The P2P Category

The First Row Seat: Interpreting Q4 2017 SolutionMap Results With Jason Busch — SAP Ariba, Basware and Coupa [PRO]

The Q4 2017 SolutionMap was a major product release for Spend Matters. It included six individual functional product types, two suite areas and spanned 32 vendors. Despite our marketing claims of having invested “hundreds of hours” of analyst time in the process, the actual number felt like more in the thousands, by my own accounting. I told one of my colleagues I felt like I was “in the Matrix” at one would point when looking at technology provider demonstrations.

It was a Herculean effort here on the Spend Matters side by roughly a dozen people. I played my part, but so did so many others. And now we start all over again working on the Q1 2018 release, adding new providers and updating current participants. (We encourage existing participants to update their RFIs and provide new product demonstrations twice per year, although this is just a recommended level. As for submitting additional customer survey participants, we always welcome new ones on a quarterly basis and will be “self-sourcing” validated reviews starting in Q1, as well.)

While I have not yet fulfilled all of my own deliverable obligations for SolutionMap to our trusty editorial team — the final three pieces are coming by tomorrow, I promise! — I could not wait any longer to share my own interpretation of some of the results.

This Spend Matters PRO Research Note does not necessarily represent the views of Spend Matters or my colleagues. But as the founder of this thing, please grant me the license to share some personal opinions on what the results may tell us, including insights into some of the providers that are on the rise (and others potentially on the fall). Today I’ll share insights into three providers: SAP Ariba, Basware and Coupa. For each, I’ll provide SolutionMap interpretation, opinion, analysis and some succinct recommendations to customers, prospects and partners.

In a follow-up piece, I’ll share my thoughts on other providers. Finally, in the coming weeks, I’ll also offer my opinion about how to interpret the overall SolutionMap results and cases where practitioners really need to unpack each persona to identify the best-fit providers to support a given initiative.

SolutionMap is in many ways the new Spend Matters, and while it is designed to be data driven and equal parts expert and customer led, I built a large chunk of the original site on opinion. (And, I admit, sometimes gossip, though most of it proved true!) After all, Spend Matters was a blog for so long. So let me opine and share what I really think.

Sponsored Article

Procurement Digital Transformation: The Top 10 Ways Real-Time E-Procurement Matters

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Q4 SolutionMap℠: 32 Procurement Technology Solution Providers, Ranked

With Major League Baseball playoffs in full swing, we're reminded of the fitted ballcaps some of us used to wear when we were kids, just like the pros wore. Then at one point, companies introduced some fitted caps that were incongruously labeled “One Size Fits All.” That promise didn’t hold up. One size never really fits all (some of us have bigger noggins than others, for example), so ballcaps promoting themselves as such miss the mark. The same can be said for traditional analyst rankings of procurement technology solutions. Behold, Spend Matters Q4 SolutionMap℠ — where we leave the “one fits all” approach behind.

Q4 2017 SolutionMap E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay Release Notes [PRO]

The Q4 2017 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) saw a number of changes from the Q2 2017 release. This includes the addition of new providers and updated buying personas.

In addition, as new providers joined the process, solution innovation increased among existing participants and the number of customer references grew — approximately 150 customers in total for E-Procurement, I2P and P2P are now included in the SolutionMap benchmark — the overall SolutionMaps and scores changed considerably.

This Spend Matters PRO Release Note provides insight into the Q4 2017 SolutionMap release for E-Procurement, I2P and P2P, focusing on what changed from the previous release, including detailed analyst insights, updated persona definitions and vendor scoring criteria.

Vendor Summary Report: Procure-to-Pay Suites SolutionMap℠ Q4 2017 [PRO]

purchasing

This SolutionMapSM analyzes a select group of procure-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Q4 2017 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers. Our Q4 release also features SolutionMaps for Strategic Procurement Technology suites.

Summary

Spend Matters tracks more than 50 procure-to-pay solution providers. This analysis features many of the largest invoice-to-pay providers, specifically Basware, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, SAP Ariba, Vroozi and Zycus. Data from other providers is also included in our SolutionMap scoring benchmarks. Among the providers featured, this SolutionMap release includes select industry/specialty capability of providers, although it does not highlight them in a specific persona, a change from our last SolutionMap release.

Scoring and Ratings Inputs

SolutionMap ratings provide comparative rankings and insight into how each provider scored from a Solution perspective and Customer Value perspective.

It provides a breakdown of Solution scoring for each vendor on an overall category level. This includes each provider’s comparative capability to support:
  • Catalog management
  • Shopping/requisitioning
  • Ordering/order management
  • Receiving
  • Invoice structure/capture
  • Invoice collaboration
  • Compliance
  • Additional invoicing technology components
  • Financing
  • Payment
  • Supplier network
  • Configurability
  • Technology/architecture
  • Services
Solution scoring is based on analysis of individual vendor capability, including in-depth technology reviews, a highly detailed Spend Matters RFI and live demonstrations and Q&A by the Spend Matters team. The Customer Value score stems from aggregated direct customer input (survey based).

The SolutionMap also provides insight into how customers scored each Supplier Management vendor based on a Customer Value scorecard (e.g., likelihood of recommending the provider, level of value perceived, business value, ability to meet expectations, deployment speed, ROI, TCO and innovation). The Spend Matters SolutionMap database includes more than 275 customer references collected in 2017.

Our “map” approach intentionallt does not “co-mingle” Solution and Customer Value scoring, allowing readers to prioritize what matters most to them.

Using SolutionMap

While Spend Matters does not recommend that existing and potential customers of providers use technology and customer scoring alone to shortlist or evaluate technology providers, the insight, along with SolutionMap persona-based ratings, provides a point-in-time perspective that may be useful as either a starting point in an evaluation or a contributing factor to a formal software selection process.

Going Deeper in the Data

Spend Matters reserves its most granular level of scoring and analysis for our practitioner advisory clients, and we invite procurement organizations to contact us for more information.

For example, Spend Matters maintains highly granular scoring insights and ratings in specific areas such as supplier network capability (e.g., supplier on-boarding, supplier information management, supplier performance and risk management, catalog management, order management, invoicing, other supplier network value-added services and ability to connect to multiple networks).

This allows us to provide highly granular insight in how specific solutions compare to both an industry standard Spend Matters benchmark and peer group/competitive vendors for each of these areas to support technology selection processes. We allow PRO subscribers — and on a much deeper level, our practitioner advisory clients within procurement organizations going through a selection process — to get into the data as much or as little as they required.

What is Your E-Procurement Persona? Understand Your Requirements and Mass Customize Your Vendor Shortlist (Q4 2017 Update) [PRO]

No two procurement organizations are alike. Each has its own persona that reflects not only its own value proposition and engagement approach but also the stakeholders it serves.

The same principle holds true of procure-to-pay (P2P) application providers. Each has a persona (or more than one persona) that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments. Therefore, procurement organizations should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. In other words, there is no “magic” solution provider, and finding the right fit is critical, because a P2P application represents the main interface for most of procurement’s internal customers.

To that end, we are excited to preview our approach to Spend Matters SolutionMapTM, a comparative analytical framework for practitioners to evaluate relevant solutions to meet their procurement needs. Our SolutionMap initiative depicts vendor rankings based on specific buyer personas to reflect the unique value proposition, solution strategy and customer segments served by a vendor. Participating vendors are scored both on their solution as well as on customer value, based on in-depth tech reviews (including live demos) by the Spend Matters analyst team and aggregated direct customer input from surveys. Each SolutionMap is updated quarterly rather than in 12-month (or longer) cycles, to accurately reflect the pace of market developments.

