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Uppler: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Company Background, Solution Details, Strengths/Weaknesses [PRO]

In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we will address Uppler’s strengths and weaknesses in its e-procurement solution.

Uppler, founded in 2014, is a software company that offers a cloud-based solution to create B2B marketplaces and e-procurement platforms. Although its headquarters is in New York, its roots are in France, with its parent company UPL France. Although its client base remains small and mostly based in France, Uppler has important clients in industries such as automotive, food and beverage, chemical and insurance.

Part 1 of this three-part series also will have some company details, a brief solution overview and Uppler´s strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we will provide a SWOT assessment and an overview of the competitive landscape in which Uppler plays. In our third and final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of Uppler’s platform capabilities.

Zivio solution overview: A new offering for services sourcing and spend management [PRO]

The UK-based software company Talon (officially Talon Operating Ltd.) has launched a new service/SOW solution called Zivio.  The company also offers Talon, a direct sourcing and FMS solution, that is covered in Spend Matter’s Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S) SolutionMap.

Spend Matters has been following the contracted service/SOW solution market segment for some years, including identifying new solutions.  We recently had a chance to talk with Talon Operating’s CEO and co-founder, Jonny Dunning, to get the lowdown on Zivio, including a walkthrough demo.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis will begin with some background on the sourcing and management of noncontingent-workforce and contracted services. We will then discuss some of what we learned about Zivio.

Alibaba.com: Ecosystem marketplace designed for SMB (Overview & Analysis) [PRO]

purchase-to-pay

Businessman Jack Ma had a vision to use technology to democratize global trade. Alibaba.com was born 21 years ago, and for the first 17 years, it was a way to source from China or find OEM companies, contractors, etc. Basically, it was a directory of Chinese OEM capability

But the vision was always for Alibaba.com to be beyond just a Chinese business directory. Since 2017, two transformations have been underway in earnest:

Transform the platform beyond Online Directory. By going beyond an electronic directory and allowing the buyer to communicate specs, draft contracts, communicate directly, pay through the platform, access order protection and trade financing, procure freight and inspection services, Alibaba has truly made this an ecosystem for sourcing. Move away from more Asia-focused supply base and diversify. The vast majority of suppliers are based in Asia. Food & Ag is a hot category in the U.S. Alibaba wants to diversify product selection on the platform, with a focus on OEM and original design manufacturer capabilities, as well as agriculture and wholesale. Target markets are Europe and the U.S.

Alibaba says it has over 15 million active buyers globally and has recently announced the launch of three new products in the U.S. market to help accelerate the digitization of SMBs during COVID-19. Alibaba unveiled in June 2020 three new products and services to help businesses source and sell online. The products and services include Alibaba.com Freight to enable American SMBs to secure ocean and air shipping for their orders, Alibaba.com Payment Terms to provide deferred payment on purchases, and Online Trade Shows USA to connect U.S. manufacturers and wholesalers with business buyers in an engaging, live online format.

This Spend Matters PRO analysis provides an introduction to Alibaba.com, and how small and large buyers can benefit, particularly as they look to have other options beyond Amazon.

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

In this third and final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis of AvidXchange, we provide a detailed solution overview of each main module of the AvidXchange solution.

Part 1 of the series focused on solution strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on AvidXchange competitors and the technology market that they are in.

In this final section of our coverage, we will look at AvidXchange solutions, which has three main components in one SaaS platform: AP automation, payment services and invoice acceleration — backed by a supplier network of 680,000+ mid-market suppliers across the U.S.

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

Competitors

In Part 2 of Spend Matter’s look at AvidXchange, we'll provide a company SWOT assessment and an overview of the AP automation market and AvidXchange’s competitors.

The vendors with AP automation create a varied market. We find specialized AP automation solutions that focus on the SME market as well as invoice-to-pay solutions and supplier networks with AP automation capabilities — like e-invoicing, payment processing and even financing. And the procure-to-pay suite vendors can unify the entire payment process with the purchase.

In the case of AvidXchange, it has a very particular focus on the U.S.-based SME market, which makes it compete in a more direct way with AP specialists with a SME focus. However, we do not leave out the possibility that AvidXchange’s competitors come from I2P vendors, supplier networks and P2P providers because some of these are entering the medium-high market of companies with AP automation capabilities.

