMS SolutionMap Analysis)

Founded in 2017, Vndly is a new entrant in the evolving contingent workforce and services (CW/S) enterprise technology solution market. While new entrants have appeared with solutions to address the emergence of the freelancer or gig economy, not one has gone after the temporary staffing and SOW solution segments, which have been the exclusive domain of what were long referred to as vendor management system (VMS) providers. Vndly intends to challenge top VMS solutions in all three of these spend categories on the basis of its new technology, its reassessment of organizations’ core needs, and its innovative approaches to old and new requirements. Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Vndly 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.

Coupa vs. Hiperos: Supplier Management Head-to-Head Comparison

With news this week that Coupa is buying Hiperos, it’s time for a head-to-head comparison. The providers could not be more different in the pragmatic application of their supplier management technology to solving different procurement challenges. But on paper, both providers offer broad-based supplier management capability. And both deliver functional capability that (usually) meets or exceeds the functional benchmark for each of the areas that make up Spend Matters’ Q4 2018 Supplier Relationship Management and Risk SoultionMap. Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q4 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. These head-to-head columns share the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data along with the trademark quips that Spend Matters was better known for in its early years. So buckle your seat belt, prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit Coupa and Hiperos against each other in the supplier management evaluation ring to understand where each provider is the most appropriate fit.

Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: In a majority of supplier management categories which include master data management (MDM), supplier information management (SIM), supplier portal, supplier initiative management, technology, configurability and services — Coupa convincingly comes out on top. But Hiperos shines in specific areas that make it an ideal fit to enable specific supplier and third-party compliance and risk management scenarios.

Overall, the results suggest that the right solution will vary based on different organizational requirements. You’ll get no argument from us that supplier management selection processes will reward procurement organizations that tailor provider selection to their specific needs. But despite this (needed) debate, the Spend Matters team sees how combining these two solutions offers the potential for the proverbial — yet often elusive — “1+1 = 3” in M&A by enabling procurement, IT, finance and other teams to work together to manage their collective supply base while reducing overall risk. As we’ve noted before, “Using a holistic approach to managing suppliers and spend can shine a proactive light on vulnerabilities, while reducing risk and protecting brand reputation.”

But how will each product enable this? Let’s dig in and put Coupa and Hiperos supplier management capabilities head-to-head.

Q4 2018 SolutionMap E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay Release Notes

This Spend Matters SolutionMap Insider release note provides insight into the Q4 2018 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 Q4 2018 SolutionMap release sees a few changes from the Q3 2018 version. This includes the addition of one new provider: Wax Digital (E-Procurement). Additionally, a number of providers have received updated scoring based on the submission and demonstration of new production technology release capabilities. And the Procure-to-Pay customer reference set added 72 new individual customer references in Q4.

BuyerQuest: What Makes It Great (Analysis)

BuyerQuest was one of the first e-procurement providers to focus significant efforts on improving the user experience beyond just a “walk-up” shopping UI. Examples of these efforts include leveraging behavioral analysis to support guidance during the procurement process and innovation in support of purchase order management and receiving capabilities.

But how does BuyerQuest stack up among the 22 providers ranked in the latest e-procurement release? As of September 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on over 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. Where does BuyerQuest 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 BuyerQuest 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.

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.

Determine: What Makes It Great (Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap Analysis)

Determine offers a modular, adaptable procure-to-pay solution built on top of a powerful business rules engine and master data management platform.

Ideal for industries with unique processes and dynamic compliance requirements (e.g., healthcare, financial services), global firms with cross-border systems, and any organization that emphasizes total cost of ownership for software (inclusive for configuration, integration and deployment), Determine is a recommended fit for all five of Spend Matters’ Procure-to-Pay SolutionMap buying personas.

Determine has a substantial P2P user base in France and is adding customers in North America. Offering comparatively attractive pricing to both middle-market and Global 2000 organizations, Determine has capabilities that can also make it suitable for larger organizations with specialized procure-to-pay requirements.

As of September 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on more than 50 vendors within the procurement software market. But where does Determine stand out most in the competitive P2P sector, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s dive into the P2P SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Determine 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.