Solution Providers Content

Catching up on Agiloft: Watch Pierre Mitchell present on CCLM at their Summit 2019

EC Sourcing

Agiloft, a contract lifecycle management (CLM) specialist and one of Spend Matters’ 50 Providers to Watch in 2019, recently hosted their inaugural Summit 2019, at which several speakers — including Spend Matters’ own chief research officer Pierre Mitchell — discussed emerging industry trends. Watch Pierre's video, then catch up on previous coverage of the provider — both one of the highest-performing contract management software vendors based on demonstrated technology capability in Spend Matters’ CLM SolutionMap and a customer favorite for multiple buying personas.

Workday and Scout RFP: Customer Recommendations [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides analysis in support of Workday and Scout RFP customers following last week’s news that Workday is acquiring the sourcing provider. Previous coverage of the transaction with content aimed at CEOs, strategy / corporate development leaders and investors can be found on Spend Matters Nexus (see Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4).

Nexus coverage provides an overview of the transaction, an introduction to Scout RFP, Scout RFP strengths / weaknesses, competitive analysis and recommendations (for ERP providers, suite providers and best-of-breed providers, separately) and potential Workday and Scout RFP integration touchpoints.

Today on Spend Matters PRO, we turn our attention to those which will be most impacted by the announcement: Scout RFP and Workday customers. We encourage Spend Matters PRO practitioner clients who are using or considering Scout RFP or Workday for procurement to contact us for more information on how the acquisition could affect them.

Allocation: What Makes It Great (Sourcing SolutionMap Analysis)

Direct materials procurement technology has always been a bit of a blind spot for North American manufacturers. Many such businesses are already using indirect materials-centric and services-centric applications (e.g., procure-to-pay, vendor management systems), but few also have specialized direct materials-centric procurement tools as a part of their solution belt. A host of factors, however, is starting to change this, to include recent trade volatility, digital transformation of manufacturing alongside business in general, and increasingly complex supply chains that demand a more advanced approach to sourcing and supplier management.

Well-poised to address these drivers is Allocation, a German solution provider that, based on its performance for the past year in our Sourcing SolutionMap vendor rankings, offers one of the broadest and deepest platforms for direct supplier management and direct material sourcing on the market today. With a strong customer base in discrete manufacturing, Allocation can walk into just about any automotive, aerospace, CPG or other manufacturing-based procurement organization and talk the talk, backing up its knowledge with a set of specialized capabilities.

But where does Allocation stand out most and help “set the bar” in sourcing, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Allocation is great.

“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.

Mintec: Vendor Introduction (Part 1 — Background and Solution Overview) [PRO]

No matter how well they prepare, commodity buyers can do nothing about the weather. So until a supervillain decides to make a mid-life career shift to be a SaaS vendor — weather-as-a-service (WaaS), anyone? — procurement organizations buying in the food & beverage categories will have to manage commodity price volatility as it happens.

To do that, many businesses in the food retail, food manufacturing and hospitality industries turn to Mintec. Founded in 1982, Mintec is a UK-based provider of commodity data and analytics tools for the food and drink vertical. It collects, validates and organizes data across hundreds of agricultural commodities and related inputs (e.g., packaging, plastics, labor), which it then distributes via a SaaS platform designed for category planning and analysis.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Mintec and its capabilities. It includes an overview of Mintec’s SaaS offering (Mintec Analytics). Part 2 will offer a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about its solution, a SWOT analysis of Mintec, and a selection requirements checklist for businesses that might consider the provider.

E-Procurement Tech Selection and the Deep Persona: Analysis & Commentary [PRO]

The e-procurement solutions market has been growing for the last seven years. Because of this rapid growth, the market is also fragmented, with numerous vendors competing for procurement organizations’ attention. Yet no one vendor is an ideal fit for all companies, due to the unique requirements of different organizations’ sizes, industry/vertical and prior technology investments (or lack thereof).

So how can companies with different needs evaluate procurement solutions amid an array of vendors with different capabilities?

Spend Matters’ vendor rankings in SolutionMap account for these differences using a persona-based approach. Each SolutionMap persona is calibrated to weight evaluation requirements so that it reflects the profile of certain kinds of buyers. For example, the “Nimble” persona reflects small and medium-size businesses that prioritize fast time-to-value and ease of use in the selections; the “CIO Friendly” persona emphasizes technical foundation and interoperability with other enterprise systems to make for a straightforward implementation.

So what do SolutionMap personas look at for e-procurement, and how can they help your organization make better technology decisions?

In a series of PRO articles, we’ll analyze the market according to the different e-procurement personas: Nimble, Deep, Turn-key, Configurator and CIO Friendly. (See persona definitions* below.)

This review is organized just like the RFI for SolutionMap, according to these topics: platform capabilities, features & functionalities, and customer value.

Now let’s look at the e-procurement features and vendors as viewed by the Deep persona.

Workday acquiring Scout RFP (Part 4: Potential Areas of Solution Integration)

integration

Our final Spend Matters Nexus brief for the week analyzing Workday’s acquisition of Scout RFP focuses on potential product and workflow integration touchpoints between the providers, based on activities that Workday and Scout worked on while “partners only” as well as more strategic considerations. (See the first three installments here, here and here, covering general deal analysis, Scout capabilities + strengths/weaknesses, and competitive sector analysis.)

Today’s analysis begins with a list of generic sourcing integration touchpoints with broader source-to-pay and procurement technology capabilities.

As our Nexus coverage has shown, we tend to look at the acquisition of Scout as a clever, innocuous way for Workday to get into the edges of procurement with a standalone, crowd-pleasing solution. But we also think there’s much more to come from a Workday product roadmap perspective — and that this move is only one of the first acts of a much longer play.

Note: This analysis will be updated next week based on a briefing call with Workday.

 Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a membership, research and advisory organization serving technology acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and CEOs in the procurement and finance solutions marketplace (including contract management, B2B marketplaces/connectivity, indirect procurement, services procurement, direct procurement, commodity management, payment, trade financing, GRC/third-party management and related adjacent sectors).

Workday’s acquisition of Scout RFP (Part 3: Suite and Best-of-Breed Competitor Analysis and Recommendations)

Earlier in the week, the finance and HR solutions provider Workday announced it was buying Scout RFP, a sourcing solution for those who would rather use Uber than maintain an old car (I make this observation with full cynicism intended because my 25-year-old car has been in the shop for three of the past six months ).

You can find previous free coverage of the transaction news on Spend Matters here and here. In our first Nexus subscriber brief covering the procurement technology sector’s M&A news, we offered background on Scout RFP, explored the provider’s strengths and weaknesses, and gave our initial insights into the rationale for the transaction. The second brief explored the competitive implications of the transaction on Workday’s ERP competitors.

As we continue our analysis on Spend Matters Nexus, we turn our attention to landscape implications of the transaction that may affect other, specialized procurement technology providers. We also offer lessons learned for this group as well in terms of what really matters with driving customer success, growth and, subsequently, valuation. Today’s research brief provides a competitive analysis for the source-to-pay suite market segment (e.g., Corcentric, Coupa, Ivalua, Jaggaer, SAP Ariba, SynerTrade, Wax Digital and Zycus) as well as specialty providers that emphasize the sourcing area. U.S. and European sourcing specialists include Allocation Network, Bonfire, EC Sourcing Group, K2 Sourcing, Keelvar, MarketDojo, Promena and ScanMarket and my favorite, at least for its name, SourceDog.



Since the other dog is my car right now and I’m late for a meeting, let me call that proverbial Uber and get on with this analysis.

Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a membership, research and advisory organization serving technology acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and CEOs in the procurement and finance solutions marketplace (including contract management, B2B marketplaces/connectivity, indirect procurement, services procurement, direct procurement, commodity management, payment, trade financing, GRC/third-party management and related adjacent sectors).

Orpheus: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitive Analysis and Summary [PRO]

Spend Analysis. Every company needs it, but not every company knows what they need or how to use it. As per our first post, it could be defined as:

* An extensive set of canned reports across a defined data set
* User Defined Reports and Views on a static ROLAP Cube
* Dynamic Cube Construction and View Creation on a predefined data set
* Dynamic Cube Construction and Federation on an extensible, user-defined data set

Depending on the provider, it may or may not include:

* Data Consolidation and Cleansing
* Data Enrichment
* Data Classification and Categorization
* Data Synchronization with Source Systems

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg on what one has to consider before even inviting a pool of candidates to an RFI, yet alone whittling down to three that all have the core capabilities the organization needs and that can all, more-or-less, be compared apples-to-apples when the RFIs come in.

That’s why in the first part of this three-part series we took our time to define Orpheus and its solutions, including components and capabilities not offered by every spend analysis vendor on the market. Then, in Part 2, we dove deep into the solution, highlighting particular strengths and bringing to light some of the weaknesses compared to peers (which may or may not matter depending on what your organization is looking for). Now, in our third and final part, we will provide a SWOT analysis, a competitive market analysis and a summary with commentary.

First Take Analysis: Workday’s Acquisition of Scout RFP (Part 1: Scout Background, Strengths/Weaknesses, Deal Rationale)

Workday, a provider of finance and human resources solutions, has announced its intent to acquire Scout RFP for a cool $540 million in cash. For those with a long-time background in the industry, this might at first seem like a somewhat mind-boggling sum for a sourcing provider, bringing back memories of Ariba buying Trading Dynamics in the early B2B sourcing era.

But things are a bit different this time, as Scout is bringing rapid growth, material customer numbers (240+ customers) and material ARR growth to the table (we’ll do a back-of-the-napkin analysis of ARR and revenue contribution later in this series). Moreover, it’s an innocuous way for Workday to target procurement without having to go after “the hard stuff” (another key theme we’ll explore).

So beyond the somewhat shocking number at first, the deal can begin to make sense if you peel the transaction onion. So let’s begin.

