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Making Sense of the Supply Risk Management Solution Landscape (Part 2) — Comparing 4 of Nearly 50 Vendors [PRO]

In Spend Matters’ previous installment of this PRO series, we highlighted the fact that just as there is not a single type of enterprise risk, there is not a single, defined market for procurement and supply chain risk solutions that address these risk elements. We segmented the supply risk market into eight areas that integrated upward into the enterprise risk management (ERM) and the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) space, while also drilling down into some key risk types, spend types, risk processes (e.g., monitoring vs. structural mitigation), and areas like fraud monitoring and contract risk management.

In the remainder of this series, we will explain these different segments and introduce nearly 50 (yes, fifty) providers that help solve various aspects of the supply risk problem. We’ll also offer some advice on how to mix and match these solution providers depending on your objectives and your constraints.

In Part 2, we start by diving right into what is arguably the most important sub-sector within this market — supply chain risk management.

This sector includes providers such as Resilinc, Resilience360 (a DHL spinoff) and riskmethods. Spend Matters PRO will publish individual vendor reviews of these three providers (as well as Prewave) later this summer. But for now, we offer quick introductions to these providers and a ratings matrix to show how they compare — and which of them offer differentiated capabilities.

The vendor ratings matrix compares 18 capabilities, like supply risk, enterprise risk, data sources, category modeling, and visualization. (PRO subscribers can click this post to see the detailed scoring.)

XTRM: Solution Overview (A payments focus on digital wallets, cross-border capabilities) [PRO]

Over the last year, there has been a huge investment by the payments community to create digital wallets for business customers to enable fast and cost-effective cross-border payment capabilities. These solutions are becoming popular with many money-movement companies. These providers are embedding wallet apps in their products so their customers can make global disbursements.

Wallets enable companies to manage multiple account balances globally and make disbursements to beneficiaries at any time. Having a multi-currency wallet enables disbursements to happen in the local currency of your beneficiaries. There are numerous business applications for the use of wallets. Some examples include:

  • Small- and medium-size businesses that make disbursements to global beneficiaries for rebates, incentive payments, referrals, etc.
  • A lead-generating company that needs to make referral payments globally.
  • A wealth manager that needs to make payouts in multiple currencies to depositors.
  • Independent contractors and sole proprietors who need to pay gig workers globally.

More and more solution providers are looking to provide the banking infrastructure and sub-ledger account management to hold money in wallets to supplant bank account-to-account transfers. B2B payment companies see wallets as a revenue opportunity. When money goes into a wallet, there may be additional foreign exchange (FX) conversions and transfers to beneficiary-owned bank accounts.

The payments provider XTRM has built a model around moving money between wallets and taking away the pain in cross-border B2B payments.

Ebury: Solution Overview (trade finance services for smaller global businesses) [PRO]

One of the biggest challenges for small- and medium-size enterprises trading globally has been the lack of access to the kind of financial services readily offered by banks to multinationals.

Today, businesses of any size can think and trade globally, but the services to support them may not be offered by their bank. A $100 million or $250 million business may have a few bank relationships. Smaller businesses may only have one bank relationship.

Your banker and other lenders may not be able to support you with the credit you need to conduct foreign exchange (FX), cross-border payments, payables finance and international collections.

This is a real challenge that businesses face.

International Trade Services has been at a very serious crossroad for many banks for several years — as significant staffing and regulatory issues continue to plague the business and technology investments need to be made but do not have a strong business case.

Outside of the large global and super-regional banks that offer trade finance, risk management services, international payments and other international services, many banks don’t have their own dedicated staff, technology or resources to offer a suite of international services to their customer base. While some of the larger banks offer outsourcing services to other banks, there is not a dedicated focus to help companies in the $50 million to $1 billion sales segment. The cost to serve and the capital to dedicate typically outweigh a dedicated effort to build capabilities.

There is a persistent message in the market that a large trade finance gap exists for small businesses. This coincides with surveys done by the Asian Development Bank and the International Chamber of Commerce who look at bank-reported rejection rates for trade finance transactions and estimate that the global trade finance gap remained large and stable at $1.5 trillion. The International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank, estimates a US$4.7 trillion finance gap for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets.

