Services and Indirect Content

‘There is so much opportunity to leverage high-skill, high-value talent,’ MBO’s Bryan Peña says of independent workforce

Technology is changing the way people in the independent workforce find work, and companies face challenges finding that talent, says Bryan Peña, Chief of Market Strategy at MBO Partners.

"Technology is also becoming ubiquitous, and the discipline of managing a talent pool is becoming an organizational competency," he says. "So what we see is a lot of technologies that have been around for a while taking off because there’s more of an organizational demand for them as jobs become harder and harder to fill. And now that some of the basic problems are solved, you can point to more advanced ones. So many technologies are evolving to solve very discreet, unique problems — it's an exciting time."

Tropical Storm Barry closes New Orleans port; Talmix targets CVs, resumes; Wax Digital in SolutionMap

Tropical Storm Barry, which may develop into a hurricane, has closed the Port of New Orleans to cargo and cruise traffic as heavy rain hits Louisiana. Talmix, the London-based independent talent sourcing and management solution, announced the launch of Talent Passport “to replace CVs and resumes for talent on its network, increasing the richness of data for every user.” And the use of reverse auctions by procurement suppliers and purchasers is on the rise, according to a report by Scout RFP. Afternoon Coffee: supplying your procurement and supply chain news.

Q2 2019 SolutionMap: Contingent Workforce & Services Technology, SPT and S2P suite software providers’ scoring summary reports now available

As part of the Q2 2019 SolutionMap release, the Strategic Procurement Technologies (SPT), Source-to-Pay (S2P) suites, and Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Technology Provider Scoring Summary reports are available today on SolutionMap Insider.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: July 2019 [Plus+]

Hot List brings you a summer reading list that includes updates on Spend Matters' SolutionMap rankings of companies in the Contingent Workforce/Services space, insight into Japan's freelancer market by exploring an SAP Fieldglass deal, and a recap of Fiverr's IPO ups-and downs, as well as a raft of other suggested reading.

What I Learned About Coupa Contingent Workforce (CCW) at Coupa Inspire [PRO]

While at the corporate event Coupa Inspire recently, keeping a watchful eye on Coupa’s progress with Coupa Contingent Workforce (CCW) unification, I found myself thinking about something. It was just over two years ago that Coupa dipped its toe into the services procurement solution space with the limited release of Services Maestro. Among other things, that narrow solution component for sourcing and managing SOW projects of low-medium complexity and scale left few doubts that Coupa was serious about providing its customers with lifecycle source-to-pay capabilities for the procurement of contingent workforce/services (or CW/S, as Spend Matters abbreviates it).

I found it a bit amusing, in retrospect, that in a Spend Matters brief at the time (Coupa Unveils Services Maestro: Will the Student Become a Master of Services Procurement and Contingent Workforce Spend?) we somewhat playfully lectured Coupa about the complex nature of the space: “If Coupa decides to use the current iteration of Services Maestro as a jumping off point to enable procurement in this journey,” we sternly warned, “it will need to question, at the very core, how it opts to deploy its product development and product management resources to address the challenge.” And so it did, in September 2018, opting to buy (vs. make) a well-regarded VMS solution to “unify” into Coupa’s business spend management (BSM) platform.

So as I meandered in and out of the recent CCW sessions, demos, conversations with product development folks and, above all, clients and prospects, it became clear to me that Coupa was now looking like a maestro after all or, at least, certainly a very motivated and able fast learner. What my experience at Inspire brought home for me was that, in a period of just two years, not only had Coupa gone from nibbling on the edge of the CW/S solution space to actually being a major player in it. Coupa was also progressing steadily in realizing its vision of full contingent workforce and services capabilities woven into its unified BSM solution fabric.

This PRO brief will separate what I learned in terms of CCW progress and what I learned in terms of CCW challenges, and it will close with a brief analyst summary-commentary.

Q2 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Independent Contract Workers (ICW)

Q2 2019 marks the fourth research cycle for Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, the sourcing and management of three underlying spend categories:Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Independent Contract Workers (ICW).

The providers in the Q2 2019 CW/S SolutionMap include Beeline, Coupa (formerly Coupa-DCR Workforce), Field Nation, Shortlist, SirionLabs, TalentNet, Talmix, TalonFMS, Upwork Enterprise, Vndly and WorkMarket (ADP).

Given Spend Matters’ procurement orientation, we evaluate “enterprise technology” vendors within a source-to-pay (S2P) reference model. In other words, we look at vendors in terms of their capabilities that address some or all enterprise requirements that arise within an S2P lifecycle (i.e., from supplier sourcing to worker or supplier payment).

In this CW/S research cycle, there were no new providers, and again limited participation in the Temp Staffing and Contract Services/SOW SolutionMap categories. However, a good number of key vendors have expressed interest in participating in upcoming cycles.

