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Sourcing Provider Head-to-Head Comparison: Scout RFP vs. EC Sourcing [PRO]

The boom of the “Nimble” buying persona first started in e-procurement and coincided with the momentum that gave rise to Coupa’s leadership position as a “must shortlist” candidate for procure-to-pay (P2P). Spend Matters describes the Nimble buying persona as typifying companies with often early formalization of process, limited technology investment to date and potentially decentralized operations. Middle-market companies are also quite often Nimble buyers. But regardless of size, procurement organizations that fit the Nimble persona look to cloud-based technologies that can deliver on speed, efficiency, low price and quick value.

Anecdotally, Nimble is the most common buying persona Spend Matters sees today.(We will have data to corroborate this in later in 2018.) Even highly complex procurement organizations are often willing to trade off unique requirements to conform to the Nimble norm. And Nimble is not just a top buying persona for e-procurement. Nimble-minded procurement organizations are increasingly looking at solutions that meet similar criteria in other technology domains, including sourcing solutions. Based on Spend Matters Q4 2017 SolutionMap for North America customers, two of the top performing sourcing technology providers for the Nimble persona are Scout RFP and EC Sourcing.

But these providers could not be more different when it comes to outlook, motivations, management style and, most important, technology and solution strengths and weaknesses. Join us as we take off the gloves and based on Q4 2017 SolutionMap data, put Scout and EC Sourcing “head to head” into the Spend Matters evaluation ring. We’ll start by providing a technology summary comparative rating of each provider and then explore business requirements and scenarios, calling out the winner in each circumstance. PRO customers with advisory can reach out for us to comment on non-functional/technical considerations.

Granted, there’s not a bad choice among the two for the Nimble buyer. But let’s put them to the Spend Matters test and see which is the best fit for different requirements. If you’re considering either vendor or sourcing competitors, including other ranked SolutionMap providers Coupa, Determine, GEP, Ivalua, Jaggaer, Jaggaer Direct, Keelvar, Market Dojo, SAP Ariba, Scanmarket or Zycus, look no further for a head-to-head evaluation and comparison that you can’t get anywhere else.

Catalant: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) – Competitive and Summary Analysis [PRO]

consultant

In the previous two installments of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series (Parts 1 and Part 2), we provided an overview of Catalant and its solution offering(s) as well an analysis and evaluation of solution strengths and weaknesses. In Part 3, we provide a SWOT assessment and competitive analysis of Catalant in the context of an evolving contingent workforce and services intermediation industry made up of long-established providers and innovative new entrants.

Zycus: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

Oracle

For many years, Zycus’ self-proclaimed corporate objective was to become a “top three” procurement technology solutions provider. The irony of this goal was that it would ultimately — at least until Q2 2018 — prove elusive, not because of a failure to execute on objectives but rather how the market (e.g., Jaggaer’s strategy of combining multiple larger vendors and niche specialists under a single roof) moved against Zycus through unexpected actions. But more important than this is what Zycus’ initiatives actually mean for customers, based on the underlying current capabilities of the provider’s modules, suite and ecosystem today — and its planned enhancements for tomorrow. In these areas, fortunately, Zycus’ approach to meeting its business goals proved more important than the initial objective itself.

The third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series covering Zycus offers a SWOT analysis of the provider and a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Zycus and offers provider selection guidance. Previous installments provided an in-depth look at Zycus as a firm and its specific solutions (Part 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review of the product’s user experience (Part 2).

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

Zycus is one of roughly half-a-dozen true source-to-pay (S2P) platform providers that offer more than lip service across all of the elements that comprise this solution area. In some modular areas, however, its technology is deeper than others.

For example, while Zycus has the RFX and auction functionality found in just about every sourcing platform, it also brings sourcing project management, spend analysis, a supplier network with supplier relationship management functionality and contract lifecycle management. Zycus also brings significant support for downstream procurement with its own native catalog management, requisition management, purchase order management, e-invoicing, payment support and dynamic discounting capability. And threaded throughout the platform is S2P project management support, organizational “ask procurement” support, integrated search and suggest functionality, and the capability to run end-to-end performance metrics.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot continues our exploration of Zycus’ source-to-pay offering by diving into the platform’s strengths, weaknesses and user interface. In Part 1 of this series, we provided an overview of Zycus as an organization, its primary platform modules and key considerations that will help an organization decide whether or not it should be investigating Zycus to meet its source-to-pay needs. In Part 3, we will conclude our coverage with a SWOT assessment, a detailed user selection guide, competition overview and our expert analysis.

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

Aravo was the original standalone supplier information management (SIM) solution in the North American marketplace. Founded in 2000, it is also one of the oldest independent procurement solution providers. After growing beyond its early roots as a catalog management enabler for Ariba implementations, Aravo launched a SIM solution capable of managing general supplier registration field and template-based initiatives. In more recent years, it has evolved into a full-fledged third-party and supplier data management solution that bridges a range of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) and procurement-centric requirements.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Aravo’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview, as well as a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Aravo. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

The supplier management solution area consists of many subsegments that constitute their own individual markets. These include providers that specialize in aspects of supplier lifecylce management, the enablement of specific supplier management processes and the management of both structured — and, in certain cases, unstructured — supplier data. Few supplier management providers, however, have platforms that can tackle the majority of these areas effectively.

