PRO or Plus Content

The 3 biggest ‘no-nos’ in post-merger technology integration — and what to do instead [PRO]

In technology M&A, integration projects come down to decisions. Sure, the technical elements guide the work, but the key to long-term success is to make the right decisions up front about platform, workflow and potential consolidation strategy that all tie to business objectives.

In a shocking number of cases, however, vendors rush such integration decisions, or operate on assumptions that later reveal themselves to be sinkholes, costing time, resources and customer patience. So just as we advise technology providers to look for common “surprises” that can hide from deal teams in M&A due diligence, we also have a list of “no-nos” to consider when making key decisions about how to manage integration projects. But unlike our surprises list, which was about investigating technology claims that are often dubious, our “no-nos” list is about assumptions, especially those that underestimate the potential value of another approach.

What do you need to keep in mind before you make these critical integration decisions?

In this Spend Matters PRO series, we’re outlining the most common potholes and hidden sinkholes that technology providers encounter in post-acquisition technology integration. Because without foreknowledge, acquisition dreams quickly morph into maintenance nightmares from which vendors may never wake up. And we want you to have a chance of getting it right.

For vendors getting up to speed on post-merger integration strategy, consider reviewing our earlier briefs, where we defined five specific stages of post-merger technology integration, as well as our follow-on brief about perhaps the most important upfront integration planning question (to maintain or note to maintain?). See:

IntegrityNext: Vendor Analysis, 2021 update — Supplier risk solution overview, strengths/weaknesses, SWOT, competitors, tech selection tips [PRO]

IntegrityNext solution review

The Covid pandemic finally has made it clear to procurement organizations that monitoring suppliers for risk in compliance, operations and reputation is paramount — because a violation, disruption or mishap can be devastating. For organizations that have looked beyond a single incident and examined the bigger picture, however, some are realizing that the larger issue is the long-term sustainability of supply chains.

The trouble for procurement groups, however, is that monitoring suppliers to reduce not just general, business-focused risks but also sustainability risks is no easy task — especially across the long tail of suppliers.

To get a grip on supplier compliance to meet these broader objectives, procurement organizations generally need four things:

  • supplier self-assessments that capture details on policies and procedures
  • certificates of verification
  • third-party audit information
  • up-to-the-minute insight and analysis on reported events that could be early indicators of issues that need to be investigated

IntegrityNext, which first went to market in May 2017, sits at the nexus of these areas. It offers an affordable, easy way for procurement organizations to access compliance assessments, up-to-date certifications and real-time market sentiment on their supply chains. To such an end, they have delivered and have grown to be one of the largest supply chain sustainability platform/profile holders in the world that monitors suppliers (and the supply chain) across 155 countries and over 1 billion messages daily for sustainability monitoring.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis offers an update on our 2018 look at IntegrityNext and its capabilities. It includes an overview of IntegrityNext’s offering, a breakdown of what is comparatively good (and not so good) about the solution, a SWOT analysis, a list of IntegrityNext competitors and a selection requirements checklist for those that might consider the provider.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insiders’ Hot List: April 2021 [PRO]

Welcome to the April 2021 edition of Spend Matters Insiders’ Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space.

As the battle against COVID-19 across the world continues, labor markets have been recovering and the CW/S intermediation industry has continued to evolve steadily as well.

Let’s look at what was going on in April 2021.

Tipalti: What Makes It Great (AP Automation SolutionMap Analysis) [PRO]

The accounts payable (AP) automation market has grown rapidly in the last few years, in part due to its wide range of addressable clients across company sizes, industries and geographies. Tipalti, an AP automation provider with particular strengths in payments automation, is one vendor in the space that continues to grow along with the industry.

Specifically, the Tipalti solution can extend across a payment lifecycle — from capturing invoices to the validation and approval of payments, and finally issuing the payment through the end. Its cloud-based, AI-enabled platform makes automating and processing payments in many different countries, currencies and methods fast and secure, at global scale.

What’s more, Tipalti has in the last year added several new partners, raised $150 million, reached a valuation of $2 billion and acquired Approve.com. Given all that, it’s no wonder that Tipalti performs as a Value Leader in the Spend Matters SolutionMap AP Automation category.

As of the Spring 2021 update, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on 75 solutions within the procurement technology landscape. But where does Tipalti stand out most and help “set the bar” in AP Automation, and why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations?

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

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from our SolutionMap updates for subscribers to SolutionMap Insider content and PRO analysis. Based on our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each column 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.

Bid Ops: Vendor Analysis, 2021 — Solution overview, strengths/weaknesses, SWOT, Bid Ops competitors, tech-selection tips [PRO]

Despite the merger and acquisition frenzy in the procurement technology market of the past few years, the upstream source-to-contract (S2C) market continues to remain crowded. For organizations evaluating a sourcing solution, not only can they choose from 10 source-to-pay (S2P) players, they also can select from multiple mini-suites (S2C) or dozens of other vendors in pure-play e-sourcing and supplier management.

