Why would Medius buy Wax Digital? (Part 2: Wax strengths, customers, integration considerations)

Yesterday, AP automation specialist Medius announced it was acquiring Wax Digital, the UK-based source-to-pay suite provider. Together, they hope to carve out a unique niche in targeting procurement and finance organizations primarily in Europe and North America (although both have global customers and users).

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters Nexus series, we provided an overview and introduction to Wax Digital and Medius, touched on the product strengths and weaknesses for Wax, and explored the rationale for the transaction.

As we continue our analysis today, we add in the customer voice to the mix, specifically focusing on Wax Digital’s economic buyers (e.g., CPOs, procurement VPs, etc.) and what they think about the solution, because customer feedback is one way we score solutions for our free vendor ranking system, SolutionMap. We also will go deeper on some of the more specific strengths of the solution at the platform and functional levels, and explore how this might affect users of the combined solution. And we’ll look at integration touchpoints for Wax and Medius.

Later this week and next, we will continue our exploration of the combination, delving into the impact on the competitive landscape, including an analysis of how the combination may affect competitive AP automation and invoice-to-pay vendors as well as procure-to-pay and source-to-pay suites. Finally we will explore how the total addressable market (TAM) expands when combining finance and procurement together. TAM is a key metric that sponsors use to analyze investment opportunities.

Jason Busch serves as Managing Director of Spend Matters Nexus, a research and advisory group that works with sponsors, CEOs and boards on due diligence, M&A strategy and product strategy. Spend Matters and Spend Matters Nexus are owned by Azul Partners. Disclosure: Azul Partners served as an adviser to Marlin Equity in this transaction.

Wax Digital: What Makes It Great (Sourcing SolutionMap Analysis)

While plenty of vendors like to wax poetic about how complete or end-to-end their procurement solutions are, few of these ballads stand up to critical scrutiny. Many vendors that tout their “unified platform” often cannot deploy their solutions with as seamless of a module integration as initially claimed.

This is not the case with Wax Digital, a UK-based provider that offers a relatively complete, integrated source-to-pay solution on one code base that is already used globally in more than 100 countries. This approach allows Wax Digital to claim numerous strengths for sourcing capabilities that its competitors cannot, such as the ability to connect with adjacent suite areas like supplier onboarding/management or easily integrate third-party applications and data. And, as the SolutionMap benchmark demonstrates, its backbone in sourcing capabilities (e.g., RFX construction, surveys, opportunity analysis) are often above average, too, making a strong case for Wax Digital to be considered for competitive shortlists where true end-to-end S2P capabilities are desired.

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

Wax Digital

As part of the SolutionMap RFI process, Spend Matters continuously solicits customer references to determine a procurement technology provider’s placement on the ranking graphics. This is a Spend Matters curated summary of verified customer feedback for Exari, a SolutionMap-ranked provider.

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.

Wax Digital: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis

We can count on two hands the number of independent source-to-pay providers left in the global market with sufficient breadth and depth of capabilities to fully earn the moniker of “suite provider.” Wax Digital is one of them. But don’t fret if you’ve not encountered them yet.

In Part One of this Vendor Snapshot, we introduced you to the firm — a source-to-pay provider from the UK that you may not be familiar with, especially since it has not yet participated in SolutionMap (although that changes this quarter). Then in Part Two, we dove in deep and examined, in detail, all of the strengths and weaknesses of this widely deployed source-to-pay platform that is just becoming known in North America.

Wax Digital is a particular provider to note among others, as it one of the few providers that offers a relatively complete, integrated, source-to-pay offering on one code base that is already used globally in over 100 countries. Maybe vendors tout “one platform” when in fact their solutions do not work as seamlessly together as claimed.

Now, today, in our third and final installment in this Vendor Snapshot series, we provide a SWOT overview of Wax Digital as a whole, a comparative and competitive market overview, and provide some final summary analysis and recommendations for organizations that might consider Wax Digital as a potential solution partner.

Wax Digital: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses

In Part 1, we introduced you to Wax Digital, a source-to-pay provider from the UK that you may not be familiar with, especially since it has not yet participated in Solution Map (although that changes this quarter). Wax Digital is a provider of note as it is one of the few providers that has a relatively complete, integrated, source-to-pay offering on one code base that is already used globally in over 100 countries. In our last article, we overviewed some of the key parts of Wax Digital’s platform. In this post, we dive into its strengths and weaknesses.

Wax Digital: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview

Some vendors prefer to wax poetic. Others prefer to wax digital. One such source-to-pay provider likes waxing digital so much, that it even calls itself Wax Digital. And it is our latest source-to-pay vendor to get the in-depth PRO treatment here on Spend Matters (before its debut in Q4 SolutionMap).

By now you are all familiar with its primary source-to-pay competitors, including SAP Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, iValua, Jaggaer, SynerTrade and Zycus, as they have been covered extensively on PRO and appear in the SPT & S2P solution maps, and while you are quite familiar with the American S2P providers (Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Jaggaer and Zycus) and now the European S2P providers (iValua and SynerTrade), you're likely not as familiar with their English counterparts, namely Proactis and Wax Digital, as they have not had as much exposure in recent years. And Wax Digital is definitely a provider that should make your familiarization list.

Wax Digital, which has been around for almost two decades, is one of the largest European providers of source-to-pay solutions, with users in over 100 countries around the globe. It is available in 15 languages out of the box and supports all currencies under ISO 4217 for its 250,000+ global users.

Part 1 of this analysis provides a detailed company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit for when organizations should consider Wax Digital. The remaining parts of this research brief will dive into product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.