Aravo is one of a handful of providers that can. At the time of its founding nearly two decades ago, Aravo pioneered the supplier management technology market (specifically supplier information management), tracing its roots to Ariba-based supplier enablement and catalog support. But since then, Aravo has not rested on its legacy, despite retrenching to focus on software development and customers in recent years, especially large, complex supplier management deployments. GE, for example, manages 1.2 million suppliers and third parties using Aravo, with integrations to 24 different ERP and GRC software instances across 19 business units.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about Aravo and whether its technology is a fit for their needs. 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 Aravo in the supplier management and quality management areas. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

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

Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’s founder, has long preached the benefits of technology provider self-sufficiency, including management-driven investment, profitable growth and organic, suite-based product development. It is based on these principles that Zycus “grew up” from a razor-focused pioneer in the spend classification sector nearly 20 years ago into a strategic procurement technologies suite and, eventually, a full end-to-end source-to-pay (S2P) suite provider. While Zycus has strong comparative solutions depth and capability in certain areas, part of its broader market appeal has been often comparatively low pricing, which we view as a value-based feather in its cap.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement and finance organizations make informed decisions about whether a provider like Zycus, either on a modular or source-to-pay suite basis, is likely to be a strong shortlist candidate for their needs. 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 Zycus for their S2P needs. The remainder of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

Beeline Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Competitive and Summary Analysis [PRO]

Beeline remains one of the top vendor management system (VMS) brands in the contingent workforce market today, holding market share that is roughly equal to SAP Fieldglass following its merger with IQNavigator. The company, which operates independently of any larger software or staffing-related firm, has distinguished itself with a forward-looking strategy and innovative solutions to changing market requirements.

But in a sector marked by rapid change, including procurement’s continued interest in gaining greater control over complex services spend (e.g., professional services) as well as labor market alternatives (e.g., freelancers), the traditional VMS solution model is evolving and its scope widening. That can be both positive and negative. VMS, now becoming more of a broader solution suite, may be perceived in the market as transforming from a sharp, fit-for-purpose tool to a Swiss army knife. While Beeline is not sitting still in this market by any means, it faces — as do other VMS providers — dampened growth rates and narrowing margins, as well as the specter of continuing direct competition from other VMS providers, new competition in the VMS market and a range of alternatives and substitutes targeting different types of services and labor.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot provides a SWOT analysis of Beeline and offers a competitive segmentation of the complex landscape Beeline faces. It also includes recommended candidates that could serve as alternatives to Beeline, as well guidance for procurement practitioners developing a shortlist. Finally, it provides a summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering Beeline.

Counselytics: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

Counselytics is one of a number of upstart providers specializing in the application of semantic artificial intelligence (AI) technology to contract data, including both internal and third-party paper. While limited in its ability to build out a broad-based suite of capabilities based on its size and the amount of capital it has raised to date, Counselytics has spent its limited R&D budget on its core algorithms and reporting capabilities to build a highly targeted solution that complements existing contract lifecycle management (CLM) and source-to-pay technologies.

This third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering Counselytics provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and offers a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as substitute providers to Counselytics and provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies that can best take advantage of Counselytics’ capabilities. Part 1 of this series provided an in-depth look at Counselytics as a company and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses, as well as a review its user experience.

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

Within the procurement technology sector, early artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have primarily been applied against structured data needs. Yet the class of AI techniques that these providers have deployed is actually quite different from the semantic AI analysis that is starting to gain traction in the contract search and analysis area. Within this new market, Counselytics is one of more than half a dozen upstart competitors that are collectively targeting an opportunity that is fundamentally different from — yet complements — contract lifecycle management (CLM).

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores Counselytics’ strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should consider the provider. Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and detailed solution overview and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering Counselytics. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

The burgeoning contract search, discovery and analytics sector is distinct from established source-to-pay and contract lifecycle management (CLM) solution areas. This separate sector, pioneered by incumbent Seal Software, among others, is becoming increasingly validated as a standalone market as alternative providers — including recently funded upstarts such as LawGeex, LegalSifter and others — enter the mix.

Within this list of new entrants, we can also include upstart Counselytics. Like its peers, Counselytics applies semantic-based artificial intelligence (AI) approaches to contract data after ingesting third-party (or internal) contract paper to help organizations understand previously unknown contract exposure and ensure that contract clause requirements are in line with internal requirements. In addition, these providers offer varying degrees of contract search, discovery, analytics, and associated managed services capabilities and partnerships to create additional business value from the core extraction, structuring and reporting capabilities they provide.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Counselytics, a specialized provider in this market, offering facts and expert analysis to help procurement and legal organizations make informed decisions about whether they should explore either (or both) Counselytics and semantic AI technology further. 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 Counselytics as a complement to other contract lifecycle management (CLM) investments. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

LUPR: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

The market for supplier management technology is complex. Not a single provider that Spend Matters has reviewed as part of our PRO and SolutionMap analyses comes with out-of-the-box capabilities to competitively and fully support the myriad of solution components in this area, spanning supplier discovery, supplier on-boarding, supplier information management (SIM), supplier master data management (MDM), supplier performance management (SPM), supplier risk management, supplier diversity enablement and supplier quality management. Granted, some technology providers come close. But most opt to specialize in one or a handful of supplier management disciplines.

LUPR is one such provider, specializing in strategic supplier management (primarily supplier quality and supplier performance) in support of manufacturers and direct materials procurement initiatives. This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering LUPR offers a SWOT analysis, a competitive assessment and comparisons with other providers in the supplier management market. It also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation and selection considerations. 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 LUPR for supplier management initiatives.