Admittedly, it can be hard to differentiate from with the number of options available, and in sourcing specifically, unless an upstart offers decision optimization, RPA (robotic process automation), specialized analytics, semantic parsing or some other advanced technology, they can easily get lost in the sea of standardized options.

Bid Ops is a younger entrant making waves in the e-sourcing market by differentiating on automated negotiation support, bill-of-material import, intelligent pricing suggestion and automated KPI roll-up against supplier profiles. These capabilities, among others, empower procurement organizations to conduct more events with far less (or even no) manual effort while bringing more spend under management, especially for non-strategic or standardized categories like MRO, where analysis is minimal and most of the process can be standardized. For many Bid Ops customers, which include both mid-market process manufacturers and enterprise-level discrete manufactures, the value prop of working with a rapidly iterating direct sourcing specialist is proving compelling — and has made it one of our 50 Providers to Watch in recent years.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis provides an overview of Bid Ops and its solutions for automated e-sourcing solutions and supplier management. It explores the concept behind Bid Ops and how that fuels the platform, application and supporting services that the vendor delivers. This post also includes a look at Bid Ops’ competitors and key analyst takeaways on strengths and weaknesses.

Digitate: Vendor Analysis — Overview of analytics solution, roadmap, Digitate competitors, tech selection tips, analyst summary [PRO]

Digitate was founded as the product arm of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) back in 2015 to provide its consultants and services personnel with the tools that the market just wasn't providing them — specifically, the opportunity identification and program monitoring that most of its customers were missing from their source-to-pay suites.

Looking at these platforms, Tata noticed that their customers typically had the tools they need to "do" sourcing and procurement, but not the ones needed to identify the best, or hidden, opportunities, and definitely not the ones to identify which sort of controls they should put in place to ensure goals are met and risks are averted.

So they developed ignio Cognitive Procurement, a monitoring analytics platform backed by data science that can be used by organizations to analyze spend and supply. This platform is capable of identifying not only traditional spend analytics-based opportunities but also more non-traditional opportunities hidden in the supply chain, like late deliveries, high returns, high-risk payments, missed (safe) early payment opportunities and other issues.

Said another way, while more traditional spend analytics vendors allow you to “slice and dice” your data, Digitate gives you a battle ax that’s meant to cut through the hardest data problems you can throw at it.

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis provides an overview of Digitate and its solution for data science-backed analytics across source-to-pay. It explores the concept behind Digitate and how that fuels the platform, application and supporting services that the vendor delivers. This post also includes a look at Digitate’s competitors and key analyst takeaways on strengths and weaknesses.

Spring 2021 Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services: Provider Scoring Summary [PRO]

This SolutionMap scoring summary analyzes a select group of solution providers for Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services. It is part of our Spring 2021 SolutionMap report series, also with coverage of Temp Staffing and Contract Services/Statement of Work providers.

Spring 2021 Supplier Relationship Management and Risk (SRM): Provider Scoring Summary [PRO]

This SolutionMap scoring summary analyzes a select group of supplier management (SXM) providers. It includes coverage of supplier information management (SIM), supplier master data management (MDM), supplier performance management and broader initiative management (e.g., risk, third-party management) capabilities. It is part of our Spring 2021 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers.

Spring 2021 Spend Analytics: Provider Scoring Summary [PRO]

This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of spend analytics providers. It includes coverage of spend analytics capabilities that encourages subscribers to “peel the onion” beyond cleansing, classification, enrichment and reporting capabilities alone. It is part of our Spring 2021 SolutionMap report series, also featuring sourcing, supplier management contract management, e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers.

Spring 2021 Invoice-to-Pay (I2P): Provider Scoring Summary [PRO]

This SolutionMap scoring summary analyzes a select group of invoice-to-pay solution providers. It is part of our Spring 2021 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management, contract management and e-procurement providers. Our spring release also features a SolutionMap for procure-to-pay and strategic procurement technology suites.

Spring 2021 Sourcing: Provider Scoring Summary [PRO]

This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of sourcing providers. It is part of our Spring 2021 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, contract management, supplier relationship management and risk (SRM), e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers. SolutionMap also features procure-to-pay and strategic procurement technology suites.

Spring 2021 Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM): Provider Scoring Summary [PRO]

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The Spend Matters SolutionMap Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM): Provider Scoring Summary is only available to SolutionMap Members. This SolutionMap analyzes a select group of Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) providers. It is part of our Spring 2021 SolutionMap report series, also featuring spend analytics, sourcing, supplier management (including supplier information management, performance management and risk management), e-procurement and invoice-to-pay providers.