In Part 1 of this PRO Vendor Analysis, we focused on AvidXchange’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 AvidXchange’s platform capabilities.

Let’s look at its opportunities and threats, as well as AvidXchange’s competitors.

AvidXchange: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Overview and Solution Strengths/Weaknesses  [PRO]

In this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we will examine AvidXchange’s strengths and weaknesses. The privately held software company automates the accounts payable and payment process. Its market focus targets North America within the middle market businesses in sectors like real estate, homeowners associations, construction, financial services and healthcare.

This series is set up in three parts to help readers doing tech selection or trying to understand competitors in the procurement technology market.

Part 1 will give company details, a brief solution overview, and AvidXchange’s strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we will provide a SWOT assessment and an overview of AvidXchange’s competitors and the market landscape. In the final installment, we will provide a more in-depth overview of AvidXchange’s platform capabilities.

Let’s take a look at AvidXchange.

ContractPodAi: Vendor Analysis — CLM Solution Overview, Strengths/Weaknesses, Company SWOT, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

contracts CLM

This one-part ContractPodAi Vendor Analysis includes an overview of ContractPodAi’s solution for contract lifecycle management (CLM).

The overlap of markets for legal tech and broader CLM solutions market has created a unique subsector that serves legal functions first and foremost but extends their value prop across the entire enterprise.

ContractPodAi is one such vendor, claiming to be built “by and for lawyers” but also serving cross-enterprise use cases.

The comparatively young vendor, which launched its current product in 2015 and landed a $55 million funding round in 2019, offers a highly usable CLM solution that even extends into some more advanced use cases around obligation tracking.

And, as its name implies, it supports a concerted focus on applying artificial intelligence (AI) into its platform, using technologies from IBM Watson and Microsoft Azure as its backbone.

So how does this legal-first, AI-via-partnership approach stack up against CLM incumbents, particularly those taking a “grow your own” approach to AI model and capability development?

This one-part ContractPodAi Vendor Analysis also offers a perspective on what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis and a tech selection checklist for organizations that might consider the vendor.

Scanmarket: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 3) — Competitors and Market Overview, Analyst Summary [PRO]

The third and final installment of this updated Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis covering Scanmarket provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and looks at Scanmarket’s competitors in a competitive segmentation analysis and comparison.

The landscape for e-sourcing (RFX, auction, category management, sourcing optimization, etc.) is still highly fragmented. There is not a single market-share leader or “dual” leadership in this sector (as is the case with Coupa and SAP Ariba for the procure-to-pay category).

However, one trend in consolidation stands out: Providers focused on the “upstream” areas like sourcing but also supplier management, contract management and analytics have a strategy of either building or buying their way into the procure-to-pay sector — or merging their capabilities with other solution providers in this market.

Yet one nearly full upstream provider focused on this market remains independent: Scanmarket.

(We say “nearly full” because it remains dependent on a partner for spend classification, and it has some functional gaps in the supplier management and contract management areas.)

Of course Scanmarket faces competitors from different segments of providers with either more targeted or overlapping functional footprints. And a number of newer generation e-sourcing providers have set a course to build out their suites to more directly compete with Scanmarket, even if this is more on a regional basis currently.

This Part 3 installment also includes recommended shortlist candidates as alternative vendors to Scanmarket and offers provider selection guidance. Finally, it provides a summary analysis and recommendations for companies considering the vendor.

Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Scanmarket as a firm and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of the solution’s strengths and weaknesses.

Let’s take a look at Scanmarket’s opportunities and threats as well as Scanmarket’s competitors in e-sourcing.

Scanmarket: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

This updated Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis explores Scanmarket’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether Scanmarket’s solution fits their needs and whether they should shortlist the vendor.

Scanmarket is one of the last remaining independent “upstream” procurement technology suite providers. While it brings particular capability and expertise in running both simple and complex RFX and auction processes (and formats), it also offers a range of adjacent capabilities in project management, supplier management and contract management.

On many levels, Scanmarket is one of the heirs to the specialized e-sourcing capability pioneered by firms like FreeMarkets and Procuri. And it also represents a targeted and cost-effective alternative to full-suite providers. In addition, Scanmarket offers deeper sourcing capability than procure-to-pay specialists in the market today.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Scanmarket in the procurement technology area.