As we kick off our analysis in this Spend Matters Nexus series analyzing the transaction, we’ll focus this first brief on providing a quick overview of Scout, graphically explain where it fits in the source-to-pay landscape, explore the provider’s strengths and weaknesses, and then begin to delve into the rationale for the deal from the Workday vantage point.

Later this week, we’ll offer an analysis of the M&A and deal components of the transaction (e.g., estimated multiples), provide deeper insight into the integrations/touchpoints between Workday and Scout, and share an analysis of the impact on the competitive landscape (for competitive ERPs, source-to-pay suites and independent sourcing providers).



Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a membership, research and advisory organization serving technology acquirers (private equity, corporate development, etc.) and CEOs in the procurement and finance solutions marketplace (including contract management, B2B marketplaces/connectivity, indirect procurement, services procurement, direct procurement, commodity management, payment, trade financing, GRC/third-party management and related adjacent sectors).

Orpheus: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

In Part 1 of Spend Matters’ three-part PRO Vendor Snapshot on Orpheus, we started out by explaining how the definition of spend analysis differs from client to client and how it is a buyer-beware market — as not all vendors have the same technological capabilities, and you can’t compare their quotes as apples-to-apples. That’s why it’s important to understand what a vendor can do, and what it can’t, before whittling down to the final three and definitely before making a selection — because not all vendors will have what Oprheus has to offer.

While many vendors can slice and dice, cube and derive, and find opportunities on the fly — not all have initiative tracking, not all have AI, and not all have the experience of classifying over half a billion transactions across 4 million suppliers for 15 years of operation. This is pretty distinctive, and we’ve only completed the introduction so far.

In today’s post, we will dive into the strengths and weaknesses, giving you deep insight into the platform.

In Part 3, we will provide a SWOT analysis of Orpheus and discuss the competitive market that surrounds it. We will conclude with some commentary and hopefully will leave you with deep insights into who Orpheus is and what it can do.

What Makes It Great: The Procurify Customer Experience (E-Procurement SolutionMap Analysis)

If you’re going to invest in an e-procurement solution, you’d at least hope that your employees use it. But this is often easier said than done. The usability of enterprise software like e-procurement has been low more often than not, and end users from procurement and other functions alike have not always been keen to requisition, punch out and slog through approvals in systems that recall the days of Windows 2000.

Fortunately, a new breed of procurement solutions is rectifying these past missteps, offering simple, intuitive user experiences that remind users more of the applications they use in their daily lives than at the office. The benefits are attractive: higher solution adoption, faster realization of the benefits of technology and greater overall ROI from the technology investment.

This is exactly what attracts customers to a company like Procurify.

Based in Canada, but with clients around the world, Procurify is an e-procurement solution designed for the needs of small and medium-size businesses. This is most visible in its best-in-class UX/UI, which along with other factors helped Procurify claim the highest customer satisfaction scores in our E-Procurement SolutionMap.

But where does Procurify stand out most and help “set the bar” in e-procurement, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Procurify is great.

“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.

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

procurement

“Spend analysis” is one of the most misused terms in the solution space, especially since the exact scope of what a vendor offers with respect to spend analysis varies by vendor and the scope of what a buyer expects when they buy a spend-analysis solution varies by the buyer. You see, what a vendor offers depends upon their philosophy to analysis and where they are on the development curve with respect to that. What a buyer expects depends upon their level of procurement maturity, what they are aware of as being possible with a modern spend analysis tool, and their level of master data maturity.

You see, "spend analysis" has been, is and will be defined in various ways by various vendors. Depending on the vendor, it could be defined as:

* An extensive set of canned reports across a defined data set
* User Defined Reports and Views on a static ROLAP Cube
* Dynamic Cube Construction and View Creation on a pre-defined data set
* Dynamic Cube Construction and Federation on an extensible, user defined data set

Depending on the provider, it may or may not include:

* Data Consolidation and Cleansing
* Data Enrichment
* Data Classification and Categorization
* Data Synchronization with Source Systems

And depending on the provider philosophy, the classification may be:

* Rules-based
* Automated using statistical / clustering / neural networks
* Machine learning that adjusts the rules to improve the classification over time
* Hybrid approach that does auto-classification and allows for pre-classification using fixed rules and post-classification for mapping corrections
* Machine learning that identifies fixed, deterministic classification rules that are applied with user defined rules for all classification

And the data may or may not be limited to:

* Integrated data sources in the platform that the analysis tool is integrated into
* Integrated data sources, pre-integrated ERP and select API feeds
* A data lake maintained by the provider
* Any data you can push into the data lake it is configured to work on

And so on. In other words, what a vendor offers when they offer spend analysis varies by the vendor, and what a buyer might get can vary widely.

So in this three-part Spend Matters Pro Vendor Snapshot on Orpheus, we will try to leave you with a clear understanding of exactly what Orpheus offers with respect to spend analysis and whether they might be the right provider for you.

In Part 1, we will provide a brief company overview and a look at Oprheus' main offerings.

For Part 2, we will provide a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and maybe not so good) about the solution.

In Part 3, we’ll offer a high-level SWOT analysis, some market implications and a summary.