The Spend Analysis Category

These 3 Data Problems Could Be Draining Your Company’s Resources

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Brian Alster, global head of supply and compliance products at Dun & Bradstreet.

When you’re working on estimating the costs of your third-party relationships, the last thing you want to find are holes or inaccuracies in your data. It can leave you unable to make informed, data-driven decisions. This fear might explain why, according to Forrester research, almost a third of enterprise architects and chief data officers spend at least 40% of their time discerning the credibility of their data before using it to make critical decisions.

Simfoni: What Makes It Great (Spend Analytics SolutionMap Analysis)

Spend analytics tools that stagnate age quickly. But solution providers that listen to customers, practice agile software development and bring a deep knowledge of procurement can flank a large cross section of incumbents — quickly.

Simfoni, one of the top-ranked spend analytics software providers by both Analyst and Customer scoring in the Spend and Procurement Analytics SolutionMap, is a case in point. Founded in 2015, Simfoni delivers above-the-benchmark performance in numerous functional areas and is convincingly a Value Leader across all spend analytics buying personas. Join us in exploring what make Simfoni great, based on the latest functional and customer SolutionMap benchmarks from Q2 2018.

“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 explains how the provider excels and where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, concluding with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 5d — Analytics Components) [PRO]

data analytics

Analytics is an essential component of effective program management. All processes within procurement depend on analytics, and the more individual tasks become integral threads in a tapestry of activity, the greater the value that the analysis of data brings to an organization.

But obtaining such value requires a software platform that supports the program, which in turn requires certain functional components to be successful. In this installment of our ongoing series on program management, we define the analytics solution components needed to facilitate both initiative identification and initiative support.

Simfoni vs. SpendHQ: Spend Analysis Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison

Simfoni and SpendHQ have both common and different DNA, particularly in how they originally built and delivered their spend analysis software.

Simfoni initially designed its spend analysis tool to enable the success of other consultancies delivering procurement and spend analytics. Similarly, SpendHQ was born out of Insight Sourcing Group, a consultancy itself.

Although in a matter of years Simfoni has evolved dramatically, it has remained true to its roots, delivering a spend analysis tool that serves both consultants working with end users and procurement organizations directly. And while ISG at first used SpendHQ as both an internal tool and as a leave-behind for procurement organizations, today SpendHQ operates as a standalone company, with a growth rate that is outpacing the market, making it one of the two largest — if not the largest — standalone spend analysis software providers.

Simfoni and SpendHQ have rarely encountered each other in the market to date, given Simfoni’s global focus and SpendHQ’s North America-centric orientation. Still, since both beat the average functional benchmark score in the Spend Matters Q2 2018 Spend and Procurement Analytics SolutionMap, we thought a comparison was in order. Because a collision course is inevitable at some point.

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. These Head-to-Head columns share the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers<, providing comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data along with the trademark quips that Spend Matters was better known for in its early years. So buckle your seat belt, prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit Simfoni and SpendHQ against each other in the spend analysis software evaluation ring.

Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: In certain spend analysis categories — which include data layer, process support, technology, configurability and services — Simfoni convincingly comes out on top. But in others, it’s darn close, and in at least one area, SpendHQ delivers an unquestionably superior score.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 5c — Analytics Examples) [PRO]

Analytics

Perhaps more so than any other category of procurement software, spend analysis tools, used either as a standalone product or as part of a broader procurement suite, succeed the most when they bring together visibility and insights in ways that helps users take action. That’s why we’re focusing on analytics as we continue our series on how procurement can support broader enterprise program management. In our last installment of this series, we dove into various spend and supply analytics that support key enterprise programs. Today’s installment explores six of those analytics areas and provides examples worthy of consideration.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 5b — Example Analytics within Enterprise Programs) [PRO]

analytics

In the most recent installment of this series, we explored how program management is a foundational capability that supports business transformation through a closed loop performance management process. If you’re a procurement organization that is trying to drive change in increasingly diverse, complex and collaborative areas, you’ll need to:

  1. Coordinate that enterprise-driven change vis a vis program management
  2. Align with your stakeholders on where you’ll add value
  3. Plan for the change and what it mean to you, stakeholders, and suppliers
  4. Bring forth your digital enabled supply management capabilities
  5. Execute (and keep coordinating)
  6. Measure your progress and adjust
  7. Rinse and Repeat
And as you do all this, you’re going to need analytics to find opportunities, prioritize projects, launch projects/workflows, manage KPIs and set up processes that have embedded analytics that allow them to adjust to changing conditions and spot risks that threaten them. In this installment of our series on program management, we’ll:
  1. Detail the analytic categories and specific analytics based on the program management life cycle
  2. Map enterprise programs to supporting analytics
  3. Dive into some selected analytics use cases and required technology components
And of course this will all be with a supply-side focus.

