PRO Content

BuyerQuest: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitor Comparisons, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

This third and final installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis update on BuyerQuest provides a SWOT analysis of the provider and a comparison of competitors. It includes a recommended shortlist of candidates that could serve as alternative vendors to BuyerQuest for e-procurement and procure-to-pay (P2P). We offer profiles of Vroozi, Zycus, Coupa, SAP Ariba and Ivalua. Finally, we conclude with recommendations for organizations considering BuyerQuest and a summary analysis.

Part 1 covered BuyerQuest’s company background and a solution overview. Part 2 focused on its solution strengths and weaknesses.

BuyerQuest: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 2) — Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 2) explores BuyerQuest’s strengths and weaknesses in its P2P capabilities, providing facts and expert analysis to help organizations decide if they should shortlist the vendor as a potential provider.

Part 1 of our analysis provided company background information and a detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for what types of organizations should consider BuyerQuest. Part 3 will include a company SWOT analysis, competitor comparisons, tech selection tips and summary analysis.

Coupa buys ConnXus: Product Background and Deal Rationale [PRO]

Coupa announced Monday it has acquired ConnXus, an Ohio-based provider of supplier relationship management and diversity solutions, for an undisclosed sum.

The deal continues Coupa’s ongoing R&D investment augmented by its corporate development streak. Over the past 18 months the San Mateo, California-based S2P provider has acquired five firms, including another in the SRM space, Hiperos (now unified into the Coupa platform as Coupa Risk assess). But while the Hiperos purchase expanded Coupa’s third-party risk management capabilities, ConnXus brings an entirely different set of supplier management functionality. This includes deep expertise and data related to supplier diversity initiatives — for which ConnXus is best known — as well as several related offerings, such as an automated supplier master data cleansing service.

So what does ConnXus bring that’s new to Coupa, and why does the acquisition make sense in the context of an already strong-performing supplier relationship management and risk solution? This Spend Matters PRO brief reviews the SXM offerings of both ConnXus and Coupa, exploring the deal rationale from a product perspective. It also explores what the deal means for current customers and prospects. A separate brief from Spend Matter Nexus will cover the acquisition from an investment perspective.

BuyerQuest: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 1) — Company & Solution Overview and Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

This three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis is an update of our 2017 series on BuyerQuest, an e-procurement provider known for its user interface then and since has been building out its full P2P capabilities with a focus on e-invoicing and payments.

Many e-procurement providers can stand to improve their UI, a topic that we have written about extensively (here, here, here, here).

To become a full P2P solution, providers that do not invest in an end-to-end user experience can’t compete in today’s market. That’s why we like to see BuyerQuest taking the first steps in this direction. BuyerQuest’s path to competing in the P2P market can happen through through organic growth or new acquisition. We’re eager to see where it goes.

BuyerQuest, founded in 2011, has grown from being a leading e-procurement solution with an easy-to-use digital marketplace to become a full P2P provider that offers three solution packages: Marketplace, eProcurement and Procure-to-Pay that include a set of modules to deliver its value: Storefront, Services, Quote, Suppliers, Platform, Requisitioning, Order, Contracts, Analytics, Payables.

In Spend Matters’ SolutionMap ranking of e-procurement offerings, BuyerQuest attained “Value Leader” status in our Nimble and Turn-Key personas. The Value Leader designation indicates that a solution has high scores for capabilities relative to peers and has good feedback from customers.

This series will provide facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about BuyerQuest and whether its capabilities are a fit for their needs. Part 1 will provide company background and a detailed solution overview. The remaining parts will offer product strengths and weaknesses, a company SWOT analysis, details on competitors and the market, and tech selection tips.

SoftCo: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — SWOT Analysis, Competitors & Market Analysis, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

SoftCo qualified as a Nimble “Value Leader” in our new SolutionMap ranking of AP automation offerings, meaning it had good analyst scores and good feedback from its customers. It also indicates that its capabilities can serve companies that need a low-cost solution, rapid implementation and fast ROI in combination with SoftCo’s strengths, which are in invoice capturing, workflow engines and integration expertise.

However, this market is getting competitive — with big investments being made across P2P and specialized AP automation. With that in mind, this final Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis installment will look at SoftCo and where it fits into this market and the competitors that it could face in different segments of the market. We’ll have profiles of AvidXchange, Basware, SAP Ariba, Coupa and Corcentric (Determine).

In Part 1, we covered SoftCo’s company background, a detailed solution overview and a summary recommended fit suggestion for considering SoftCo. In Part 2, we covered product strengths and weaknesses.

In addition to a look at SoftCo’s competitors, Part 3 also will include a SWOT analysis, tech selection tips and an analyst summary.

SoftCo: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

e-invoicing

In this second part of Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we’ll examine the strengths and weaknesses of SoftCo’s solution, which focuses on AP automation and offers strong invoice capture, workflow/business rules, integration expertise and implementation services.

