The Solution Providers Category

Certify, a T&E Veteran, Launches a Procure-to-Pay Solution

Known for its travel-and-expense software solution, Certify on Thursday announced that it is launching a procure-to-pay product. The new cloud-based P2P product is called Certify Purchasing and is billed as a way to automate key accounts payable tasks like requisitions and vendor payments. The SaaS-offering works with desktop and mobile devices, Certify said. CEO Robert Neveu said the move builds on the company’s travel-and-expense experience.

How to Succeed with Systems Integrators and Procurement Technology Implementation: Lessons From Spend Matters UK/Europe and Determine [PRO]

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In too many cases, system integration (SI) and consultancy partnering decisions take a back seat to technology selection and related business process considerations when in fact all three areas are important to consider in equal measures as parts of source-to-pay and procure-to-pay deployments. This misstep is often one of the root causes of procurement organization dissatisfaction with technology decisions and adoption.

In this PRO brief, Jenny Draper, Spend Matters’ managing director for UK/Europe, shares her experience and best practices on the topic from serving as a procurement consultant over two decades before recently joining Spend Matters.

This best practice essay includes Jenny’s lessons learned on the importance of systems integration partners and how to set them up for success (and get the most out of a relationship). It covers such topics as when (and why) superior technologies fail, change management missteps, the role of the modern SI and finding the right fit partner. She then explores specific lessons learned from Determine’s boutique partner ecosystem in Europe.

Throughout, the brief also includes key takeaways and summary recommendations for procurement organizations going through procurement technology selections and deployments.

ERP vs. Best-in-Class Spend Management Solutions: Making the Tough Choice

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from RiseNow Managing Partner Matt Stewart.

With an endless list of options in the procurement software space, how is it possible to choose between spend management solutions like Ariba, Basware, Coupa and Jaggaer? Should you even consider such options when your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is capable of handling basic spend management needs?

If you’re reading this, you’ve likely considered or are considering whether best-in-class source-to-pay (S2P)/procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions are worth your time, money and effort. You’ve probably wondered how the benefits compare between the solutions, whether one far exceeds another in ROI, what is best for your end users and suppliers, and if the rate of adoption is greater with one solution over another.

This story offers a few good places to start when determining whether your ERP provider or a best-in-class spend management solution is best for your organization.

TenderEasy: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

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Despite the current tide of populism, the growing globalization of businesses and, thus, corporate supply chains is a trend no procurement organization can ignore.

Alongside this push into new markets for both sales and production comes a need to more effectively procure transportation because moving commodities or finished goods between facilities, like factories or distribution centers, and their final destinations has become more complex. Add to this a litany of procurement-specific obstacles to effective freight sourcing and management — from a dearth of qualified internal resources to sparse, inaccurate data about freight spend — and the challenge becomes even more daunting.

This combination of logistics category complexity and insufficient procurement capability to manage it is what originally gave rise to the sourcing optimization solutions that most North American organizations are familiar with.

Trade Extensions (now Coupa Sourcing Optimization), CombineNet (now Jaggaer Advanced Sourcing Optimization) and Keelvar (one of the few independent sourcing vendors that currently supports bid optimization) all got their starts enabling logistics procurement across thousands of lanes. As they grew, however, each of these vendors evolved their solutions to support additional categories beyond freight, enabling larger and more complex scenarios while leaving other elements of the transportation equation (like execution) to other technology providers.

TenderEasy, a 14-year-old firm that launched its SaaS solution for freight procurement in 2012, has taken the opposite approach. Rather than expand its sourcing optimization capabilities beyond logistics, TenderEasy has doubled down on freight, positioning itself as the entry point to a broader transportation management ecosystem. It committed to this strategy in 2018 when it became part of the Alpega Group, a global logistics software company that offers end-to-end solutions for transport needs, including not only freight sourcing but also access to freight exchanges and transportation management systems.

Leveraging this network of transportation solutions, Stockholm-based TenderEasy is hoping to bring its Europe-centric expertise across the Atlantic — the company already counts Heinz, adidas Group and British American Tobacco (BAT) as clients — taking on incumbent sourcing optimization vendors in the process.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on TenderEasy and its capabilities. It includes an overview of TenderEasy’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.

BirchStreet Systems: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

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While BirchStreet Systems, a 16-year-old provider of purchase-to-pay solutions, is best known as a provider with deep expertise in the hospitality industry, followers of Spend Matters SolutionMap know the company offers more than just vertical-specific functionality. In fact, based on its performance in the Q4 2018 E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps, BirchStreet consistently holds its own, from a feature/function perspective, with other solutions taking a more horizontal approach, including SAP AribaCoupaDetermineGEP, Ivalua, Jaggaer, SynerTrade and Zycus.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides an overview of the BirchStreet Systems, along with facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations evaluate the vendor. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations might want to consider BirchStreet. The rest of this multipart research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitors and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, insider evaluation and selection considerations.