Jaggaer Advantage vs. Ivalua: Spend Analysis Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison

Jaggaer Advantage, formerly BravoSolution, has been known for many years for its spend analysis functional prowess. But Ivalua has been somewhat of a well-kept secret among spend analysis software vendors, since the provider has not often emphasized this module alone, on a product basis, distinct from its best-in-class source-to-pay suite. Both Jaggaer Advantage and Ivalua bring a unique set of capabilities to spend analysis and related procurement software areas. And both beat the average functional benchmark score in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Spend Analytics SolutionMap. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head bout?

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. These Head-to-Head columns share the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data along with the trademark quips that Spend Matters was better known for in its early years. So buckle your seat belt, prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit Jaggaer Advantage and Ivalua against each other in the spend analysis evaluation ring.

Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: In four out of seven spend analytics categories — which include data layer, process support, technology and services — Jaggaer Advantage comes out on top (sometimes convincingly so). But in three areas, Ivalua delivers superior performance. And as you peel the onion between the two on a subcategory basis, the use cases for when one is likely a better fit than the other becomes clearer.

Overall, the results suggest that the right solution will vary based on different organizational requirements. There’s no debate that spend analytics selection processes will reward procurement organizations that tailor provider selection to their specific needs.

Program Management: The Missing Link in Procurement Technology Modules and Suites (Part 5 — Analytics Strategy) [PRO]

Procurement doesn’t just drive value through “steady state” sourcing activities that pop up in the enterprise. It helps lead the transformation of the extended value chain and also supports and improves enterprise-level transformation activities. In both cases, such transformational activities will require strong supply analytics that procurement organizations are increasingly supporting through procurement centers of excellence where analytics and market intelligence (especially for sourcing processes) occupy the top functions within a procurement CoE (see more on the topic of procurement CoEs).

Any experienced procurement professional knows that business alignment is critical. This alignment process inevitably leads to a set of enterprise-led (or procurement-led) programs that in turn require a set of analytics capabilities to support. In this Spend Matters PRO analysis, we’ll share:

  • A DuPont-style enterprise value decomposition to nearly two dozen enterprise programs and support supply analytics areas
  • How to frame supply analytics within an overall close-loop performance improvement cycle — and examples within each step of the life cycle
  • A drill down into some of the top enterprise programs into the specific analytics required
  • A further drill down and set of examples in some of the most used analytics

Jaggaer Indirect vs. Sievo: Spend Analysis Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison

The bar for spend analysis software has risen considerably in recent years. Thanks to higher expectations for overall function enablement, enhanced reporting, artificial intelligence-based classification capabilities, and even predictive and prescriptive capabilities, a spend analysis tool designed even a few years ago may not stand the test of time as well as it might have in the past.

This makes the comparison between Jaggaer Indirect and Sievo all the more interesting. The good news for procurement organizations considering both solutions is that they perform at or above the Q2 2018 Spend Analytics SolutionMap overall — and individually help set the benchmark standard for certain areas. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head bout?

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. These “Head-to-Head” columns share the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data along with the trademark quips that Spend Matters was better known for in its early years. So buckle your seat belt, prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit Jaggaer Indirect against each other in the Spend analysis evaluation ring.

Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: In most spend analytics categories — which include data layer, process support, technology and services — Sievo comes out on top (sometimes convincingly so). But in at least one area, Jaggaer delivers superior performance. And as you peel the onion between the two on a subcategory basis, the use cases for when one is likely a better fit than the other becomes clearer.

SpendHQ: What Makes It Great (Spend Analytics SolutionMap Analysis)

Analytics

On its own, SpendHQ’s performance in the Q2 2018 SolutionMap for spend analytics technology and solutions is noteworthy (not only because it beats the functional benchmark for all five buying organization personas). But SpendHQ stands out even more from competitive spend analytics providers – and the broader procurement technology vendor crowd – because it has close linkages to its parent organization, Insight Sourcing Group.

