Procurement Strategy & Planning Content

SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 1): Customer Analysis, Solution Integration, Roadmap [PRO]

Late in April, SAP announced that it was bringing its procurement assets under a single operating umbrella. The announcement of the new business unit, tucked into the body of a press release with the headline of a leadership promotion, notes that the “SAP Intelligent Spend Group” will be “comprised of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur.” The group, according to the announcement, would be headed by SAP Ariba and Concur veteran Barry Padgett, but this week we learned that Padgett left SAP. Regardless of leadership, the Intelligent Spend Group will move forward. This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an analysis of what the creation of a single organization within SAP for these solutions may mean for each individual solution line and customers.

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Companies Now Using Digital Disruption to Transform, not Merely Cut Costs: Deloitte Survey

As digital technologies continue to affect how businesses evolve, the related risks and opportunities are pushing companies to expand their cost management strategies, according to Deloitte’s recently released second global cost survey.

The study, “Save-to-Transform as a Catalyst for Embracing Digital Disruption,” explains that although traditional cost-reduction methods remain important, many organizations are also investing aggressively in digital technologies that they believe can enhance operating efficiency and cost savings while improving overall performance and competitiveness.

Deloitte’s 2017 study said many businesses relied on the “save-to-grow” philosophy when digitally transforming, but the 2019 study sees businesses adopting the latest technology to fundamentally transform their operations.

7 Ways to Improve Your Public Procurement, Acquisition Knowledge

Recently, the lessons we’ve drawn from Public Spend Forum articles have focused on doing the basics of public procurement well, and this week’s post will look at a workforce competency model that PSF has helped create to develop procurement professionals by exploring seven competency areas that can take your government-contracting organization to the next level.

After taking what we learned from the beginner’s guide to the procurement cycle, we’ll see what wider lessons we can draw by looking at advice for government procurement workers given by PSF, a sister site of ours.

So what is the Public Procurement Workforce Competency Model? Read on for the highlights.

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For CPOs, Life Is Getting Complicated

During a routine meeting with one of our clients, the Chief Procurement Officer at a large Fortune 500 company, we were struck by something this person said: “I feel like I’m wearing so many hats these days, I need a hat stand to keep them all in one place!” Our client’s observation encapsulated something we were starting to see more often: a dramatic broadening of the role of the CPO.

A mere decade ago, a CPO’s job, while often difficult, was relatively straightforward: Find the best deal possible when sourcing raw materials or setting up production. But increasingly, that’s a fluid concept. What’s more, the changing nature of both technology and the manufacturing workforce has pulled CPOs into decisions that were once outside their purview.

Intrigued, we wanted to delve deeper into this trend, and we decided that this would be a fascinating area of focus for our annual “Chief Procurement Officer Survey.” Every year Deloitte conducts this global, cross-industry study to take the pulse of sourcing and procurement professionals. So, this year we’ll be exploring the role of the CPO — how it is evolving, and how procurement leaders are navigating and mastering complexity in the areas of technology, workforce management, and both the business and political environment.

GBI gems: 60 CPOs share procurement insights, war stories

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending my first CPO event run by Global Business Intelligence. Some 60 chief procurement officers, many locals, gathered for the daylong GBI event at the W Union Square in New York to exchange thoughts on supplier collaboration, value engineering and procurement digitization — among other topics. Here’s what I saw and was of interest to me, as Spend Matters’ chief marketing officer.

An Interview with SAP Intelligent Spend Group’s Marcell Vollmer: From CPO to CDO

SAP recently has consolidated its separate business units SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur under its new SAP Intelligent Spend Group division. So it seemed like a good time for me to catch up with an industry insider to shed light on the issues.

Dr. Marcell Vollmer is now the chief digital officer of the Intelligent Spend Group, after filling the CDO role for SAP Ariba since 2017, when I talked to him in a series of Spend Matters interviews about digital transformations and about his stint as the chief procurement officer for SAP.

Recently, he said one area of opportunity that he sees is in procurement, where CDOs should spend more time.

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‘What Were They Thinking?’ E-Procurement Solutions Reveal Critical Insights into B2B Buying Behaviors

At EqualLevel, we believe that procurement leaders need more than visibility and flexibility, they need intelligence. Leveraging the power of advanced data analytics and emerging artificial intelligence technologies, the EqualLevel Savings Advisor (ELSA) doesn’t just document what was purchased, when, by whom and for how much, but, most critically, it will capture the user justification for any choice that diverges from established corporate procurement parameters in a structured report that can be analyzed by management. We call this “the power to know.”

CRO-to-CRO Video Series: Episode 5 Helps Procurement Organizations Drive Business Value

Over the course of the first four episodes in the video discussion series titled “Chief Research Officer to Chief Research Officer,” Michel Janssen and Pierre Mitchell have run the gamut of where digital procurement transformation stands today.

“In our previous installments of the series, we were talking a lot about the complexity of the digital and services ecosystems,” says Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters. “There are thousands of providers and lots of sourcing models.”

So in the final episode, Mitchell and Janssen, chief research guru of Everest Group, a research and management consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas, get into more detail around how to get some deeper intelligence around the providers, how to leverage that, and then how to tap that innovative ecosystem that they’ve been exploring with viewers to drive business value.

Afternoon Coffee: KPMG, Spend Matters on Self-Service in Procurement; U.S.-China Trade; Walmart Has 1st Sustainability Report

China has requested the United States to meet it halfway to salvage a deal that could end their trade war. Walmart released its first ever Environmental, Social & Governance Report. And experts from KPMG and Spend Matters team up to host a webcast warning us all that "Extreme self-service in procurement is coming!" Afternoon Coffee: warning you that you'd better catch up on the latest procurement and supply chain news right here.

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Better Business in a Digital World: The Need for Corporate Digital Transformation

The planning and vision for digital transformation starts at the top, but the change itself is driven from the bottom where it can be built piece by piece, ensuring the strongest foundation possible.

Important decisions must be made if a company wants to continue growing. Nowadays, decisions shouldn’t be made off instinct alone. Gut feelings aren’t enough. People will always have the final say, but their decision should be based on strong insights from trend analyses using big data to reveal patterns to better future-proof their businesses.

What should you expect from a corporate digital transformation strategy? Read on.

CRO-to-CRO Video Series: Episode 3 Peels Back the Digital Procurement Platform Onion

So you’ve decided your procurement function needs to “go digital” with its software solution needs.

But where to begin? How do you buy this stuff?

“You start with having your business challenges in mind,” says Michel Janssen, one half of the "CRO-to-CRO" discussion pairing we've been spotlighting with a series of videos over the last couple of weeks.

Recently, Janssen — chief research guru of Everest Group, a research and management consulting firm based in Dallas, Texas — had a chance to sit down with his  former colleague Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer of Spend Matters.

In Episode 3 of this video series, the two CROs share a comprehensive framework they call a digital capability platform, which paints a holistic picture for prospective buyers. Ultimately, through this framework, Janssen and Mitchell uncover what is available to buy (point solution or suite?), how a buyer can bundle solutions and/or capabilities, and who owns — or should own — the responsibility for digital decision making.