Ebury was started in 2009 to help small and medium business do cross-border trade. Ebury is able to bundle trade finance and risk management capabilities that are normally available only to larger enterprises of $1 billion+ and provide these kinds of services to smaller businesses. Ebury attempts to offer what large multinational banks offer to smaller companies.

Let’s take a look at the company and its solution.

Xeeva: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — In-Depth Solution Overview [PRO]

PaaS

In this third and final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis of Xeeva, we provide a complete overview of each main module of the Xeeva offering, which covers most areas of an S2P suite. Part 1 of the series focused on solution strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on Xeeva’s competitors and the technology market that they’re in.

Today, we’ll look at Xeeva’s suite, which has four main components: spend analytics, data enrichment, sourcing, and procure-to-pay (P2P). These are powered by the XVA platform and the Xeeva Marketplace.

In this final section of our coverage, we will provide an overview of each of these modules, as well as the supplier information capabilities of the Xeeva Marketplace. Data enrichment is, in practice, an add-on to the analytics offering, so we will cover these together.

Xeeva: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — SWOT, Competitors & Market Overview, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

A competitive analysis on Xeeva is difficult because the source-to-pay provider doesn't just compete against the handful of players trying to bring machine learning and AI to the S2P space. It also takes on all of the traditional source-to-pay vendors who offer modern sourcing experiences, especially if they are augmented with market intelligence, best practices, community intelligence or other modern "guided" capabilities that can help a buyer make a better decision. That's basically what buyers are looking for and what AI-enabled or "cognitive" intelligence is supposed to deliver. So this essentially puts Xeeva head-to-head with the majority of the big S2P suite players that all have at least one of these capabilities.

However, we will do our best to analyze Xeeva’s competitors. In Part 2, we also will provide a SWOT assessment and an overview of the competitive landscape in which Xeeva plays.

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we focused on Xeeva’s company details, a brief solution overview, and its solution’s strengths and weaknesses. In our third and final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of Xeeva’s platform capabilities.

Teampay: Vendor Analysis — Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses, Opportunities/Threats, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

This year, remote work went from a reluctant experiment in the corporate world to an economic necessity. But the coronavirus pandemic-induced shift from the office to working from home was about more than shedding commutes and embracing video chat — it brought processes home too. Employees who relied on office-based tools and organizational infrastructure to work found themselves isolated and more dependent on technology than ever before.

Teampay, the subject of this one-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, sees this as a rapid acceleration of current trends rather than a jarring disruption.

In the view of this New York City-based provider, spend management is slowly becoming more decentralized, thanks to more tech-savvy end users and the shift of purchasing behavior to increasingly services-based offerings (think martech software, concierge tablets and print/marketing as services).

This vision of purchasing de-emphasizes the role of a central procurement department in, for lack of a better descriptor, most tail spend, instead empowering employees to make their own buys — within certain designated limits — and even pay for them with automatically generated virtual cards.

In Teampay terms, this is distributed spend management, and it’s the future of buying. But how does the Teampay vision work in practice, and how does it stack up against more traditional P2P vendors?

Let’s take a look.

Coupa acquires BELLIN, targeting treasury management (Part 2: TMS Market, Competitors and TAM / Market-Sizing Considerations)

procurement

Last week, Coupa made the surprise move to push its business spend management suite into an adjacent space that no other source-to-pay, procure-to-pay or AP automation solution vendor has gone before: the world of treasury — and specifically, treasury management systems (TMS).

See initial Spend Matters Nexus and PRO coverage here:

By acquiring BELLIN to compete in the TMS world, Coupa will ostensibly fortify its position in being able to sell to CFOs as much as CPOs with a broader value proposition (including broader-based payment capabilities than all of its procurement/AP/spend peers can support, at least without a TMS partnership and development of new combined process flows).

But beyond the expanded CFO value proposition and B2B payment intersections, there’s quite a bit beneath the surface with a TMS that could create additional value propositions linked with transactional procurement, supplier management, risk management, invoicing and payment capabilities.

This Spend Matters Nexus brief provides a quick overview of treasury management system market dynamics, including buyer trends and requirements.