Part 1 of our analysis provided company background details, a detailed solution overview and a recommended fit list of criteria for firms considering SoftCo.

The third part of this series will offer a company SWOT analysis, a look at competitors and additional tech selection tips.

Now, let’s check out SoftCo’s abilities.

SoftCo: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Background, Solution Overview and Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis on SoftCo offers a three-part series providing facts and expert analysis to help accounts payable and procurement organizations make informed decisions about whether they should explore the software provider in this market.

SoftCo was among the first six providers to join Spend Matters’ new AP Automation SolutionMap, which came out last month. AP automation solutions are gaining prominence in the P2P/I2P market, where having visibility and control of the whole payment transaction is becoming a critical capability to create more process efficiencies and value to organizations. The “OK-to-pay” status, which is just approving an invoice for payment and sending the files to a payment system, is no longer enough to keep providers competitive among the P2P and AP automation players.

The results from SolutionMap show that SoftCo’s payments automation solution is stronger in our Nimble persona, where features such as low cost, rapid implementation and fast ROI are key. SoftCo’s AP automation elements include invoice capture, OCR data capture, invoice approval, invoice exceptions, approval routing, mobile approval, and 2-/3-way & recurring invoice matching.

Part 1 of our Vendor Analysis will focus on SoftCo’s background, provide a solution overview and offer tech selection tips for when organizations should consider SoftCo as a complement to other procurement and finance solutions. The remaining parts of this research brief will cover product strengths and weaknesses, insights on competitors, a SWOT analysis, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Workforce data and analytics in a time of crisis [PRO]

In the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) category of Spend Matters’ Coronavirus Response series, our focus has been on solutions that are able to, at a minimum, help rapidly ramp up extended workforce to deal with resource shortfalls as well as manage and track as well as track and manage external workers, projects and services providers.

We are examining four categories of relatively new types technology-enabled CW/S solutions for: (1) sourcing and managing remote/online work; (2) sourcing and managing mobile-equipped workers across geographical locations; (3) direct sourcing of workforce and services; (4) and managing data and producing analytical outputs.

In this brief, we turn to third-party digital solutions for data management and analytics that organizations can use in a number of ways to cost-effectively source and manage their extended workforce (contingent workers and service providers’ workers). These solutions collect, manage and process large amounts of market data — and sometimes procurement data — and generate different types of value-added outputs for a variety of purposes.

A selection of data management and analytics solution providers — PeopleTicker, Brightfield (TDX) and ENGAGE Talent (a Workforce Logiq company) — will be highlighted below. This list, however, is not exhaustive.

The overall series addresses seven categories of technology solutions that can help in a crisis:

  1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc. (Read this category’s PRO analysis and solution recommendations here.)
  2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source. (This category was updated April 23 and is discussed in-depth here.)
  3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes. (Its profile for this series was updated April 22 and is available here.)
  4. Procure to Pay (P2P) that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (See details about this category here. It was updated April 24.)
  5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards when new suppliers need to be set up quickly, and also when lowlife fraudsters try to use the pandemic as a way to steal money and IP. (Its profile for this series is here.)
  6. Providers with deep contract analytics that can analyze a contract portfolio for affected contracts from suppliers (and customers) for not just force majeure clauses, but other related clauses that tie to the multiple risks popping up at once in the pandemic. (Read in-depth detail on this category here.)
  7. Contingent Workforce and Services: See the four items mentioned above.

These data management and analytics solution solutions that we’re examining today also typically provide market rate benchmarking to ensure bill rate optimization as well as insights into labor markets/sources. When it comes to rate benchmarking, solutions generally address both CWs/MSP as well as permanent employees.

The solutions can support organizations in optimizing their contingent workforce management programs based on data and key metrics and benchmark programs against other programs (in the aggregate). Some providers offer capability to cost out and price SOW projects. Some providers go further.

Organizations may find these solutions more useful than ever if they are anticipating using more contingent workforce or services or have more churn in those areas — or want to get a better total talent perspective on extended and permanent workforce roles in the organization and their compensation costs. In the current coronavirus environment, organizations will be looking fundamentally into all segments of their workforces to get what the organization needs to do business, while being as cost efficient as possible.

CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE: Contingent Workforce/Services — Can direct sourcing of work and services help in this crisis? [PRO]

In the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) category of Spend Matters’ Coronavirus Response series, our focus has been on solutions that are able to, at a minimum, help rapidly ramp up extended workforce to deal with resource shortfalls as well as manage and track external workers, projects and services providers.

We are examining four categories of relatively new types technology-enabled CW/S solutions for: (1) sourcing and managing remote/online work; (2) sourcing and managing mobile-equipped workers across geographical locations; (3) “direct sourcing;” (4) management of workers; and managing data and producing analytical outputs.

