The Technology Category

Data Center and Cloud Adoption in Europe: Why, What and How (Part 1)

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post form Kaushik Yathindra, business consultant, procurement analytics, at HSBC.

This article is the first of a series exploring the data center/cloud-based infrastructure market in Europe. The first part focuses on the primary question organizations are still looking to understand why procurement organizations need to move to cloud or invest in data centers, and provides insights on why organizations today are faced with the task of including cloud-based solutions in their IT strategy.

Disruptive Technology Meets Strategic Procurement: Short-Term and Long-Term Outcomes

digital business transformation

Blockchain. Robotics. Internet of things. Big data. Peer-to-peer connectivity. These are some of the newest and most talked-about technologies that Spend Matters expects will prove disruptive to the spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management and contract lifecycle management markets. They are collectively referred to as strategic procurement technologies in The Impact of Disruptive Technologies and Solutions on Strategic Procurement Technologies (Analytics, Sourcing, Supplier and Contract Management), a new research paper from the Spend Matters analysts.

Should There be a Chief Procurement Information Officer (CPIO) or Chief Supply Chain Information Officer (CSCIO)?

If you do an exact web search on the terms in the title, you will get zero results. Zero. If you do a similar exact search on “chief medical information officer” (CMIO), however, you will get more than 100,000 results. The need for such a person in procurement and supply chain, however, is clear. Since procurement and supply chain organizations are becoming “procurement as a service” (PRaaS) providers that need some level of autonomy to construct the world-class services that support the business, there needs to be an effective operating model between IT and procurement — and someone leading that effort.

PRGX: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary & Competitive Analysis [PRO]

While not as well known in the spend analytics and supplier management markets as most of its peers, PRGX has built up a small arsenal of solutions through acquisition and organic development that are likely to surprise potential customers — including those that are PRGX audit recovery clients but that may not be aware of PRGX’s emerging technology and solutions outside its traditional services business. In particular, with its OPTIX and Lavante product lines, PRGX brings a particular competency in delivering a “data as a service” model and supplier information management (SIM) solution capability.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering PRGX offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other procurement technology providers in the spend analytics and supplier management areas. It also includes a user selection guide, user interface and user experience (UI/UX) analysis and summary evaluation and selection considerations. Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep-dive solution overview, a SWOT analysis, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider PRGX.

IT and Procurement: The Ultimate Power Couple

IT

Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Andrew Durlak, co-founder and vice president of operations at Scout RFP.

IT and procurement are two star players. Combine the expertise of both and you get a true power couple. It’s a proven fact that effective and collaborative synergy between the two departments pays off — quite literally. Here’s how fostering the relationship between this power couple can improve overall success for your business.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: The Ariba Network Today and Tomorrow (Part 2) — 2017 Network Roadmap

road

At SAP Ariba LIVE Wednesday, the main stage presentation featured an overview of the 2017 Ariba Network roadmap, during which the SAP Ariba team surveyed multiple areas it is investing in that will be delivered throughout 2017. Certainly more so than before, the Ariba Network really is at the core of SAP Ariba’s functional and enablement strategy going forward, including applications and partner apps that will eventually begin to blur the line with functionally-oriented modules that SAP Ariba also sells.

PRGX: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths & Weaknesses [PRO]

PRGX, a recovery audit specialist and a firm in the broader procurement services market, is the midst of transforming itself from a services orientation to a solution one, embedding both technology and expertise in productized capabilities. Although it has yet to invest in externalizing its core technology and data capabilities for recovery audit in retail and other industries, it continues to expand its data-centric capability in spend analytics and, more recently, supplier information management through its acquisition of Lavante.

Whether these or related technologies ultimately automate and digitize core aspects of recovery audit for PRGX in retail (the recovery audit sector where it has dominant market position) is a question for the future. Today, PRGX sells core technology and solutions — including “data as a service” to fuel the back-end of spend analytics — in addition to its auditing service. It is these technologies and related solutions that are the focus of this analysis.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores PRGX’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations and other customers decide whether PRGX is the right fit for their need. The first installment of our analysis provided a company and solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering PRGX. Part 3 will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: The Ariba Network Today and Tomorrow (Part 1) — Past and Present

The future of the Ariba Network is arguably the future of SAP Ariba. As more content, intelligence and capability shifts into not just the cloud but the space between companies, network and platform-based connectivity will become increasingly important for procurement and suppliers alike. Connectivity is even now forming the basis of competition in the procure-to-pay market, with SAP Ariba competitors like Tradeshift making the argument to potential customers that the platform matters as much — or more — than application capability alone. In a series of posts this week, we’ll tackle the past, present and future of the Ariba Network, as well as the SAP Ariba platform.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: Does Supplier Diversity Have a New Visionary?

supplier diversity

SAP Ariba and ConnXus announced a new partnership Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE. ConnXus is one of the last remaining independent supplier diversity vendors with any scale, although still a small firm itself. There are only a few hundred people in the procurement industry who have tracked the market for supplier diversity databases and software solutions over the years and know it well. Those familiar with this area know that the road to tapping supplier innovation and managing diversity spend through these tools has been paved with the great intentions of vendors that somehow got sidetracked along the way.

A Curious South of the Border Partnership: Mercado Libre and SAP Ariba

Tradeshift Baiwang

SAP Ariba and Mercado Libre announced Tuesday a partnership in support of regional tail spend and spot buying initiatives for corporate procurement organizations. The coming together of the two providers might seem odd at first glance but makes sense for several reasons.

PRGX: Vendor Snapshot Part 1 — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

For those that do not know it, PRGX would appear to be one of a select number of dominant services provider in the niche market for recovery audit services — a market that unlike other procurement services faces tremendous price pressure for its core recovery, statement and related auditing and profit recovery services. But PRGX has started to remake itself quietly from within — out of necessity, given these broader market trends — building and acquiring technology capabilities in the spend analytics and supplier management areas, both to expand its relevance and to start driving automation and scale in its core business.

Its recent acquisition of Lavante, a supplier management provider with best-in-class supplier information management (SIM) and master data management (MDM) capabilities, showcases the direction PRGX is taking as it migrates from an audit-driven services firm to a new type of savings and recovery “as-a-service” solutions provider. It brings particular competence in extending core spend analytics to payment and product (SKU) analyses, the latter of which is particularly relevant to its core retail client base (from its recovery audit business).

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about PRGX and whether its technology and solution capabilities are a fit for their needs (it does not provide a review of PRGX’s core recovery audit services capability). Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider PRGX in the procurement technology and solutions area. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: First Day Main Stage (Part 2) — BASF and Supplier Management

Earlier Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE, Dr. Matthias Dohrn, CPO at BASF, outlined his organization’s approach to supplier management using SAP Ariba. He began his talk by sharing one of the best equations we’ve ever heard to refute the notion that technology alone benefits procurement: PP + NT = EPP. Specifically, poor processes (PP) + new tech (NT) = expensive poor processes (EPP)! Dohrn noted during his talk that BASF partnered with SAP Ariba to develop a supplier management capability suited to its needs and processes — which, you guessed it, came before the technology.