It also offers insight into the competitive positioning of some of Coupa’s key competitors in this new market segment, including CGI, FIS (Integrity and Quantum), Ion (City Financials, IT2, ITS, Openlink, Reval, Treasura, Wallstreet Suite), Kyriba, GTtreasury (GTreasury/Visual Risk), Oracle and SAP.

Lastly, the brief shares TAM estimates (total addressable market) for the treasury management and B2B payments market.

The final installment of this three-part Nexus series will examine potential competitive landscape implications for Coupa’s competitors in S2P and P2P, including SAP Ariba, Oracle, Basware, GEP, Jaggaer and Ivalua.

We also will explore the converse: Will treasury management systems providers “push into” the procurement and spend applications world?

Jason Busch is Managing Partner of Azul Partners’ Investor Advisory Group. He works with sponsors, CEOs and boards on data-driven due diligence, M&A and strategy. Jason is also the lead author of Spend Matters Nexus, a private newsletter and subscription service. Disclosure: Azul Partners provided due diligence services to Coupa as part of this transaction.

Coupa acquires BELLIN, targeting treasury management (Part 1: BELLIN Analysis, Treasury Background, TMS Components & Procurement / AP Intersections)

The worlds of procurement and finance continue to collide. Earlier today, Coupa announced it had acquired BELLIN, one of the few independent treasury management providers in the market. BELLIN offers a full-featured treasury management system (TMS).

TMS solutions typically include capabilities to support cash management, bank connectivity, cash/liquidity forecasting, risk management, accounting/compliance and payments.

BELLIN has historically competed in a market where many solutions are not entirely substitutes for each other (e.g., comparing SAP Treasury and Risk Management to Kyriba is not apples-to-apples).

The same could be said for Ion’s portfolio of solutions (e.g., Reval, IT2, Wallstreet Suite, Treasura, Openlink, City Financials + commodity management plays, etc.), FIS, GTreasury and others.

This Spend Matters Nexus brief sets the context for Coupa’s acquisition of BELLIN. It begins by introducing BELLIN and then provides insight into how a broad-based procurement/finance/spend suite such as Coupa dovetails with the treasury function.

Subsequent Nexus analysis will focus on fleshing out the benefits of bringing together treasury and P2P capabilities, looking at treasury management’s total addressable market (TAM) in the context of source-to-pay — and B2B payments! — as well as the implications of this transaction on the competitors in the market.

Jason Busch is Managing Partner of Azul Partners’ Investor Advisory Group. He works with sponsors, CEOs and boards on data-driven due diligence, M&A and strategy. Jason is also the lead author of Spend Matters Nexus, a private newsletter and subscription service. Disclosure: Azul Partners provided due diligence services to Coupa as part of this transaction.

Bottomline’s Paymode-X: Overview and analysis of the payment automation solution [PRO]

Before you disrupt B2B payments, you need to start with the legacy payment and AP infrastructure. This is not a world of B2C, where speed and convenience matter the most. It is a messy world, filled with invoices to validate, match, approve, disputes to manage, credit and debit notes to apply, quality and warranty rebates to manage and taxes to account for. It is a world in the U.S. that still clings to check payments as a dominate form of settlement between business partners, and where the concept of real-time payments is only just accelerating.

The inefficiencies in corporate payments include:

  • Low level of automation and high reliance on manual processes to capture invoice data.
  • A lack of straight-through processing and integration options into ERP solutions for payment connectivity.
  • Poor controls and visibility that can lead to payables fraud.
  • Silo approach toward managing different payment streams — cross-border, virtual cards, checks, e-payments, PayPal, etc.
  • Lack of reporting to help treasury assess cash positioning.
  • Challenges for vendors to reconcile and apply cash based on a variety of messaging formats and transmission channels.

Bottomline Technologies saw an opportunity to help enterprises pay their vendors through electronic means and acquired Paymode-X from Bank of America in 2009. At the time, the Paymode-X solution focused on enterprises paying their vendors by ACH (and other electronic means) instead of by check. Today, Paymode-X processes over $200 billion in payments annually for clients ranging from healthcare and education to manufacturing and property management.

