Goodbye BravoSolution, Hello Jaggaer! (Part 2) – Richard Hogg Speaks

We explained in part 1 here about the recent Jaggaer User Group event in London, which was the first exposure for many BravoSolution customers to the new world of Jaggaer following the recent acquisition. Today, we’ll have more from the event plus an exclusive interview with Richard Hogg from the firm.

But first … Ian Dawson spoke at the event about the improvements coming in the next release of the Jaggaer Advantage platform (which is the product used by most “old” BravoSolution clients).  We’re just covering a couple of highlights here, there are many enhancements on the way, some will be included as standard, in other cases they are available on request (and some come with fees attached).

Auctions is a major development area; we’re getting the impression that this technique might be coming back into fashion and Dawson said he hoped the improvements will “drive more user adoption of the auction functionality”.

The Jaggaer tool has been “completely rebuilt from the ground up” to be “modern, intuitive, and scalable”, he said. It is much simpler to run events - the platform has moved away from Java, so it is now much easier for the auction manager, e.g. visual indicators, auction messaging during the process, easier to create multi-lot auctions. It supports different auction types, including English, Dutch, sealed bid. Other formats (e.g. Japanese) will continue to use the previous engine though as they are not yet migrated.

In the sourcing area, there are other improvements including (just for you public sector users) support for the “European Procurement Document”. There are also major improvements to the contract lifecycle (management) module including around contract authoring e.g. “track changes” improvements, contract expiry management, and many others.

There certainly does not appear to have been any slowing of product enhancement work since the acquisition.  We missed the equivalent session which looked at developments on the Jaggaer Indirect platform, but we had the chance after the event to ask Richard Hogg, who leads the business in the UK and Middle East, a few questions.

So Richard, the first question to you as a BravoSolution veteran has to be this -  how’s it been for you in the new business? And how have your “old” customers taken it generally?

“Well, it’s been a fairly significant transition – obviously the exciting stuff, like getting to grips with the newly expanded solutions and customers coupled with more mundane but important processes, systems, and reporting.

Once customers have understood the relatively small overlap in geographical resources and technology solutions, and the continued investment committed to localised support and technologies – such as Jaggaer Advantage (previously BravoAdvantage) - then customers have been overwhelmingly positive”.

That seemed to be the mood at the event – and there don’t seem to have been major people changes in the UK so far – is that a fair comment? I saw many of the previous senior team at the event?

“There have been some changes to align into the revised organisational model and operational approach, and whilst change can be unsettling, the team have settled down nicely”.

This three-stream approach we heard about with Jaggaer Advantage, Direct and Indirect – are you confident about the concept and particularly the ability for users to combine the best elements of the different streams? That seems to be very fundamental to the product strategy?

“The worlds of indirect and direct procurement (specifically industrial / manufacturing) pose unique challenges and opportunities for organisations. The product strategy to focus on addressing these directly with seamless integration is absolutely fundamental to the solution success – one we firmly believe in and are progressing well with.

Equally , we understand that different organisations take different approaches to managing their spend, with various modes and maturities including centralised, de-centralised, partnering, or outsourcing across various categories. We believe that Jaggaer Advantage, Direct and Indirect provide different entry points for organisations of all shapes and sizes”.

A couple of questions about the future. Where do you think customers most want to see the new tech enhancements and developments that will help them and their organisations?

“Avoiding the obvious jargon trending everywhere, I think customers just want an ever increasingly easy way for their organisations to manage fully the fundamentals of strategic and operational procurement. This is a tricky balance to achieve – ever-increasing sophistication and capabilities coupled with ease of use and adoption”.

And what about cognitive, AI, machine learning and so on? Is that something we will see Jaggaer really embracing?

“Yes, this is something that is already very much in the product roadmap and in some instances already integrated into the product.  Our strategy is to remain ahead of the curve and leverage the latest technology – with a series of enabling technologies including Cognitive Intelligence (AI/ML), Internet of Things (IoT), API, RPA (Bots) and Blockchain underpinning the products.

Progress is clearly varied in terms of those enabling technologies  - but for example AI/ML for search, classification and recommendation engines is either already embedded or available in the summer releases - whilst Blockchain is still at the point of early consideration / definition”.

 

So thanks to Richard Hogg, and we look forward to the Jaggaer event in Munich, June 25th / 26th, when we will no doubt hear a lot more about the integration process and the future developments from a technology point of view. And if you are interested in attending the Munich event, here is the link for registering.

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