Spend Matters Premium Content:
Vendor Intelligence

Taking Inventory of Proactis and Perfect Commerce: Products, Strengths and Integration [PRO]

Proactis and Perfect Commerce share a number of commonalities, perhaps the three most important being that they have built out similar product footprints, have been able to grow “under the radar” in recent years and have leveraged M&A as a core growth strategy. We covered the news of the announced merger between the two firms last Friday on Spend Matters, and Proactis shareholders initially responded positively to the news.

As background, Proactis’ core source-to-pay (S2P) business has centered primarily on serving U.K. customers, with a concentration in public sector. In the U.K. market, Proactis has made a number of acquisitions in recent years to round out its suite and to acquire market share. These transactions include EGS (2014), Due North (2016) and Millstream (2016). Within the U.S., it acquired Intesource (2014), to strengthen its e-sourcing and related managed services capability, and Intelligent Capture (also 2014), a provider of electronic invoicing and scan/capture services.

Perfect has served customers in the S2P area on a global basis since its founding, in 1994, but with a greater emphasis, until recently, on North America. It has made a number of smaller acquisitions over the years, in addition to its foundational acquisition of Commerce One (2006), including those that leveraged IP enforcement of Commerce One code as a bargaining chip in various transactions. But more recently, Perfect made its largest acquisition to date purchasing supplier network and P2P provider Hubwoo, to help expand its market presence and enhance its capabilities in the catalog management, marketplace and supplier network areas.

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction and an overview to both providers, exploring the value proposition and strengths each vendor brings to the combination, including overlap and potential synergies from a customer perspective. It also touches on the subject of integration, as well as the approach we would encourage customers to look for when determining whether the acquisition will primarily benefit them or investors.

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

Procurement organizations have an increasing number of choices when it comes to selecting an e-procurement solution. With both full suite and smaller independent providers — not to mention ERP vendors — improving and expanding their capabilities in this area, it has never been a better time to purchase a new technology or make the switch from an older platform.

Within this market, BuyerQuest delivers a number of nuanced capabilities that differentiate it from peers. This third and final installment of our Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering BuyerQuest provides a SWOT analysis of the provider, as well as a segmentation and comparison of competitors. It also includes a recommended shortlist of candidates that could serve as alternative vendors to BuyerQuest for e-procurement and procure-to-pay (P2P). Finally, we conclude with a summary analysis and recommendations for organizations considering BuyerQuest.

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

The barriers to entry for any provider wanting to create an e-procurement or procure-to-pay (P2P) solution are perhaps the highest of any technology area in the procurement sector. Not only must solutions combine a world-class experience for all frontline users from a shopping and buying experience to be competitive, they also must feature entirely different sets of capabilities to enable both procurement organizations (and suppliers) to collectively manage dozens of elements to ensure that all purchases are in compliance with company policies, contracts and supplier agreements. Ideally, these two elements combine to guide users to an optimal buying experience both for their own requirements and the company, steering them in ways they may not even be aware of.

BuyerQuest is one of only a select number of new entrants to gain traction in the e-procurement — and more recently, the P2P — market in recent years by meeting these requirements, often in differentiated ways. This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot explores BuyerQuest’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 and a recommend fit list of criteria for firms considering BuyerQuest. The third part of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

The previous two installments of this PRO series provided an in-depth look at WorkMarket as a firm and its specific solution capability (Part 1) and a detailed analysis of solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience (Part 2). WorkMarket is one of a growing set of providers in the market — and one of the few enterprise cloud platforms — with a solution that can complement a vendor management system (VMS) deployment to help procurement organizations manage and enable the expanding, external freelancer and independent contractor workforce.

The third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot covering WorkMarket provides a SWOT analysis of WorkMarket and offers a segmentation and comparison of the competition. It also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to WorkMarket, as well as provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering WorkMarket.

Merging Jaggaer and Pool4Tool: Strategy Analysis and Questions Customers Should Ask [PRO]

Jaggaer announced Monday it would merge with Pool4Tool. The combination raises a number of questions, primarily from a strategy perspective, beyond just providing expanded distribution to a niche provider and the validation of a new technology segment (manufacturing-centric procurement solutions) in North America. Rather, it raises the broader notion of whether a mutual fund-type holding company structure — regardless of capitalization structure — can help the fortunes of each “member” (and customers) beyond a certain point.

There's no question the two firms are better together than apart. Both “members” can immediately cross-sell and gain certain scale advantages. They can do this because of customer goodwill and the ability to get in the door and deliver. No doubt the professionalism that a private equity-held software firm brings, along with professional services know-how and reach to drive sales and implementations, will be key contributors to initial momentum as well. Jaggaer brings these two areas to Pool4Tool — and then some. But this only goes so far.

Longer term, real technology integration models, including a supplier network and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) strategy, need to be spelled out. While our colleague Tom Finn appreciated Jaggaer and Pool4Tool’s honesty around the topic of integration, strategically, to maximize customer (and likely shareholder) value, our esteemed colleague may not be right. Which brings us to the strategic technology questions Jaggaer and Pool4Tool should be asking as well as those which customers and prospective should zero in on as well.