As part of our second Spend Matters SolutionMap vendor comparison ranking, the Spend Matters analyst team has dedicated considerable time to developing the unique organizational “personas” that we’ve most often seen in our decades of experience working with procurement organizations. We have used these personas to weight the requirements that we used in solution scoring, which includes customer satisfaction scoring by solution customers.

Having collected feedback from hundreds of e-procurement users, vendors and consultants in recent months as part of our SolutionMap research, we see these personas as useful starting points for procurement organizations to classify themselves before looking at solution rankings of providers in the market. This multi-part Spend Matters PRO analysis shares five of the most common customer personas in e-procurement and invoice-to-pay (the two segments that comprise the P2P market), with a look here at e-procurement. Aimed at practitioners as well as vendors and the consultants advising them, this research brief is the first step in the “mass customization” of procure-to-pay solutions to meet specific organizational needs.

Below, we present our five personas for e-procurement. For each, we include the following: full definitions, typical organizational priorities (based on each persona), functional/solution and customer value emphasis and recommended selection processes. Comparative vendor rankings are published for each persona separately on Spend Matters (and updated quarterly).

What is Your Procure-to-Pay Persona? Understand Your Requirements and Mass Customize Your Vendor Shortlist (Q4 2017 Update) [PRO]

No two procurement or finance organizations are alike. Each has its own persona that reflects not only its own value proposition and engagement approach but also the stakeholders it serves — and its supply base. The same principle holds true of procure-to-pay (P2P) application providers. Each has a persona (or more than one persona) that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments. Therefore, companies should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. In other words, there is no “magic” solution provider, and finding the right fit is critical, because a P2P application represents the main interface for most of procurement’s internal customers — and a common face to suppliers, as well.

To that end, we are excited to break down our approach to Spend Matters SolutionMap, a comparative analytical framework for practitioners to evaluate relevant solutions to meet their procurement needs. Our SolutionMap initiative depicts vendor rankings based on specific buyer personas to reflect the unique value proposition, solution strategy and customer segments served by a vendor. Participating vendors are scored both on their Solution as well as on Customer Value, based on in-depth tech reviews (including live demos) by the Spend Matters analyst team and aggregated direct customer input from surveys. Each SolutionMap is updated quarterly rather than in 12-month (or longer) cycles, to accurately reflect the pace of market developments.

As part of our second Spend Matters SolutionMap vendor comparison ranking, for procure-to-pay solutions, the Spend Matters analyst team has dedicated considerable time to developing the unique organizational “personas” that we’ve most often seen in our decades of experience working with procurement organizations. We have used these personas to weight the requirements that we used in solution scoring, which includes customer satisfaction scoring by solution customers.

Having collected feedback from hundreds of P2P users, vendors and consultants in recent months as part of our SolutionMap research, we see these personas as useful starting points for procurement organizations to classify themselves before looking at solution rankings of providers in the market. This Spend Matters PRO analysis shares five of the most common customer personas for procure-to-pay, spanning both e-procurement and invoice-to-pay solution areas. Aimed at practitioners as well as vendors and the consultants advising them, this research brief is the first step in the “mass customization” of procure-to-pay solutions to meet specific organizational needs.

Below, we present our five personas for procure-to-pay. For each, we include the following: full definitions, typical organizational priorities (based on each persona), functional / solution and customer value emphasis and recommended selection processes. Comparative vendor rankings are published for each persona separately on Spend Matters (and updated quarterly).

What is Your I2P Persona? Understand Your Requirements and Mass Customize Your Vendor Shortlist (Q4 2017 Update) [PRO]

e-invoicing

No two accounts payable, finance or shared services organizations are alike (or procurement departments, for that matter). Each has its own persona that reflects not only its own value proposition and engagement approach but also the stakeholders it serves — and its supply base. The same principle holds true of procure-to-pay (P2P) application providers. Each has a persona that reflects its value proposition, solution strategy and targeted customer segments. Therefore, finance and procurement organizations should seek providers whose personas best align to theirs. In other words, there is no “magic” solution provider, and finding the right fit is critical, because a P2P application represents the main interface for most of procurement’s internal customers.

