platforms Content

Extending Procurement Information Architecture to Provider Ecosystems (Part 4) [PRO]

There is an ecosystem of large information and analytics providers (e.g., IHS) that will need strong technology partnerships or native technology capabilities to generate the information and insights they need to sell to the market – especially as application/network/platform providers are increasingly generating their own native insights from their installed bases. Additionally, supply intelligence is drawn from highly fragmented and unstructured data that is littered across the web and also behind the firewall in numerous desktop and other unstructured data sources (e.g., SharePoint). Managing the combination of structured and unstructured data requires a strong capability in content management (taxonomy and metadata management, content discovery, content curation, etc.) and there are similar platform/ecosystem battles occurring in this area too (e.g., Drupal vs. WordPress communities). Likewise, there is role for unleashing the type of auto-classification technology that was originally applied to spend data (remember Zycus, Tigris, Softface and Zeborg … anyone, anyone?) before these tools became integrated into broader spend analytics and source-to-pay suites.

Ten Vexing Issues Regarding Supplier Networks and Platforms

I recently had to give a presentation to a client on the future of supplier networks and platforms. They were keen to understand where these things were going. Part of the discussion centered on clearing through all the SAP/Ariba uncertainty around fee structures and incremental capabilities. Other topical diversions took us down how to incorporate a network and platform strategy in their broader indirect (and potential direct and services) procurement capabilities – especially as it pertains to “surrounding” and getting more from current eProcurement investments. So we present today a list of ten questions that continue to challenge us as we explore the topics of networks and platforms. If currently using supplier connectivity tools, networks and platforms to enable information exchange and e-invoicing from providers (Ariba, Hubwoo, IBX, Perfect, Basware, Tradeshift, OB10, GXS, IBM/Sterling, etc.), all educated buyers in the market owe it to themselves to jot down honest answers to these questions.