Procurement Systems & Architecture Content

Corcentric to Acquire Determine: Exploring Determine’s Procure-to-Pay Strengths and Weaknesses (Part 3) [PRO]

Corcentric recently announced its pending acquisition of Determine (see previous Spend Matters PRO analysis: Transaction Overview and Customer Recommendations and Competitive Landscape Analysis — and news coverage here). But in buying Determine, what exactly is Corcentric gaining from a procure-to-pay perspective (i.e., product, solution and platform strengths and weaknesses)? And how do Determine’s capabilities stack up in the market overall relative to peers on a granular basis?

To answer the latter question, you can turn to the latest Q4 2018 SolutionMaps for e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and procure-to-pay SolutionMap Insider provider scoring summaries. For those interested in viewing Determine from a broader source-to-pay perspective, there is a SolutionMap for you as well. Each report provides comparative overall and “deep-dive” capability insight (e.g., catalog management, requisitioning, invoicing compliance, etc.) as well as detailed customer reference benchmarks. Determine is one of dozens of providers featured in these granular, comparative vendor ratings analyses — others include Basware, BuyerQuest, Coupa, Ivalua, Jaggaer, Oracle, SAP Ariba, Tradeshift, Taulia, Vroozi and Zycus — designed to aid shortlisting and selection decisions.

But to provide insight into overall product strengths and weaknesses for P2P, let’s dive right in today as we offer a summary view of where Determine stands out from the pack — and where it trails its peers. We’ll offer a similar analysis for sourcing, supplier management, contract lifecycle management (CLM) and spend/procurement analytics (collectively Strategic Procurement Technologies in SolutionMap) in a subsequent research brief in this series.

How Client Relationship Management (CRM) is Different for Government Contracting

digital

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Public Spend Forum, a sister site.

If you are used to private-sector sales, there are many differences to acquaint yourself with when transitioning to selling to government agencies, and the learning curve can be time consuming. Some of the successful sales and marketing tactics used in the commercial market do not work as well in government contracting. In fact, even the term “sales” is replaced with “capture management.” If you plan to transition and succeed in government contracting, it’s important that your client relationship management system (CRM) is set up to accommodate these differences to capture the business processes and data elements needed for government capture management.

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

tech

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.

Contract AI: How Legal Departments Evaluated, Use Artificial Intelligence Tools

Staples

A new report for Seal Software sheds light on how companies’ legal departments are preparing for or using the latest tools associated with artificial intelligence to analyze contracts for hidden opportunities and risks, according to the white paper by Ari Kaplan Advisors. Seal uses machine learning and other technology to review contracts, extract data and do analytics, the California-based company said in a news release. It all adds up to a “Contract AI” solution. Some respondents pulled back the curtain on how they’re deploying the technology.

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

data analytics

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.

Corcentric to Acquire Determine: Valuation, Transaction Overview, Customer Recommendations and Competitive Landscape Analysis (Part 2) [PRO]

low commodity prices

Corcentric’s pending acquisition of Determine will create one of the more unique procurement and finance solutions providers in the market. In addition, the transaction, upon closing, will firmly establish Corcentric as a software (SaaS/cloud platform) provider in the source-to-pay sector. But what are the implications for Corcentric’s and Determine’s customers and the broader competitive market?

Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO brief provided an overview of the combination (by the numbers), an analysis of the transaction/valuation and our “elephant in the room” observations.

Today, we turn our attention to customer recommendations for Corcentric and Determine users and offer a perspective on the competitive landscape implications of the transaction.

In later PRO briefs, we will offer our view of Determine’s functional strengths and weaknesses in both the procure-to-pay (i.e., e-procurement and invoice-to-pay) and strategic procurement technologies (e.g., sourcing, CLM, etc.) areas.

Corcentric to Acquire Determine: Valuation, Transaction Overview, Customer Recommendations and Competitive Landscape Analysis (Part 1) [PRO]

Earlier this week, Corcentric — a provider focused at the intersection of accounts payable automation, order-to-cash, trade financing, procurement consulting and group purchasing organization (GPO) software and services — announced its most strategic software acquisition to date: Determine.

But what are the highlights of the transaction? How do the proposed terms of the combination address Determine’s balance sheet liabilities — and more important, what is our summary analysis of Corcentric + Determine?

In this two-part Spend Matters PRO brief, we will provide an overview of the combination (by the numbers), an analysis of the transaction/valuation, our “elephant in the room” observations, summary recommendations for Corcentric and Determine customers and an analysis of the competitive landscape implications of the transaction.

In later PRO research briefs, we will offer our perspective on Determine’s functional strengths and weaknesses in both the procure-to-pay (i.e., e-procurement and invoice-to-pay) and strategic procurement technologies (e.g., sourcing, CLM, etc.) areas and what these bring to Corcentric, and, with sufficient distribution (that they lack today, at least in North America), what they could bring to the broader source-to-pay market.

