SynerTrade – A Wide Range of Procurement Applications from the Technology Hydrofoil

In the landscape of European e-procurement firms, there are quite a number that are very successful in certain markets but pretty low profile in others including the UK. The sponsors of our new Public Spend Matters Europe site, Vortal are an example, being huge in Portugal, Colombia and the Czech Republic, but little known in the UK or US. And SynerTrade is another. The software firm has a couple of US clients, and a growing Scandinavia presence, but the strong base is in France and Germany.

We recently met with Andreas Schwarze, who has joined the executive board of SynerTrade, moving from German e-sourcing firm Onventis, where he was CEO for several years. The firm itself grew out of a merger between SynerDeal of France and Trade2B of Germany in 2005, and now has around 250 customers, mainly private sector although there are some moves into the public sector.

There are around 150 staff, including a significant team of around 50 development people based in Rumania – that’s a high proportion of development staff by industry standards. Most of the rest are in France and Germany, with some presence also elsewhere. Indeed, according to its website, “SynerTrade is a technology hydrofoil with global range: New York, Sao Palo, Paris, Munich, Copenhagen, Malmo, Brasov and Shanghai.”

A “technology hydrofoil” – that’s a new one on me anyway! The firm is profitable, with revenues of something a little over 10 million Euros, according to Schwarze. It’s privately owned still, with management holding some 50% of the equity and the rest with a small number of private investors.

SynerTrade offers a vast range of over 30 “applications,” as it defines its products. They range from stuff you would expect to see in a procurement offering such as Auction, Spend Analytics and Procure 2 Pay, through to more esoteric options like “Open Innovation” and “Data Harmonization.” Clearly, it will take us some time to work though and look at all of them and we didn’t do it during this initial meeting! But it does give the firm a strong selling point – a potential client may be attracted by something that is pretty much unique in our world of procurement software.

And the firm claims to have full integration between and across the different apps. So contracts can for example be fed through from “sourcing” into “contract management,” as in the case of Lufthansa, which manages tens of thousands of contracts via its SynerTrade platform. Spend Analysis is another where Lufthansa has benefited from the ability to pull data from multiple systems into the platform.

Even though the firm offers this range of product options, it is also pursuing a partnership strategy. So there’s a link-up with Nipendo, innovative supplier network and e-invoicing firm, and another with German firm Wallmedien, which is particularly strong in operational procurement and catalogue management-type areas. SynerTrade runs on a “private cloud” basis, with data centres in Germany and France, but still delivers around 30% of its business on-premise.

So, another interesting option across a wide range of procurement software capabilities; certainly for customers in France, Germany and northern Europe. We get the feeling the firm is just working out whether to really target the UK; watch this space, and at some point we’ll take a more detailed look at the product too.

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  1. Patrick Chabannes:

    Dear Peter,
    Thanks for your humor when you report talks with Salesmen. SynerTrade do have a good stuff and I would prefer to see them focus on added value rather than laughing like every Pro reading under the lines “a significant team of around 50 development people, that’s a high proportion of development staff by industry standards”, or “presence also elsewhere”, “technology hydrofoil” – that’s a new one on me anyway!” and the best “30 “applications classic to more esoteric”.

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