Welcome to New Sponsor spend360 – Truly Intelligent Spend Analytics

We are delighted to welcome spend360 to our list of Associate Sponsors. The firm was founded some nine years back by Paddy Lawton, who is still the CEO, and is one of the leading firms in the spend analysis field, both in terms of their client list and their technology approach and capability.

That means they have been innovators in the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and other  techniques that until recently were the preserve of sci-fi, but are now really making a difference in many areas, including spend analytics. Lawton’s degree (a few years ago now) was in computing and software engineering, and he has the deep enthusiasm and knowledge of a real techie, combined with the extrovert personality and charm that we tend to associate more with sales and marketing folk – a useful combination in his role, we’re sure!

In terms of that leading edge, the firm was for instance one of only 22 UK organisations to win a coveted grant earlier this year from “Innovate UK”, the government agency aimed at boosting business innovation.  The money will be invested in funding a team to further enhance a deep learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) engine, already developed by spend360. The AI engine, known as ORAC, enables spend360 to analyse unstructured spend data using all of its historical work and knowledge, and then apply this to new customer data sets.

As well as some very large blue-chip clients, one aspect of the spend360 business that particularly interested us when we first met Lawton was how many well known “partners” it has – firms who use the spend360 capability behind the scenes or as part of a wider procurement solutions suite.

That is a big vote of confidence if another commercial firm is wrapping your technology and product into something they sell to their own clients, in our view. So those firms include Capita Procurement Solutions, Proactis, Scanmarket, Wax Digital and Science Warehouse – pretty much all firms we know well and have good reputations in their own right.

spend360 has been working with our colleagues in the USA for a little while now, and one result of this is an interesting paper from Pierre Mitchell, procurement guru and chief research officer of Spend Matters. It is titled “The Future of Procurement Demands Smarter Spend Analytics: Here’s Why” and in it, Pierre talks about where analytics is going:

“While most analytics, such as traditional spend analysis, have historically focused on reporting (“what happened”), the more valuable analytics are predictive (“what will likely happen”) and even prescriptive analytics (“what should be done”) that can help reduce costs, risks and lost opportunities before they occur”.

He gets into machine learning and what true intelligent spend and supply analytics really means – you  can download that here, free on registration, and it’s well worth a read.

So we look forward to working with spend360. The firm is based in Guildford, not far from the Spend Matters Europe HQ, so there might even be a few “Down the Procurement Pub” photo-opps to come too.

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