AI in Optimization Today [PRO]

SciQuest

As we continue our investigation into AI in source-to-pay technology, which started with our AI in Procurement series and continued with our AI in Sourcing series, we take a deeper dive into optimization. Primarily the focus is on strategic sourcing decision optimization, but we'll discuss related areas as well.

First, let’s recap the status quo to remind us of the reason for the existence of these AI briefings.

AI, or artificial intelligence, does not yet exist, especially in the strictest definition of the term. Computers are not intelligent, not even artificially. They can do more calculations than ever before. They can take advantage of more data than ever before. They can find significantly more correlations than ever before and compute, with better and better statistical reliability, which are just correlations and which are true cause and effect relationships. But they are still, when you get right down to it, as dumb as door knobs. Probability is not intelligence. But it is damn good guidance.

In sourcing, logistics and supply chain, we are primarily concerned with decision optimization. Read on to find out the latest developments and expectations.

Jaggaer ONE Is Released, Giving the Spend Management Provider a Unified Platform

After 15 months of developing its unified spend management solution, Jaggaer on Tuesday announced the release of Jaggaer ONE, which it called the “cornerstone” of its suite. “Jaggaer ONE represents the next stage in the evolution of our company and is the most complete business-to-business spend management offering available globally,” said Jaggaer CEO Robert Bonavito, in a press release.

Procurement Software Provider Xeeva Gets Another Patent to ‘Enrich’ Spend Data

contingent workforce

Xeeva, a provider of procurement and sourcing software, received another patent related to data management that uses artificial intelligence, the Michigan-based company said in a recent announcement. “The patent incorporates functionality for rapidly enriching data records to improve both quality and consistency,” the announcement said. With the increased digitalization of all businesses and the added use of connected  devices like the internet of things (IoT), more data is produced than ever, and businesses are having to find solutions that can make sense of it all.

Coupa Pay: Solution Review and Analysis [PRO]

Spend Matters has analyzed dozens of solutions that span procurement and payables processes. This includes procure-to-pay (P2P), invoice-to-pay (I2P) and accounts payable automation solutions. Yet while each of these technology areas extends transactional capability into payments to some extent, each solution targets this area in a different manner. Some of this has to do with the way individual vendors explain their value propositions to customers and have built products based on their unique vantage point. And in an upcoming series on Spend Matters PRO, we will analyze the ways various vendors make the case for their approach to B2B payments (one model/size does not fit all!)

Today, however, we look at one vendor which is continuing to extend its P2P and I2P software to payments: Coupa. The provider's rapidly evolving solution, Coupa Pay, is unique on multiple levels both for what components it combines and also because it follows Coupa’s “unified” approach – which we will explore in this research brief in more detail.

Coupa Pay targets the payment process in a unique manner, and the combination of payment mechanisms, such as virtual credit cards (v-cards) and early payments, can become more effective through adoption and scale, through such a unified approach that extends the capability of procurement and finance (AP) functions. For Coupa, specifically, this concept falls under the domain of its vision for full business spend management (BSM) which may sound like jargon on the surface, but has some real merit as you unravel the marketing behind it and get into the actual solution.

What’s perhaps most interesting about Coupa’s approach to payments in particular is that the provider has identified the payment process gaps where it can generate better value to the business, rather than just satisfy an operational activity such as payments to suppliers or the reimbursement of expenses to employees.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief explores Coupa Pay — what it is, how it works and where it stands out from competitors.

Outlaw: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

When people think contracts, they think lawyers. And when people think lawyers, they think semantics, tedium, inefficiency. It’s no surprise, then, that the contract management process at many businesses is perceived as lawyer-like: slow, plagued by error-prone review processes and more inclined to risk-aversion rather than to embracing the new or innovative. But these flaws are also the result of ill-suited tools to manage contracts.

The dominant preference among business users for applications like Microsoft Word and email for the facilitation of contract authoring, review and negotiation is in no small way a reason why contract management processes can feel so archaic.

These applications are general-purpose tools that fail to address the complexity and the importance of contracts to a business. Yet contract management processes have largely been designed to fit to these tools, rather than the other way around.

Reimagining what the contract management process should be is the approach that Outlaw, a nearly two-year-old vendor based in Brooklyn, New York, has taken to designing its software-as-a-service solution.

The founders, both former consultants, were all too familiar with the headaches of contract drafting and approval, which inspired them to design a new contract solution around how they would want to create, negotiate and sign agreements. In doing so, they hope to bring an outsider’s perspective to contract management, rebuilding the process from the ground up so that it can be easier, faster and more enjoyable.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Outlaw and its capabilities. The brief includes an overview of Outlaw’s offering, a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis and a selection requirements checklist for companies that might consider the provider.