This affiliation brings related capabilities, which expand on the value proposition of spend analysis to deliver rapid savings and continuous value creation opportunities (e.g., leveraged/GPO contracts and category specific solutions for energy), not to mention deep procurement transformation, strategic sourcing and category enablement services. As important, this relationship led to the design of a spend analysis solution which, on its own outside of ISG, is purpose-built to drive sourcing results and savings capture on a category-specific basis to clients.

In terms of targeted spend analytics technology and enabling services, as the Q2 2018 Spend Analytics SolutionMap benchmark provides evidence of, SpendHQ more than holds its own in a highly competitive market as a stand-alone provider. Its SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence, based on both analyst ratings and customer reference scoring, that the provider is a “must” shortlist candidate for nearly all spend analytics buying scenarios. Join us in exploring what makes SpendHQ great, based on the latest functional and customer SolutionMap benchmarks from Q2 2018.

“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 explains how the provider excels and where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, concluding with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor.

Sievo: What Makes It Great (Spend Analytics SolutionMap Analysis)

For many years, best-in-class spend analytics providers would get their technologies and businesses to a certain point and then, on a clockwork basis, decide to sell themselves to broader procurement technology or business intelligence vendors. Sievo was, perhaps, the first provider we know to break the pattern of this trend, building an over $10MM business (and growing) specifically in the spend analytics market. We have the founders of Sievo to thank for staying the course – since they have given us an independent spend analytics solution that is one of the top ranked by both Spend Matters analysts and customers in the latest SolutionMap benchmark.

But Sievo is not like other spend analysis providers that beat the functional and customer satisfaction benchmark – at least not entirely. It has a unique set of capabilities, both functionally and from a broader services perspective, that enable it to serve multiple masters, including finance and supply chain organizations, addressing not only savings tracking that finance is willing to “sign-off” on, but also commodity management and volatility as well (the topic du jour in manufacturing these days, owing to tariffs, trade wars and general market volatility).

Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that Sievo outperforms most other spend analytics providers in the Q2 2018 Spend Analytics SolutionMap benchmark. Sievo’s Q2 2018 SolutionMap performance provides compelling evidence, based on both analyst ratings and customer reference scoring, that the provider is a “must” shortlist candidate for nearly all spend analytics buying scenarios. Join us in exploring what makes Sievo great, based on the latest functional and customer SolutionMap benchmarks from Q2 2018.

“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 explains how the provider excels and where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark, concluding with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider the vendor.

SpendHQ vs. Zycus: Spend Analysis Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison

Two decades ago, Zycus pioneered the original spend classification and spend analytics sector, providing companies with an alternative to Excel and Access for cleansing, classifying, enriching and analyzing spend data. At the time, what Zycus came up with would become a huge step forward not just for procurement technology but for procurement overall.

But since Zycus got its start, dozens of new entrants have pursued the spend analytics market, both independently and as part of broader firms. One of these entrants, SpendHQ, grew out of a consultancy, Insight Sourcing Group. Originally, ISG used SpendHQ as both an internal tool (by the ISG team) and as a leave-behind for procurement organizations. But today, SpendHQ is a stand-alone solution in its own right, with a growth rate significantly outpacing the market that has made it the first or second largest stand-alone spend analytics vendor. (We don’t count Zycus in this area anymore, since it has graduated to a full-fledged source-to-pay suite vendor.)

Both SpendHQ and Zycus beat the average functional benchmark score in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Spend Analytics SolutionMap. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head bout?

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. These “Head-to-Head” columns share the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data along with the trademark quips that Spend Matters was better known for in its early years. So buckle your seat belt, prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit SpendHQ and Zycus against each other in the Spend analysis evaluation ring.

Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: In certain spend analytics categories — which include data layer, process support, technology, configurability and services – SpendHQ comes out on top (sometimes convincingly so). But in others, Zycus delivers a superior performance (both by small and large margins, depending on area).

And overall, the results suggest that the right solution will vary based on different organizational requirements. There’s no debate that spend analytics selection processes will reward procurement organizations that tailor provider selection to their specific needs.

The Q2 2018 Spend and Procurement Analytics SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 11 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.