Vendor Snapshots Content

AppZen: Vendor Introduction — Strengths/Weaknesses, Company SWOT, Competitors, Selection Checklist [PRO]

The term “audit” usually implies a reactive activity. When something goes wrong, a business conducts an audit to find out what happened, then corrects its procedures to prevent the error from recurring. This approach is, of course, not ideal. Rather than spend time and energy retroactively correcting a problem, taking a proactive, preventative approach to auditing would be more efficient as this would allow businesses to stamp out potential risks before they became problems.

The idea that a business should proactively address risks may seem obvious, but for many accounts payable organizations this is easier said than done. The major barrier to doing so is one of prioritization. A Fortune 500 enterprise may process billions of transactions a year, many of which represent normal, expected spending. But a handful should raise flags — for potential instances of overpayment, duplicate payment or even fraud. The challenge of proactive auditing is not one of developing a proper mindset but of determining how best to find the needle in the expense and invoice haystack. AppZen is like a super magnet for those needles. Founded in 2010, AppZen is an expense and accounts payable auditing platform that uses AI to help businesses identify spending risks before they make payments. Its roster of more than 1,500 customers — including many of the top brands in industries from banking to media and pharma — use the solution to spot non-compliant employee expenses, duplicate charges and other anomalies (e.g., consistent overcharging from a supplier).

This Spend Matters Vendor Introduction provides an overview of AppZen’s solution set. It includes a perspective on what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis, a look at competitors (or lack thereof) and a selection requirements checklist for organizations that might consider the vendor.

Also, we will post a profile of AppZen for our Coronavirus Response series, which highlights go-to vendors to help mitigate the business risks and aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Through April 2020, a special PRO Expert Survival Pack is available to procurement practitioners only* at up to 50% off - Learn more

Suplari: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitors, Selection Guide, Analysis [PRO]

Suplari faces significant competition from multiple market segments: S2P/P2P/S2C suites, best-of-breed spend analysis vendors, and generic best-in-class analytic and business intelligence (BI) solutions that are adding in a few spend/supplier-centric reports and touting themselves as solutions for back-office sourcing/procurement professionals. It's a very noisy, messy space, and it can be very confusing for an analytic novice to figure out which solutions are real and which are just the result of marketing mis-information.

And the trend is likely to continue. Competition will continue to increase as everyone jumps on the analytics bandwagon and peddles a platform that just might be free of any modern analytics capability whatsoever. And the relative lack of knowledge about Suplari, even compared to larger best-of-breed peers that have been around longer, as well as it's current lack of globalization puts it at a disadvantage, despite its focus on building a platform backed by machine learning and more advanced analytics than many second generation platforms out there.

In this final installment of our three-part Spend Matters Pro Vendor Snapshot on Suplari, we offer a competitive analysis and comparison with other providers of spend analytic solutions, like AnyData, Coupa, GEP, Jaggaer, Orpheus, Sievo, Simfoni and Xeeva. Part 3 also provides a SWOT analysis, selection considerations and final commentary. For an overview of the Suplari solution, see Part 1. For a deep dive into the platform's strengths and weaknesses, see Part 2.

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

As indicated in Part 1, Suplari was formed to get the relevant purchasing data out of siloed enterprise systems and into the hands of procurement professionals who needed it to make decisions. Billing itself as “AI-Driven Analytics for Modern Procurement Teams,” Suplari was formed with the goal to use all of the available, disparate enterprise data, machine learning and a modern user experience to put the enterprise — and the employee — back in charge when dealing with their suppliers in negotiations.

The co-founders all had over two decades of experience in enterprise software, SaaS/Cloud, and data, so they realized this is no easy feat. Not only did they know that the data was usually dirty, and disparate, but that simply providing one view would result in a deluge that would be more than the average procurement professional could process, and that the professional would be no better off with too much data to try to make sense of in a limited time as they are when they have too little. To solve this problem, they decided they would apply machine learning and AI to identify patterns and simplify the processes of cleansing, classification and connection — the third being the more untapped need — and opportunity — in the procurement space today.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot will explore Suplari's strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help organizations decide if the vendor is the right one for their shortlist. For an overview of the provider and its platform, see Part 1. In Part 3, we will conclude with an analysis of Suplari’s competitors and offer a final summary.

Suplari: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background, Solution Overview, Selection Checklist [PRO]

This three-part Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series will give an overview of the spend analytics vendor Suplari, examine its strengths and weakness, and provide a comparison with its competitors in the procurement technology market.

Billing itself as “AI-Driven Analytics for Modern Procurement Teams,” Suplari was formed to get the relevant purchasing data out of siloed enterprise systems and into the hands of procurement professionals who needed it to make decisions. However, realizing that the data is usually dirty, disparate and deluging for the average procurement professional, they also aimed to apply machine learning and AI to identify patterns and simplify the processing of cleansing, classification and connection.

In the early days of spend analysis, most of the best-of-breed vendors hitting the market focused on classification and categorization — because that was supposed to be the hard problem and everything else would be easy if you had clean, classified data. But that was just the first obstacle to good spend analysis. The next obstacle was connecting the dots to find the opportunities.

Early vendors purported to solve this problem with some canned top N reports — top N categories, top N suppliers, top N geographies, top N departments, top N off-contract categories, top N off-contract suppliers, etc. This worked well in the early days. A scrupulous sourcing professional would work their way through each and every report until they had evaluated the top 20 or so suppliers, geographies, departments and so on (or until they analyzed the top 80% of spend) and put contracts or procedures in place to capture the bulk of the savings. Six months later they'd run the reports again and then find ... nothing. They'd still be bleeding into the red, but wouldn't be able to do anything about it because most of the bleeding would not be with the top N suppliers, geographies, departments and so on.

Next-generation vendors reported to solve this problem with do-it-yourself reporting where buyers could run reports to target the suppliers, categories, geographies, departments, etc. where they believed problems lied. This was one step up, but the amount of time and effort it typically took to run a report, analyze it for a potential opportunity, determine the opportunity was not worth the effort it would take to capture it, and run another report made it too costly to find and capture all but a few opportunities. As a result, many second-generation solutions ended up being valueless and abandoned not long after their first-generation counterparts.

What was needed was a system that could iterate through all the categories, suppliers, geographies, etc. and find the largest opportunities in each, rank them in order of opportunity size, and present them for easy review by a procurement professional.

And what is really needed is a system that can look at the opportunity size, look at the contracts in place, look at the market pricing, look at historical and community results, and identify not only the opportunities that appear to have the largest size, but the largest opportunities that can be captured now. And while there isn't a system that's here yet, this is where a modern system should be going — and it's where Suplari wants to go.

Yooz: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 3 (SWOT, Competitor Comparisons, Selection Tips) [PRO]

Yooz is one of the many providers that compete in the accounts payable automation market, and Spend Matters plans to launch its first AP Automation SolutionMap this spring. Combining a granular, AP-centric capability assessment with real-life customer reviews gives a deeper understanding of specialty vendors like Yooz. Initially, the AP Automation ratings will be published as a stand-alone benchmark ranking. The Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) SolutionMap rankings will eventually be enriched with AP Automation functional requirements as well.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series provides updates since our 2018 review of Yooz. The three-part series includes facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Yooz’s solution offering in payment automation and e-invoicing markets.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Yooz for finance technology. Part 2 covered product strengths and weaknesses.

This final installment offers a vendor SWOT analysis and competitor comparisons with vendors like Coupa, Basware, SAP Ariba, Oracle, Tipalti and Medius. It also includes more evaluation and selection considerations.

Yooz: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 2 (Strengths and Weaknesses) [PRO]

complex sourcing

Yooz is a specialized middle-market software provider in the accounts payable automation sector with particular expertise in rapid deployment and broad-based support for payables processes. Its capabilities include invoice capture, validation and approval, ERP integration and AP payment processing through its partner ecosystem. (Given its focus on the middle market, areas like global compliance, supplier financing and robust supplier portal features are not yet a focus.)

This three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot Update looks at Yooz since our 2018 review. Today’s Part 2 of the series explores Yooz’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. We note updates in invoice capture, integration partnerships, payment processing partnerships and workflow. Areas of needed improvement include UI/UX, analytics and master data capabilities.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering Yooz. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Yooz: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 1 (Background, Solution Overview, When to Consider Yooz) [PRO]

Yooz is a specialized accounts payable automation software provider that also offers adjacent capabilities in e-invoicing. Yooz supports 3,000 customers and 200,000 users worldwide, primarily mid-market companies that have $10 million to $500 million in revenue and that process more than 100 invoices a month.

Yooz competes in the diverse, sometimes confusing and overlapping procure-to-pay (P2P), e-invoicing and accounts payable automation ecosystems — with an emphasis on AP automation.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot offers an update since our 2018 review, noting that Yooz has since invested in its payments capabilities and that it has several features in beta testing.

The three-part series provides facts and expert analysis to help accounts payable and procurement organizations make informed decisions about whether they should explore this software provider within these ecosystems.

Part 1 of our analysis offers a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Yooz as a complement to other procurement and finance solutions. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, insights on competitors, a SWOT analysis, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Veem: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — SWOT, Analysis of Competitors, Summary [PRO]

Global Risk Management Solutions (GRMS)

Cross-border payments represent a significant opportunity for non-bank solution providers entering the market — and for procurement and finance organizations looking for ways to lower costs, improve visibility and reduce risk.

Today when businesses transfer funds to counterparties in different jurisdictions, they usually use bank channels. To move across borders, the funds must be routed through correspondent banks, which have relationships with both the sending and receiving banks. This complex network of intermediaries carries with it transaction and foreign exchange (FX) fees that, while greatly improved by the SWIFT gbi, can add significant costs (e.g., Goldman Sachs estimates the transaction and FX fees average 4% to 4.5% of volume).

This makes a nice business for the banks, but the margin also puts them in the crosshairs of B2B payments solutions looking to disintermediate this bank product. Within this market, Veem, a B2B payments specialist, is targeting this opportunity.

This final Spend Matters PRO report provides company treasury and procurement organizations an overall assessment of Veem’s capabilities in the cross-border payment space and if their recurring and one-off cross-border payments solution could be right for them. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Veem for cross-border payments. Part 2 covered product strengths and weaknesses. This final installment offers a SWOT analysis and explores competitive alternatives to Veem.

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

Supplier compliance

Payment solutions are increasingly intertwined with procurement and sales activity. Within B2B, this occurs at the enterprise level (e.g., as an extension or component of source-to-pay and order-to-cash, or O2C) as well as at the SMB and contractor levels. And it is happening on a global basis, as trade in both goods and services expands. Indeed, as cross-border trade continues to grow, specialized solutions for cross-border payments are more prevalent, reflecting similar increases in domestic payment options.

For businesses needing to send or receive payments, many options exist — like PayPal, Stripe, Hyperwallet, Amazon Payments, Transfermate, etc.

Within this market, Veem offers payors (or senders) the ability to pay companies without having to maintain vendor or contractor banking account details in their ERP. It enables payors to lock in foreign exchange rates in advance, to fund payments working with Veem’s Pay Later capability, and to move money without incurring expensive transaction fees.

This Part 2 of the series will explore those areas as well as Veem’s other strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider its analytics capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering Veem. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide and competitive market analysis.

With all that in mind, let’s dive into Veem’s product strengths and weaknesses.