Tipalti’s Payment Capability: Solution Overview and Analysis  [PRO]

Technology has made it easier for workers to find gigs and employers to find workers. The gig economy is estimated to represent about $2.7 trillion in disbursements a year. But getting paid on time is still a challenge. According to one report on gig workers last year, despite gig work being on-demand, only 17% of gig platforms pay in real time. Many gig workers experience expenses in real time, yet it can take weeks to get paid.

A McKinsey report stated that by 2025 online talent platforms connecting people to the right work opportunities could add about another $3 trillion to global GDP. 

The explosive rise of peer-to-peer apps in a slew of markets — ranging from media content, real estate, creative content to business assistance — has helped legitimize the gig worker. 

But as the service and gig economy grows, the complexity of paying a global vendor base of independent contractors and freelance workers increases as well. Companies like Twitter, GoDaddy or Google just couldn’t grow without automating their AP, payments and tax compliance.

Let's take a look at how Tipalti's payment capabilities are addressing these challenges.

aPriori: Product Cost Management tool spotlight (Part 2) — Use Cases, Depth of Solution, ROI, Summary Analysis [PRO]

Design

Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO series will look at an array of use cases for aPriori’s capabilities in product cost management. It also will include profiles of who should use the solution, the depth and breadth of the solution, how quickly aPriori can return value, and a summary analysis.

For full disclosure, I wanted to share my history with aPriori. I started the research that yielded aPriori’s technology in 1996, was the founding CEO of aPriori in 2002 and was the chief product officer and VP of cost modeling through 2009. So I know its past, and in my role now with the PCM consulting firm Hiller Associates, I just learned more about its present status.

I spoke recently with product management, sales and services at aPriori to get some in-depth demos of current product functionality and the services that the company provides to its customers.

Part 1 of the series gives a detailed solution overview, but let’s dive in to the use cases for aPriori’s offering.

Workforce Logiq: What Makes It Great (Temp Staffing SolutionMap Analysis)

Workforce Logiq is a global industry leader, offering a range of contingent workforce/service solutions — like MSP, direct sourcing that the company calls “self-sourcing,” classification compliance, payrolling and analytics from the recently acquired ENGAGE Talent. The Workforce Logiq technology platform was significantly upgraded/modernized over the past two years, bringing it up to technological parity, at the very least, with competitors. Currently, the company’s VMS capabilities are available only as a part of an overall managed services agreement.

The company manages over $3 billion in spend across 50 countries with about 50,000 active buy-side users. Today — demonstrating its wide applicability — Workforce Logiq serves large and midsize enterprise clients across many industries, with over 75% of clients in IT Services, Technology, Telecommunications, Automotive, Financial Services, Healthcare, Energy, Retail and Media.

Workforce Logiq leverages a range of proprietary technology solutions (e.g., VMS, self-sourcing/talent pool management, data management and AI-driven predictive analytics, etc.) to deliver its service solutions to clients. CEO Jim Burke has shared his view of the company as “a technology-enabled services business” that combines “technology, data and a global team of industry expert advisers.”

Over the past two years, the company has invested heavily in its technology. That includes significantly upgrading its VMS technology solution as well as acquiring ENGAGE Talent, a data management and AI-driven analytics platform. The modernized VMS and cross-over to the ENGAGE Talent platform has resulted in Workforce Logiq significantly stepping up its technology game relative to many of its competitors.

Workforce Logiq’s VMS capabilities include those for the sourcing and management of temporary staffing and SOW-based services. However, in our Spring/Q1 2020 SolutionMap ranking of technology vendors, the VMS was scored only in the Temp Staffing category. In that SolutionMap category, the scoring also accounts for the availability and on-going integration of ENGAGE Talent analytics capabilities.

The Spend Matters SolutionMap’s Spring/Q1 2020 release contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on 69 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does Workforce Logiq stand out most and help “set the bar” in solutions for the sourcing and management of temporary staffing, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations?

Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where Workforce Logiq is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. The columns share insights from each SolutionMap update, which are now released in the spring and fall. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, these columns offer quick facts on the vendor, describe where it excels, provide hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and conclude with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.