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Tradeshift’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews of Tradeshift, which is known for its marketplace service, global invoice processing, payment capabilities and financing support. Tradeshift’s applicable SolutionMap categories for this report are in E-Procurement, Invoice-to-Pay and Procure-to-Pay.

3 Reasons to Love ‘Nimble’ Procurement Technology Providers

Spend Matters’ analysts have been writing personal essays on their favorite SolutionMap personas: Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator and CIO Friendly, as well as Optimizer for sourcing providers and Global for CWS vendors. The personas help companies select which solution provider is right for them. This week’s essay is by Nick Heinzmann, an associate analyst and a former editor of Spend Matters.

Let’s be blunt: If you’re going to pay five or six figures for a software license, you’d better hope your employees actually use it. But can your technology provider guarantee that everyone who uses the system — from admins to power users to the everyday requisitioner or collaborator — will adopt it? What about enjoy it, willingly log in and encourage everyone to collaborate on the platform?

For many companies, this is easier said than done. Implementations that seem well planned on paper can quickly become nightmares. Systems with deep, powerful functionality but archaic user interfaces can scare less ambitious users back to the warm embrace of Excel.

Issues like the above and others are why I love the Nimble persona — that best at understanding the “millennial” mindset when it comes to technology. Why can’t procurement software be as fun and easy to use as apps like Instagram, Venmo and Slack?

Zycus’ customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s vendor spotlight in the SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews of the source-to-pay suite provider Zycus, whose applicable SolutionMap categories for this report are in Source-to-Pay, Procure-to-Pay and Strategic Procurement Technologies.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Zycus in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of qualitative — and select rating and quantitative — insights from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

Oracle’s customer reviews are in the new SolutionMap Customer Insights report

This week’s vendor spotlight in the SolutionMap Customer Insights report focuses on customer reviews of the suite provider Oracle, which we rank in the areas of e-procurement, invoice-to-pay and procure-to-pay.

SolutionMap Insider members can click here to read about Oracle in our latest report.

In each Customer Insights report, we provide a one-page summary of insights from the SolutionMap peer review process. The Customer Insights summary includes ratings on how well the vendor meets user expectations, three key differentiators for the vendor and a list of quotes about the vendor’s greatest strengths.

GDPR compliance can be complicated, but VMS technology can ease process of protecting personal data

As more businesses collect personal data, the concerns over privacy and protection continue to deepen. Social media outlets are failing to protect sensitive personal information, and hackers seem to easily find their way into retail and financial databases.

In response, governments are instituting policies to protect personal data. Some individual states in the U.S. are passing legislation, but the most sweeping effort to date is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which went into effect in the European Union about a year ago.

So, how are companies handling the collection of data and protecting that information?

Take freelancer websites, for example. Those companies collect candidate information for use in their contingent worker programs, and that data is especially sensitive. Every person applying for work is required to submit personal information during their application process, so companies impacted by GDPR must now more closely manage that. Companies have to monitor who has access, determine what data can be shared, establish proper channels for sharing, have a plan to erase data and set a specific storage term.

Businesses, Just Turn It On. Go with My Favorite Persona — Turn-Key

Andrew Karpie

When considering a technology solution, businesses trying to maximize their objective functions face trade-offs among different factors, including costs, capability, speed and risk.

I’ve been thinking about this as the analysts at Spend Matters consider their favorite SolutionMap persona: Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator, CIO Friendly as well as Optimizer for sourcing providers and Global for CWS vendors. The first two personal essays on buying personas went Deep and with Configurator.

I’m going with Turn-Key, and here’s why.

Best Procurement Solution Persona? Configurator!

pierre mitchell headshot

What’s my favorite Spend Matters’ SolutionMap persona? In one respect — as we begin a series of personal essays on buying personas (Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key, Configurator, CIO Friendly as well as Optimizer for sourcing providers and Global for CWS vendors) — it’s sort of a silly question.

Every persona is great. Is an extrovert better than an introvert? Is an Olympic weightlifter a better athlete than a marathoner? Is the procurement organization at Uber better than the one at P&G? Uber might need a Nimble solution, and P&G may need a Deep solution. But if we change the question to “what type of solution is generally most appealing to the most buyer personas,” then I’d have to pick Configurator.

Commodities Roundup: Steel Prices, Sustainable Mining and U.S.-China Tariffs

For the buyers and category managers out there, especially those of you deep in the weeds of buying and managing commodities, here’s a quick rundown of news and thoughts from particular commodity markets. We scour the landscape for what matters — from price movements to policy decisions. This week: Domestic steel price weakness, sustainable mining, and U.S-China trade tariffs and talks fallout.

An Interview with SAP Intelligent Spend Group’s Marcell Vollmer: From CPO to CDO

SAP recently has consolidated its separate business units SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur under its new SAP Intelligent Spend Group division. So it seemed like a good time for me to catch up with an industry insider to shed light on the issues.

Dr. Marcell Vollmer is now the chief digital officer of the Intelligent Spend Group, after filling the CDO role for SAP Ariba since 2017, when I talked to him in a series of Spend Matters interviews about digital transformations and about his stint as the chief procurement officer for SAP.

Recently, he said one area of opportunity that he sees is in procurement, where CDOs should spend more time.

Deloitte 2019 CPO Survey — Insights Needed on Procurement Mastery in Action

ISM

Deloitte has opened up the 2019 version of its annual CPO survey for participants to share their insights. It’s important to participate because the survey’s depth, rigor and relevance produce influential findings that have set the gold standard for procurement studies.

And this year’s edition is very exciting, especially for me. I’ve been doing procurement research and benchmarking for 20 years, and I was thrilled to not only be given a sneak peek into this year’s study design but to be made me an honorary member of Deloitte’s extended research team to provide input. So, my challenge became how to make a great product even better.

But you can participate too. CPOs and their direct reports are needed — and participants will get an intelligence briefing about the study’s results. At the end of this article, I’ll get more specific about the ROI of participating in this year’s study.

At ISM 2019, Jasdeep Sandhu and other ‘30 Under 30’ winners honored

The Institute of Supply Management’s focus is on the future, and no educational session or speech at the ISM 2019 convention in Houston exemplified that more than recognizing Megawatt winner Jasdeep Sandhu and the other “30 under 30” recipients, the top young professionals in the field of supply chain and procurement. “It’s an incredible honor. If you asked me five years ago if I’d be in this position, I wouldn’t believe it,” said Sandhu, a blockchain specialist for the pharma firm GSK who turned 27 just before the early April convention. “Honestly, what it’s done, it has inspired me so much to continue down this path."

Globality Uses AI to Transform Complex Services Sourcing

The sprawling, and often poorly managed, domain of services spend in procurement has not been fully solved by the digital transformation, but as companies adopt technologies to support their efforts, they are discovering the great potential that technology can unlock.

Managing services spend requires assisting the many stakeholders who are sourcing for a variety of needs. To help support all of those sourcing processes, procurement professionals need a robust technology like artificial intelligence (AI), which offers unprecedented capabilities and potential to streamline the process and improve the vendor match. To shed light on that topic, we talked to Globality, a solutions provider with an AI-based procurement platform that helps clients around the world source services.

“Digital sourcing reduces time and improves the quality of the process,” says Yuval Atsmon, Globality’s Chief Customer Officer.

In this Q&A, Atsmon explains the value of bringing AI to B2B sourcing and how Globality uses AI to deliver results that save global clients and service providers time and money.