The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, a look at Scanmarket’s competitors, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Let’s examine at Scanmarket’s strengths and weaknesses.

Scanmarket: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

In Spend Matters’ last PRO Vendor Analysis of Scanmarket, we noted that the market for source-to-contract suites (inclusive of spend analytics, e-sourcing, supplier management and contract management) was less crowded than before. Many providers with capabilities focused on this area expanded their product offering to transactional procurement, and the number of targeted suite providers focused solely on the source-to-contract (S2C) market declined.

But over the last three years, the competition here has started to increase again. Many of the new generation of e-sourcing providers have followed in the footsteps of their predecessors and added contract and supplier management capabilities to their offerings. And in some cases, vendors that started out in contract lifecycle management (CLM) or supply base management (SBM) are expanding into e-sourcing as well.

But given the demise of IBM Emptoris and Jaggaer’s acquisition of Bravo Solutions (although it technically added P2P before the acquisition), Scanmarket has emerged as the veteran vendor in the S2C space — and it is probably the vendor with the most traction and the largest customer base. Since our 2017 analysis, Scanmarket has focused primarily on improving its contract authoring and supplier management capabilities. And it is a solution provider that is more than standing its ground in a market where consolidation and the march to hybrid strategic and transactional suites is becoming the vendor norm.

This updated three-part PRO series provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations, suppliers and partners make informed decisions on Scanmarket’s source-to-contract capabilities. 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 Scanmarket in the procurement technology area. The rest of the research series will cover product strengths and weaknesses, a look at competitors, a company SWOT analysis and tech selection tips.

Let's take an updated look at Scanmarket.

LogicSource: Vendor Analysis — Background, Solution Overview, SWOT, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

Oracle

The convergence of technology and services is a trend that’s hard to ignore in the procurement solutions market. Rare is the successful implementation story these days where a vendor deploys its software, trains the user and disappears until contract renewal. Rather, supporting services, including not only implementation and user training but also value-add activities like process outsourcing or digital transformation consulting, are becoming integral to creating satisfied customers. In fact, that’s why our highly technical SolutionMap evaluation includes both feature/function assessments of platform capabilities and requirements for services capabilities/customer feedback.

Perhaps ahead of this curve was LogicSource, a tech-enabled procurement business process outsourcing firm out of Norwalk, Connecticut, that offers services for sourcing and contract management alongside specialized tools for spend analytics, spend/savings tracking and P2P management.

Founded in 2009, LogicSource has its roots in the retail world, where the provider first focused on enabling direct and commercial print procurement. Today it has expanded its coverage to a slew of indirect spend categories, picking up BPO and tech-first clients like Rite Aid, GSK, The Hartford, Lululemon and Dish along the way.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis offers an overview of LogicSource, including quick facts about the provider. The brief also includes an introduction to LogicSource’s OneMarket solutions for spend analysis, savings tracking and P2P; an overall SWOT analysis comparing it to other procurement services providers; and a selection checklist for companies that may consider the provider.

Let’s take a look at LogicSource.

Market Dojo: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 3) — Competitors and Analyst Summary [PRO]

While the procurement technology market has changed in some ways, sourcing suites still compete in a fragmented global marketplace with everyone from large ERPs and full source-to-pay suites to well-funded startups to bootstrapped ventures. They are all competing for a growing pie, consisting of Global 2000 organizations often going to market for a second or third time (or buying an alternative technology), as well as a growing number of middle market organizations adopting and digitizing strategic sourcing processes for the first time.

E-sourcing specialist Market Dojo is one of dozens of providers in this large market.

But when you consider how many of its peers represent pure-play sourcing providers versus broader source-to-pay (S2P) and procure-to-pay (P2P) suites, the market thins considerably — and does so even more if you narrow the list of e-sourcing providers to those with a strong middle-market track record and orientation.

This final installment of our updated multipart Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis series covering Market Dojo offers a competitive analysis and comparison with other vendors that companies may wish to shortlist that compete in the same markets. 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, a SWOT analysis and tech selection tips, like a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider Market Dojo.

Now, let’s look at Market Dojo’s competitors.