Kodiak Rating: Vendor Introduction (Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses, Company SWOT, Selection Checklist, Analysis) [PRO]

As we’ve mentioned in previous research, the market for supplier management applications is fragmented with many types of solutions and approaches. At Spend Matters, we have defined five core supplier management capabilities:

* Supplier information management (SIM)
* Supplier performance management (SPM)
* Supplier relationship management (SRM)
* Supplier risk management (Supplier Risk)
* Supplier quality management (SQM)

Most supplier management applications today have their origin in the SIM or risk areas. There are very few, if any, vendors focused on SPM, and to get that functionality, buying organizations have usually been forced to invest in broader suites, either full S2P suites or extended SIM or Supplier Risk applications. As a result, many organizations, especially (but not limited to) mid-size organizations, have resorted to using Excel as the primary tool for supplier performance management.

But, that said, SPM needs information from other applications to measure performance and has overlaps with the other SXM areas. You typically need some basic information about your suppliers (SIM) and both risk and quality data (Supplier Risk and SQM) to rate your suppliers, and in order to act upon the ratings, some SRM capabilities are needed.

Kodiak Rating’s solution stands out in the market with its primary focus on SPM (and to a lesser degree SQM) supported by basic capabilities in the other SXM areas.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Kodiak Rating and its capabilities — features that support rating, monitoring and managing your suppliers. The brief includes an overview of Kodiak Rating and its solution offerings, a summary solution evaluation, solution strengths/weaknesses, a company SWOT analysis and a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

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

FM Global Resilience Index

Cross-border payment transactions accounted for $23.7 trillion globally in 2018, with the bulk consisting of B2B payments. More and more companies must make payments not only to vendors but in support of contractors, one-off buys, landlords, etc. According to a study by the consulting firm Strategic Treasurer that surveyed corporate treasurers, 37% of corporations now operate across at least 11 countries, 34% use six or more banks, and 39% generate payments in six or more currencies.

Fintechs have been leading the way to offer more efficient methods to make recurring and one-time payments, while doing the heavy lifting of compliance, bank account management, API integration, reporting — all while providing a simple user interface. As the service-based economy continues to grow and go global, corporations will increasingly adopt modern payment solutions designed to make the cross-border experience a lot less painful than going through the correspondent bank wire system.

Veem offers that modern payment solution. The company was founded in 2014 by a team of industry veterans with over 100 years of combined experience in payments, payment processing and banking IT infrastructure management. It is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices around the world with 110 employees. Their mission is to change the legacy financial payment system through innovation and improve the costly and outdated payments industry by building a new user-focused financial ecosystem that services businesses globally.

Veem enables businesses to send and receive payments in local currency with a few simple steps using their proprietary multi-rail technology across several global networks. Its aim is to simplify domestic and international payments for small and medium-size businesses.

It facilitates recurring and one-at-a-time B2B payments between companies, particularly small business. Veem’s system allows a buyer to initiate a payment, or it allows a supplier to upload an invoice and request a payment.

The first of the three-part Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot of Veem will provide an overview of the company and its solution as well as a selection checklist. Other parts will provide strengths and weaknesses for the solution, a vendor SWOT analysis and a comparison of competitors to Veem.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update — Part 3 (Comparison to Competitors and Summary Analysis) [PRO]

This final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot 2020 Update series covering Sievo offers a provider SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other providers in the spend analytics market, a shortlist of providers, a user requirements checklist and analysis.

Not only is the market for spend analysis solutions highly fragmented from a vendor “choice” perspective today, it is also characterized by solutions that are difficult to compare on an apples-to-apples basis between providers. Sievo, of Finland, is one such provider that makes cross-comparisons of vendors challenging because of some of the unique approaches it takes to spend classification and, more importantly, to savings reporting and tracking. In fact, this latter element makes it one of the few spend analytics solutions that is as relevant for finance (and CFOs) as it is for procurement organizations.

Part 1 and Part 2 of this PRO research series provide a company and deep dive solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Sievo.