The overall series addresses seven categories of technology solutions that can help in a crisis:

  1. Supply risk management solutions that include supply chain risk, CSR risk, supplier financial risk, etc. (Read this category’s PRO analysis and solution recommendations here.)
  2. Sourcing and commodity management, including advanced sourcing, direct sourcing, automated supplier discovery, and commodity management to help dynamically plan and source. (This category was updated April 23 and is discussed in-depth here.)
  3. Advanced procurement analytics to enable direct procurement and/or to perform “spend planning” when demand drops out or spikes. (Its profile for this series was updated April 22 and is available here.)
  4. Procure to Pay (P2P) that emphasizes working capital, dynamic discounting, payment control and related finance priorities to help inject cash into the P2P process — especially for many cash-starved suppliers. (See details about this category here. It was updated April 24.)
  5. Fraud, P2P and vendor management safeguards when new suppliers need to be set up quickly, and also when lowlife fraudsters try to use the pandemic as a way to steal money and IP. (Its profile for this series is here.)
  6. Providers with deep contract analytics that can analyze a contract portfolio for affected contracts from suppliers (and customers) for not just force majeure clauses, but other related clauses that tie to the multiple risks popping up at once in the pandemic. (Read in-depth detail on this category here.)
  7. Contingent Workforce and Services: See the four items mentioned above.

In this brief, we turn to solutions for direct sourcing of workforce/services: enterprise solutions that enable businesses to “direct source” (without using staffing supply chain) and engage/manage their own affiliated (bring-your-own) contract workers and specialized service providers in private resource pools. These solutions typically take the form of horizontal, standalone software applications, while some digital work/services platforms are tightly coupled with their own front-end “direct sourcing” enterprise application (e.g., Upwork Enterprise). In the context of this brief, we will focus on the direct sourcing solutions that are horizontal, standalone software applications.

A selection of direct sourcing solution providers — WorkMarket (an ADP company), TalentNet and Shortlist — will be highlighted below. This list, however, is not exhaustive. Before you see the profiles of example solutions, we'll discuss this category of solutions, problems and use cases, and the solution rationale and value.

Nvoicepay: Vendor Analysis (Company & Solution Overview) [PRO]

procurement

Every business has to pay its suppliers, contractors, vendors, gig workers. But let’s face it, the payments task is a back-end necessity that’s typically full of manual workflows, manual approval processes and a mixture of payment streams from checks to cards to ACH to the occasional overseas payment.

As companies grow, these processes can become costly, convoluted and unscalable. So companies face a number of decisions related to payments:

* How can I move checks to e-payments to capture both efficiencies and rebates?
* How do I manage the various compliance and fraud aspects of paying suppliers, from collecting 1099s or W-8s etc. to managing fraud (e.g., collusion between subsidiaries, false invoices, etc.)?
* Do I use an outsource provider or work with my existing bank relationships?
* Can I consolidate payment among my enterprises into a shared service?
* Are there early payment initiatives that can help both my supplier base and provide a ROI for my firm?

Nvoicepay is an outsourced B2B payment provider that addresses some of these questions.

Nvoicepay is a financial technology company that outsources supplier payments to U.S. organizations through cloud-based software and managed payment services. Founded in 2009 as a cloud payment hub, Nvoicepay focuses on the payment piece and connects to any AP workflow or scanning system the client has in place and does not attempt to automate the front end invoice-receipt process or change the client’s current flow.

What makes Nvoicepay interesting is the idea that the big hurdle in payments has less to do with technology and more to do with the services surrounding it. This belief leads to three unique points of value for Nvoicepay’s solution.

Brightfield (TDX): Vendor Analysis — Solution Overview, SWOT, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on Brightfield (TDX) and its capabilities. Brightfield provides enterprises with an extended workforce data-management and analytics solution (at this time, specifically enterprises that are highly focused on “digital” contract workers and SOW/services). This brief includes an overview of Brightfield and its solution offerings, a summary solution evaluation, a SWOT analysis and a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

EC Sourcing: Vendor Analysis 2020 Update (Part 3) — SWOT, Competitors, Recommendations, Summary Analysis [PRO]

There is a lot of competition in the e-sourcing and strategic sourcing suite marketplace today.

Granted, while new market entrants have largely if not entirely replaced some of the legacy providers from a decade or more ago, the amount of choice procurement organizations have in selecting a provider has never been greater.

EC Sourcing is one such provider that companies — especially those in the middle market — may wish to add to their shortlists, not just for core sourcing and negotiation but to enable basic category management support and upstream (non-transactional) suite capability.

This final installment of our updated three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Snapshot series provides a SWOT analysis, a look at EC Sourcing’s competitors and how EC Sourcing compares to vendors that customers may wish to shortlist. This post also includes a user selection guide and summary evaluation. Part 1 and Part 2 of this analysis provide a company and solution overview, product strengths and weaknesses, and a recommended fit analysis for what types of organizations should consider EC Sourcing.