BravoSolution Announces Another Year of Growth and New Customers

hot topic jpegAs we explained earlier this week, April is Procurement Technology Month here and we also promise to make it as interesting as possible, as we know not everyone finds it the most fascinating topic. But as we also explained, pretty much everyone in procurement needs to "get with the programme" and make sure they have a decent working knowledge of the relevant technologies that can make them and their organisations more successful.

Several major procurement technology firms have announced results for 2015 recently - these aren't publicly quoted firms, so they choose quite how much to reveal, but we'll take a look at what they said and maybe also what they didn't say.

Today, let’s look at BravoSolution. The firm has an Italian industrial parent company, an unusual model for a tech firm but one that has not held back their performance in recent years, and the business is certainly in the Premier League of procurement software firms in terms of size, reach and performance. Their press release last week gave more detail on revenues than we have publicly seen before from the firm, as it talked about gave a revenue figure of €80 million (£64M or $92M approximately).

BravoSolution, the leading global strategic procurement provider, has recorded its 15th straight year of double-digit revenue growth. The company generated nearly €80 million in revenue in 2015 and added over 80 new customers worldwide”.

That takes the customer base up to some 600 organisations. And in the press release, there are even more numbers and percentages to take in, but they all sound pretty positive: “Additional 2015 highlights for BravoSolution include a 50 percent increase in total platform users and a 40 percent increase in software bookings, which contributed to a 22 percent increase in overall software subscription and license revenue.”

You can play a fun guessing game around their description of some new customers: “Among the more than 80 new customers that signed with BravoSolution in 2015: one of the largest suppliers of blended cements, a publicly traded diversified mortgage banking firm, a Fortune 1000 semiconductor supplier, one of the world’s leading suppliers of systems for power generation, transmission and medical diagnosis and a public joint-stock company that spearheads the development of the Emirates’ aviation industry”.

That all sounds very good news for Jim Wetekamp, the BravoSolution veteran who took over as CEO around 18 months ago.  The firm has also been somewhat unusual in that different countries have pursued somewhat different approaches, such as the relative emphasis on services or software. Under Wetekamp, there is more focus on being a single business, but whilst maintaining that "local" feel. Tejari, the joint venture in the Middle East has been a good example of where this can work really well; bringing the strength of Bravo's products but building on the regional understanding and heritage of their partners. We would suspect from personal observation that the region is one of the success stories within those overall figures.

Other major markets remain a challenge; some other major European countries have never been as successful for the firm as the UK or Italy for instance. Addressing those markets is clearly an opportunity for the firm. But perhaps the biggest test and potential growth for Bravo in the next 12-18 months will come from establishing their expanded product suite BravoAdvantage 16, which takes the firm from a sourcing and supplier management focus (including analytics and contract management) into a full source to pay offering, with extensive  purchase to pay capability.

That also takes the firm head-on into competition with SAP/Ariba and Coupa as well as other successful firms. Our perception is that where BravoSolution has been particularly successful, it is "customer intimacy" that has driven that as much as their technical and product expertise. That will certainly help, and is a real differentiator against some of their rivals at least, as they look to extend their reach into the purchase to pay world in an increasingly competitive environment.

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