Spend Management Content

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.

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.

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.

SIG dispatch: Leasing Spend — The Hidden Double Digit (millions) Category Savings Opportunity! (Part 2)

contract

I wanted to continue my SIG post from the other day that looked at lease spend and why it’s gaining importance. In recent years, lease spending has come under the microscope because accounting rules now require publicly held companies to disclose their lease spend on their balance sheets. Private companies and government agencies will have to do the same eventually.

The foundational piece of effective leasing spend management is assembling all that data to enable the proper accounting treatment for leases. This also paves the foundation for better visibility and control of leasing spend as well (to learn more about the basics, a recent Spend Matters’ article looked at why lease spend is poorly managed).

But visibility is different from impact. Once procurement has helped finance properly account for new financial reporting requirements, there’s an opportunity to drive lease savings as well.

So let’s look at where the value and savings can come from.

Leases lurk in businesses, leak money: Why lease spend isn’t managed well

Every department in a business has leases — from office printers to office space and routers to forklifts. But not all of this haphazard leasing and its hidden costs goes through the cost-saving negotiation and management provided by a procurement department. That rogue spend adds up, and businesses are starting to understand the full scope of their leasing spend and why it is so poorly managed.

Companies this year are seeing the full extent of this sprawling lease spend because a new accounting standard required that public companies move leases from the footnotes of their financial reports onto balance sheets. Private companies as well as state, local and federal government agencies will face the same reckoning over the next few years as they adopt these new accounting rules.

The new accounting standards have forced companies to wrangle all the leasing information across their business and put it into a centralized system in order to perform the necessary financial reporting. The unexpected benefit of this massive accounting compliance effort is that companies are now sitting on a pile of valuable information about their leases, which creates the promise for saving money and improving efficiency.

Use of eProcurement software evolves to mitigate costs, risks and add strategic insights, report says

As business executives become more interested in the use of electronic procurement software — or eProcurement — as a means to bring about more proactive results, industry leaders have begun to use the technology to target new methods of cost reduction and to yield growth and insights amid evolving industry standards.

In a recent report by Levvel Research, “2019 Procurement Insight Report,” experts discuss industry trends and business spend management strategies, which were collected in a market-wide survey conducted in April 2019. The research, sponsored by Coupa, evaluates how procurement automation software is being implemented and its effects throughout the industry. In Part 1 of this series, the report said one trend is that more business that are smaller and mid-size companies are considering the switch to digital procurement solutions.

In this article, we’ll look at what the study found about companies that have already adopted digital procurement.

4 key takeaways from SynerTrade’s Paris customer panel

In Spend Matters’ last article on SynerTrade’s recent conference in Paris, we talked about how SynerTrade has heard the call of the digital procurement revolution and is readying itself for the revolution by turning its source-to-pay solution into a platform that, through an enhanced API, can easily integrate best-of-breed partner products to provide customers with the tools and intelligence that SynerTrade doesn’t have (as no single vendor can do everything, and the best know enough to not even try).

In this article, we are going to discuss the four key takeaways that the customer panel left us with:
* Measure and Track Quarterly — and React
* Don't Go Too Fast with Tech
* Start with Something Simple That Works and Delivers Value
* Progress Takes Patience

A look into the future: AP automation and Basware’s roadmap

AP automation holds a lot of promise for businesses that want to reduce manual tasks, improve insights into transactions and create value for customers. But the choices of procurement software can be dizzying. In a previous article in this series, we looked at how and why digital transformation will vastly reshape procurement and finance roles. In this article, we’ll examine how one provider is addressing that change.

We asked Basware’s analyst relations specialist Jeff Meredith to discuss what future capabilities the suite provider sees on the horizon. Basware’s roadmap includes more developments in spend analytics, better ways to identify risks, and an increased focus on the supplier experience. Spend Matters' procure-to-pay specialist Xavier Olivera offers a market perspective afforded by assessing demos and doing interviews for SolutionMap, which ranks more than 50 procurement providers.

Community-based Procurement — Get a Buy with Some Help from Your Friends (Part 2) [PRO]

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO series, the topic of community-based procurement focused on some examples of communities of interest within practitioner organizations (e.g., category communities and cross-supplier quality communities) and provider organizations such as group purchasing organizations (GPOs). In this second installment, the focus will shift to the following:

* Community of Interest around procurement transformation — and how to use the community (and tools and services) to accelerate that transformation
* The role of automated community-based benchmarking and capability assessments
* Using the community to drive new forms of collective intelligence baked explicitly into a solution’s delivery model and even the solution itself
* Some insight from our SolutionMap database on our requirement titled “community knowledge and collective intelligence”
* A final example on community-based sourcing with Coupa’s new “Source Together” offering — which tears some “market making” pages out of the old Ariba/Freemarkets playbook and then even rewrites that book itself

S2P powerhouse Wax Digital adds to our market insights

Source-to-pay suite provider Wax Digital has been capitalizing on source-to-pay market growth in the UK and beyond, and it is a bellwether for the health of the S2P market in the UK. Unlike other homegrown vendors in the same region like MarketDojo and Keelvar in sourcing, Wax Digital is an end-to-end suite vendor — and one that has successfully defended its turf against bigger global names.

It’s been on Spend Matters’ radar for years (see coverage below). And we’ve recently gained more insight into its capabilities when it joined our SolutionMap category for Suppler Relationship Management and Risk for the Q3 2019 quarterly update. Our analysts evaluated its offering and ranked it against its competitors in the marketplace. Let's take a look.

7 Simple Ways to Control, Automate Your Accounts Payable

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Finly, a provider of business spend solutions.

Accounts payable involves a lot of challenges, like providing payment approvals on time, budgetary restrictions, ensuring policy compliance and keeping the accounting systems up to date. Organizations reach a saturation level where manually processing all these becomes increasingly tedious and difficult to maintain.

An automated accounts payable system is a great way to overcome these issues and increase effective communication as well as employee productivity. To control your accounts payable, let’s understand the bottlenecks involved in the manual process of accounts payable.

How risk, technology reshape the CFO role

Traditionally, chief financial officers have spent their time poring over budgets, auditing seemingly everything and ensuring compliance. In today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, their role is shifting, incorporating strategic planning, risk management and predictive analytics.

To find out what CFOs are facing and how they’re making changes, the survey “The Strategic CFO: Thriving with Risk” compiles the answers from 500 CFOs and global financial executives about their evolving experiences. The survey was prepared by The Wall Street Journal Custom Content group in association with Coupa, a business spend management technology solutions provider. In a webinar, Coupa CFO Todd Ford and Wall Street Journal contributor Rosa Harris discuss finance’s role as it tries to take on risk and other findings from the survey.