To that end, we are excited to lay out our approach to Spend Matters SolutionMap, a comparative analytical framework for practitioners to evaluate relevant solutions to meet their accounts payable, working capital and procurement needs. Our SolutionMap initiative depicts vendor rankings based on specific buyer personas to reflect the unique value proposition, solution strategy and customer segments served by a vendor. Participating vendors are scored both on their Solution as well as on Customer Value, based on in-depth tech reviews (including live demos) by the Spend Matters analyst team and aggregated direct customer input from surveys. Each SolutionMap is updated quarterly rather than in 12-month (or longer) cycles, to accurately reflect the pace of market developments.

As part of our second Spend Matters SolutionMap vendor comparison ranking for invoice-to-pay and procure-to-pay solutions, the Spend Matters analyst team has dedicated considerable time to developing the unique organizational “personas” that we’ve most often seen in our decades of experience working with procurement organizations.

We have used these personas to weight the requirements that we used in solution scoring, which includes customer satisfaction scoring by solution customers. Having collected feedback from hundreds of invoice-to-pay users, vendors and consultants in recent months as part of our SolutionMap research, we see these personas as useful starting points for procurement organizations to classify themselves before looking at solution rankings of providers in the market.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis shares five of the most common customer personas in invoice-to-pay buying needs. Aimed at practitioners as well as vendors and the consultants advising them, this research brief will be helpful to drive the type of “mass customization” of procure-to-pay solutions needed to meet specific organizational needs.

Below, we present our five personas for invoice-to-pay. For each, we include the following: full definitions, typical organizational priorities (based on each persona), functional / solution and customer value emphasis and recommended selection processes. Comparative vendor rankings are published for each persona separately on Spend Matters (and updated quarterly).

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: Exploring Zycus’ Products and Modules Across Source-to-Pay

Earlier in the week on the mainstage at Zycus Horizon, Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’ founder and CEO, provided an overview of his firm’s current and emerging product footprint. The suite is “comprehensive,” to use a word Dedhia favors in describing it. To his credit, Zycus arguably offers one of the broadest suites available today, albeit with varying degrees of depth and comparative functionality. While our definition of what falls into a particular module or another may differ from how various providers define it, here’s how Zycus explains its footprint today.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: 5 Impressions From The Event So Far

Eved

Xavier Olivera and I have spent the past 24 hours at Zycus Horizon. We’ve been in and out of sessions, had conversations with customers and partners, and spent significant time talking to Zycus management. While we did not spend too much time in New Orleans digging into Zycus’ latest product releases, we’ve spent a dozen or so hours in the past quarter reviewing Zycus’ core procure-to-pay (P2P) and strategic procurement technology modules. Factoring these sessions into account and what we’ve learned at Horizon, we thought we’d do a “shoot from the hip” list of impressions from the event this year.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: By the Numbers and Hinting at the Future

Xavier Olivera and I are on the ground in New Orleans (post “supply risk weather incident”) to attend the Zycus Horizon 2017 customer conference. Early in the afternoon, after a late start because of the hurricane — the storm, not the drink! — Aatish Dedhia, founder and CEO of Zycus, took the stage to provide an update and outlook on Zycus.

3 Ways Ineffective AP Processes are Endangering Your Supply Chain

Procurement organizations tend to focus on the “procure” part of the procure-to-pay (P2P) process; so much so that the second “P” often has to take a back seat. Yet the payments side of P2P offers strategic opportunities that procurement should consider — as well as critical risks that it must take into account. When AP processes are neglected, they can endanger your supply chain, tarnish supplier relationships, and jeopardize supply quality and continuity. Following are three ways those negative impacts can occur, along with recommendations for turning these possible risks into strategic opportunities.