Jaggaer-Pool4Tool Merger Analysis: Customer Recommendations [PRO]

manufacturing

Jaggaer announced earlier Monday it would merge with Pool4Tool, a Europe-based provider of direct materials procurement solutions. This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides customer recommendations, primarily for organizations already using or considering using Pool4Tool, especially in North America. It also provides insight into commercial, technology and deployment and support considerations surrounding the combination of the two providers, as well as select alternative providers in some of the markets in which Pool4Tool competes.

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

Upwork Pro

In this Spend Matters Vendor Snapshot series, we have been analyzing EcoVadis, a provider of a cloud-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability rating and monitoring “Solution” (with a capital “S” to denote a solution that transcends software) for your critical supply chain suppliers. The supplier and buyer friendly platform allows suppliers to self-register, complete a profile customized to them based on their UN ISIC industry code (and country and size), upload all relevant documentation and get assessed/rated for a 12-month period. As we wrote in our last installment of this series: 

“The EcoVadis CSR rating is not a formal certification from a regulatory agency, but the criteria is interestingly built up as a "best of breed" superset of requirements from existing CSR standards such as Global Reporting Initiative, the United Nations Global Compact, and the ISO 26000. This relevance helps improve attractiveness and adoption by organizations who don't want to re-invent the wheel and can use a single rating to also help comply with the other certifications that are in force within their supply chain.”

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering EcoVadis offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other similar and “crossover” providers in the supplier management market which also address ratings, CSR, risk and related initiatives. 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 EcoVadis.

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

spend analytics

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 is one such provider that makes cross-comparisons of vendors challenging because of some of the unique approaches it takes both to spend classification and, more important, 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.

This final installment of our multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series covering Sievo offers a SWOT analysis, competitive assessment and comparison with other providers in the spend analytics 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 Sievo.

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

This vendor snapshot series focuses on WorkMarket, an online (cloud-based) work intermediary that allows organizations to organize/manage their own “affiliated” (on-location, geographically-distributed) workforce across a range of labor categories, including independent workers, contractors, freelancers, alumni and employees as well as various service providers.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company and solution overview. We noted that WorkMarket goes to market today with a broad, comprehensive platform that is undergoing continuing development and evolution. Rather than present the market with a clearly labeled, delineated set of modules, WorkMarket provides a platform, which organizations can choose to leverage in different ways, in accordance with their unique workforce management requirements and goals. Accordingly, in Part 1, we also identified basic fit criteria for firms considering WorkMarket.

Part 2 of this PRO Vendor Snapshot explores WorkMarket’s product strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor to enable their services procurement technology requirements. It also offers a critique of the user interface. Part 3 of this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

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

data analytics

To get the full benefits of Sievo, a novel analytics and savings management/tracking provider that delivers value to both procurement and finance organizations, customers need to get their hands dirty in their data — which can be a good thing. In engaging Sievo, it is the involved customer that becomes intimate at a deeper level with their data to drive true spending intelligence, in contrast to working with many other spend analytics providers that take ownership, on an outsourced basis, of data stewardship to drive cleansing, enrichment and classification perspectives.

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

Coupa Inspire 2017: Product Impressions and Dissecting R18 [PRO]

VMS

Today’s coverage of Coupa Inspire 2017 will go deeper than our first dispatch, as we we zero in on product. The biggest news to come out of Coupa’s customer conference Thursday was the general availability release of R18. Although “just a scheduled release” may seem boring, procurement transformations are inherently evolutionary, and the 50 major new features and capabilities were well received by the customers — and generally by us, too.

There’s more than just “evolution” to the product set in R18. In this PRO brief, we discuss the good as well as the gaps in Coupa’s latest release as we unpack the latest from the cloud spend management provider. We’ll also point to the future and explore some areas where Coupa may head later in 2017 and 2018 based on what we’ve heard from customer needs (external) and signposts around product innovation (internal), as well.

Sievo: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

The market for spend analytics reminds us of the evolution of the coffee market. It was not so long ago that we largely had a maximum of four choices: drip, percolator and then regular or decaf (this was when no one cared about the provenance of “the beans”). Today, this choice has exploded, and coffee is, well, not just coffee anymore.

Spend analytics has evolved in just about as many directions as a barista can provide in terms of java choice at the local coffee shop. But not all approaches are created equal. In fact everything from underlying data acquisition, classification, enrichment and analytics can vary dramatically from solution to solution.

Sievo is one of the longest running, still independent spend analytics providers in the market today. Founded in 2003, Sievo long ago moved beyond basic spend analytics and centers much of its value proposition today on driving savings program measurement and management. How they do this is complex, requiring all of the basics of spend classification, analytics and more. In this research brief, we get into the weeds on the “what” and the “how” of Sievo. We promise: Sievo is unlikely any other provider you have seen in terms of both methodology and solution.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations make informed decisions about whether they need a solution like Sievo to drive spend analytics programs or in addition to their current efforts. 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 Sievo. The rest of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analysis, user selection guides, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.