There continues to be vibrant interest in participation by vendors in the emergent Independent Contract Workers (ICW) SolutionMap category.

We have gathered extensive business profile information, received 75 customer survey references and have assigned scores to specific solution capabilities (RFI line items) ranging from well over 100 to about 300, depending upon how many SolutionMap categories a particular vendor participated in.

This SolutionMap Insider research note provides insight into our methodology and additional changes in the Q2 2019 SolutionMap release.

Post-IPO Perspective on Fiverr — What Lies Ahead? [PRO]

About two weeks ago, Fiverr — the online freelancer marketplace — priced its IPO at $21 per share. The first full day of trading opened at $26, and the share price had risen to $44 before closing out the day at $39.90 per share. That day, the media outlet Marketwatch brandished the headline “Fiverr breaks from gig-economy IPO curse, CEO says market ‘is like e-commerce 20 years ago.’ ”

Heady times, indeed.

As for the gig-economy IPO curse (a reference to the subpar IPOs of Lyft and Uber), so far so good. This week, Fiverr was priced at about $28 per share, two dollars more than the opening price of $26 and seven dollars above the original IPO price of $21.

As for the second assertion that Fiverr is addressing a market that is “like e-commerce 20 years ago,” we’ll have to wait and see (until 20 years from now, to be precise). But it is an interesting contention, and not the first time it has been discussed. About seven years ago, when I started the Online Staffing & Human Cloud/Cloud Labor LinkedIn Group, I asked: “Can we have an iTunes or Amazon of work and labor services?” At this point though, while we’re still waiting to see, Fiverr may be the closest thing like it today.

In Spend Matters’ earlier PRO series, “Fiverr, Online Services Marketplace, Is Going Public: What You Need to Know (Part 1 and Part 2), we looked at Fiverr in terms of its rise as a marketplace business, its unique go-to-market approach, to-date financials, and we offered a high-level comparison of Fiverr and the two other publicly traded freelancer marketplace companies.

In this PRO brief, an addendum to the previous series, we focus not so much on Fiverr’s specifics today. Rather, we ask the question “Where to from here?” We offer a situation analysis and strategy assessment based on our own industry/market perspective, our own research of Fiverr (which began several years ago). We wrap it all up with some comments addressed to services procurement practitioners.

Coupa expands AWS relationship, beefs up its business spend management

cloud solutions

Coupa made two announcements Tuesday morning: It’s expanding its relationship with Amazon Web Services to help enterprises with technology spend, and it bolstered its business spend management (BSM) with several new developments.

Freelancer Management Systems: How Companies Can Find and Retain Independent Contractors via Direct Sourcing

As technology changes the work landscape, as companies seek more specifically skilled workers and as those workers push for non-traditional work arrangements, companies need to find effective ways to meet those changes. Direct sourcing is emerging as a viable, practical option to fill on-demand and other staffing needs.

When used alongside traditional hiring methods, including third-party staffing firms, direct sourcing allows companies to find and hire previously untapped independent contractors.

For decades companies have relied on staffing firms, managed service providers (MSPs), and other internal HR or procurement processes to handle their hiring, so how can they successfully integrate new technologies and methods? A readily available and reliable choice is to enlist a third-party technology provider that specializes in freelancer management systems technology (FMS). This technology can be integrated into an existing vendor management system, allowing companies to glean data from all sources to support the entire contractor management program.

Afternoon Coffee: MBO Partners’ latest look at U.S. gig economy; Hackett Group reveals procurement investment priorities

A new report by the Hackett Group has revealed that procurement organizations were prioritizing the transformation of digital technologies in specific areas. MBO Partners published its 9th annual “State of Independence” report, representing the longest-running study of the independent workforce in the U.S. And Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia warns against China cyber threats. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Afternoon Coffee: Fiverr’s post-IPO share price bump; Walmart, other companies urge Trump to solve trade crisis

With share prices nearly doubling by the end of the first day of trading, Fiverr's IPO looked to be off to quite a start. Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and over 600 other companies have written to President Donald Trump to resolve the trade dispute with China. And on the heels of Gap and H&M, Ralph Lauren has also committed to a sourcing goal for sustainable cotton. Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

Fiverr IPO launches at $21, and share price nearly doubles


Fiverr (NYSE: FVRR), the online marketplace for digital creative services, priced its 5.3 million IPO shares Wednesday night at $21 per, raising about $111 million in new funding. On Thursday morning, shares began trading at $26, but when the market closed in the afternoon, Fiverr’s share price had risen to $39.96 (nearly doubling). Based on the closing price per share and an estimated 31 million shares outstanding, Fiverr’s market cap would be about $1.2 billion, or 16 times revenue.

We will provide further analytic post-IPO coverage soon. In the meantime, check out our recent PRO series: Fiverr, the Online Services Marketplace, Is Going Public: What You Need to Know — Part 1 and Part 2.