Combine the e-procurement and invoice-to-pay technology markets, and what you have is the P2P market, or procure-to-pay. The P2P market comprises hundreds of providers, as well as numerous sub-sectors such as catalog management, supplier networks, trade financing and supplier-side e-commerce. Today, we’ll address e-procurement and invoice-to-pay individually in this quick and dirty guide to P2P.
The P2P Category
The full list of Simeno’s list of “substitute” competitors is long. The list of direct competitors is much shorter. Yet perhaps the more important question procurement organizations should ask when considering procure-to-pay (P2P) products is whether they view the solutions as a technology-driven extension of ERP or something else entirely.
Organizations that prioritize solutions like Simeno are more traditional customers of e-procurement and will typically view transactional purchasing activities as a means to both automate and influence everyday buying activities. In contrast, a newer breed of P2P “buyer” is as — and often even more — concerned with the other benefits solution can bring, including long-tail supplier enablement and adjacent functional capability.
This third and final installment of our Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Simeno provides an objective SWOT analysis of the e-procurement provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Simeno and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor. Part 1 offered an in-depth look at Simeno as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review of the product’s user experience.
Even though many procure-to-pay (P2P) deals are increasingly becoming showdowns between Coupa and SAP Ariba, the long tail of procure-to-pay (P2P) providers remains significant. In fact, many of these companies continue to thrive. Spend Matters tracks hundreds of different providers in the P2P market, and within e-procurement alone there are dozens. One of these is Simeno, a provider and “solution integrator” that is expanding in North America. Although not well known outside of Europe, Simeno has a strong track record of enabling complex e-procurement scenarios for global companies as a “surround” approach to ERP providers. It brings particular capability in catalog management, which drives its shopping, search and broader capabilities. Curiously, it also leads its own implementations, bringing its own consulting/systems integration capability.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Simeno’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Simeno in the P2P technology area. The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.
Coupa made some waves earlier this week with its first cloud platform update of the year — the “sector-news pinnacle” of a very P2P-centric week here at Spend Matters. Xavier Olivera and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch also co-presented “2017: The Most Disruptive Year in P2P Ever?” last Wednesday in a live webinar, which is now available on demand.
To create “life” you need a number of ingredients. Scientists will say that these inputs include an atmosphere, water and a source of energy, such as sunlight. In a similar way, the number of focused European procure-to-pay (P2P) enabling providers — including Simeno, Wallmedien, jCatalog (now OpusCapita), IBX/Capgemini — that have quietly emerged with little or no marketing is a result of a confluence of different inputs, giving “life” to a sector that otherwise would not have been created or grown.
These inputs include the following: the ubiquity of SAP as a core ERP/MRP provider in manufacturing-centric European markets; gaps within SAP MM, ECC and SRM (prior to Ariba) from a procurement and an invoice-to-pay (inclusive of e-invoicing) perspective; and a market that prides itself on being educated on the vendors to shortlist for consideration and that takes an RFI-driven approach in which procurement/IT already know the available supply market, alleviating the need for vendors to “market” their brand and solutions as they would in other works.
Simeno is “proof of life” based on this somewhat unique set of inputs of a technology supply market that is still thriving, especially in the German and Nordic markets, despite the broadening out of SAP with Ariba and the emergence and early success of North American providers such as Coupa in these geographies.
This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations, suppliers and partners make informed decisions on Simeno’s procure-to-pay capabilities as a complement and “surround” approach to company ERP systems, especially SAP. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Simeno in the procurement technology area. The rest of this multi-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, insider evaluation and selection considerations.
Whether you’re looking at the services procurement and contingent workforce space, supply chain risks or the procure-to-pay landscape, it’s hard to throw a rock — or a snippet of code — and not hit some hand-wringing over digital disruption. (We’ve even ranted about it.)
Procure-to-pay, also known as P2P or the procurement/purchasing process cycle, is now front and center. Turns out 2017 may just be the most disruptive year yet for P2P technologies and processes.
In this last installment, I will focus on the risks of insufficient connectivity, the benefits of doing it properly and why it is worthwhile for suppliers to invest time and resources to stay connected in the most automated means possible.
For organizations that still use their ERP as their only (or primary) system to process all procurement, invoicing and payments activities, typical document exchange and communication methods are done either by paper, fax or email (some firms may also have EDI technologies or web services in place — to interact with select suppliers). Although these forms of communication have been used for years, they are insufficient today, as they introduce significant risks to the buyer/supplier connectivity process.
Coupa announced early Tuesday it had acquired Spend360 International Ltd., a best-in-class spend classification vendor. Coupa “has acquired substantially all of the assets of Spend360 International Ltd. to help companies digitize antiquated processes for data classification,” the company said in the acquisition announcement. Coupa noted the acquisition closed in December 2016 and that financial terms were not disclosed. Further, “Coupa expects the capabilities from Spend360 to be made available to select Coupa customers later this year. As part of the acquisition, the Spend360 team has joined Coupa to continue developing forward-thinking approaches for data classification and predictive insights.”
The procurement technology and solutions market, inclusive of source-to-contract (S2C) and procure-to-pay (P2P) technology segments, is one with a wide degree of choice for customers. Procurement organizations that want to prioritize absolute capability in specific functional areas (modules) or technology innovation (e.g., platform as a service) can have their pick of providers. Organizations that want integrated suite capabilities also have an array of choices, and those that want to prioritize usability and adoption in targeted or broader areas can also select from an increasingly healthy list of options.
But if you want a broader combination of these capabilities in a single provider, the choices narrow significantly, especially at the suite level. At the intersection of these requirements is where BravoSolution comes in. This source-to-contract provider that historically has partnered for procure-to-pay capabilities — and will soon have its own P2P solution based on initially integrating and enhancing and ultimately re-platforming Puridiom, a recently acquired asset — excels compared with its peers at meeting the intersection of these requirements. This Spend Matters Plus analysis provides an introduction to BravoSolution for procurement organizations looking to understand whether they should consider adding the provider to their shortlists for consideration and competitive alternatives.
Disruptive technology is a very real situation for procurement organizations everywhere. Spend Matters analysis suggests that procure-to-pay (P2P) technologies will evolve faster in 2017 than ever before. Join Jason Busch and Xavier Olivera of Spend Matters Mexico-Latin America on Wednesday, January 25 at 10:30 a.m. Central for 2017: The Most Disruptive Year in P2P Ever? They'll discuss P2P technology as it relates to:
- AI/machine learning
- Embedded analytics and decision guidance
- Internet of Things
- And more...
When discussing procurement processes and strategy, it’s hard not to mention procure-to-pay (P2P) or the enabling technologies that go along with it. E-procurement, one of the original technology segments to center on automating and improving procurement, has led to numerous internal improvements for procurement groups; e-invoicing automation has led to substantial cost and efficiency gains for both companies and public sector organizations.
And while both these technologies that form the core of P2P have been around for a while, they’re both far from done innovating. To see why, check out our top five posts on P2P from 2016.
This post is part of our 2016 Year-End Procurement Tech Review, in which we offer procurement practitioners a bird’s-eye view of some key vendors and their solutions in select categories. This is the last week of this series, and today we’re highlighting a company in the procurement technology space.
While it is possible to label SciQuest as a procurement technology suite vendor (source-to-pay, source-to-contract and procure-to-pay), the reality is that SciQuest competes in multiple, infrequently overlapping segments of the procurement technology market. To date, SciQuest has generally had different sets of customers, prospects and different competitors for its core P2P product. This stands in contrast to many of its peers, which have generally chosen to focus on fewer market segments rather than more.