SolutionMap in 2019: Where We’ve Been and the Year Ahead

Ah, the memories. When it comes to preparing for The Year in Comparative Rankings of Procurement Software Companies, it’s hard not to gravitate immediately to Spend Matters SolutionMap. For one thing, SolutionMap provides quarterly updates, keeping in real-time lockstep with advancements and innovations in the procurement software and technology market. For that reason, we saw some cool things happen over the past 12 months — and have some exciting updates to share for 2019.

TalonFMS: What Makes It Great (Independent Contract Workers SolutionMap Analysis)

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TalonFMS is a provider of talent management and direct sourcing technology that enables organizations that are looking to source, manage and leverage independent contract workers (ICWs). TalonFMS’s technology solution was recently evaluated in Spend Matters’ SolutionMap framework with the Independent Contract Workers enterprise solution category. The ICW solution segment is the most dynamic part of the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) procurement technology market, which also includes SolutionMap’s Temp Staffing (Vendor Management Systems/VMS) and Contract Services/Statement of Work solution segments.

Unlike solutions for Temp Staffing or Contract Services/SOW, most ICW enterprise solutions have emerged over the past five years within the context of the so-called gig, freelance and peer-to-peer “economies.” While some new providers have developed external platforms like online marketplaces that function effectively as third-party suppliers of talent, others have developed enterprise software solutions that organizations can use to source and manage independent contract talent in ways that VMS, ATS and HRIS systems cannot. TalonFMS falls within this latter category.

TalonFMS provides a fit-for-purpose enterprise software solution that organizations can use to source and organize, gain visibility into and establish control over their external workers they engage as contract independents and not as employees of staffing suppliers. A young company launched in 2015, TalonFMS already covers most of the important ICW management requirements cost-effectively for any size and type of organization, and it boasts the highest client survey score among its peers in the ICW solution category.

New Year’s Countdown: Spend Matters’ Top 10 Articles of 2018

Another year is ending and 2019 is officially upon us. For procurement professionals and technology providers, that means we’re nearing the end of a decade’s worth of industry innovation — and that various “2020” forecasts will soon become outdated.

While many claims of what 2020 would be like now seem laughable, there have been, to be sure, numerous developments worthy of note. See what caught our readers’ attention in 2018 by counting down our top 10 posts of the year with us. Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2019!

Top P2P Articles of 2018: Technological Leapfrogs, Market Forecasts and New Frontiers

The procure-to-pay area may seem straightforward. Procurement primers on the subject often segment the P2P process into seven or nine steps, making its components easy to grasp even for the uninitiated. Yet go one layer deeper and numerous complexities emerge — to be followed by still more as one peels the process architecture and technology onion. (Consider, for example, our multiple stories on the intricacies of catalog management.)

This cascading complexity is one reason that P2P-related topics — like e-procurement, invoicing and payments — are consistently some of the most-read articles on Spend Matters. To see why, here are the top five posts that readers sliced, diced and consumed.

Procurement Technology and Solutions M&A Outlook: 10 Predictions for 2019 (Part 3) [PRO]

In the second installment of our M&A predictions for 2019, I explored an expanding focus on services procurement (assets), the increasing acquisition interest in strategic procurement technologies among buyers, and the scarcity of e-procurement and procure-to-pay targets left in the market. This builds on the first installment in the series, in which I explored the deals that have happened already in 2018, as well as our first three of 10 prognostications for next year. First, private equity firms will play an increased role in the sector. Second, valuations will be all over the map. And third, peripheral players will respond to the “Amazon” effect.

Today we turn our attention to three additional predictions. Everyone who knows me in this space knows that my greatest weakness is to wax on — not usually eloquently. So I’ll try to go straight to the point with the next predictions in the 2019 procurement technology and solutions M&A lineup.

Tradeshift Buys Babelway: A ‘First Take’ Analysis [PRO]

Earlier today, Tradeshift announced it had acquired Babelway — a technology provider that straddles the line between a cloud integration broker/hub and electronic data interchange (EDI) enablement. It will provide integration services to Tradeshift customers.

This Spend Matters PRO “First Take” analysis offers additional insight on what we know about Babelway and what it does (in plain English), insight into the acquisition/rationale, and a cursory analysis of what it means to Tradeshift customers, partners and competitors.

Tradeshift Acquires Babelway, Adding Integration Heft to Its Platform

San Francisco-based Tradeshift, a platform provider for supply chain payments and marketplaces, announced Tuesday it has acquired Babelway, a Belgium firm that focuses on ways to simplify B2B integration. Tradeshift CEO Christian Lanng details the deal in an interview with Spend Matters' Jason Busch: