Plus or PRO Content

Five Reasons Why Tradeshift Would Acquire Basware [PRO]

Monday afternoon, Bloomberg reported that Tradeshift, a procure-to-pay provider and marketplace enabler, was behind the unsolicited offer to acquire Basware, a Europe-based procure-to-pay provider. The offer raises the obvious question: How would two similar companies — in terms of product overlap — benefit from joining forces? And more specifically, what’s in it for Tradeshift?

This Spend Matters PRO research brief attempts to answer these questions, exploring five reasons why a vendor with what first appears to be a near identical product footprint to Basware would consider such a move to bring the two together. Hint: There’s likely more to the proposed transaction than what appears on the surface (i.e., market consolidation, valuation arbitrage).

Note: A subsequent SolutionMap Insider subscriber analysis will provide insight into how both providers stack up based on the latest Q3 SolutionMap benchmark for Invoice-to-Pay.

ADP and the Future of Work (Part 4) — Strategy Assessment [PRO]

talent management

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO series, we summarized ADP’s business characteristics, its market and financial strength, and its increased investment in innovation R&D as a backdrop and foundation for the pursuit of its future-of-work strategy. In Part 2, we examined the significant technology developments and recent strategic acquisitions that make up key execution components of the strategy. In Part 3, we offered an explanation of how we see ADP’s future-of-work strategy, providing additional context and zeroing in on essential features. In this fourth and final part of this series, we step back to assess the strategy and what it may mean in a broader industry context.

FMS and Beyond: Filling in the ‘White Space’ of Sourcing and Engaging the Independent Workforce (Part 1) [Plus+]

services procurement

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2015 series on engaging the independent workforce, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. 

Freelancer management system (FMS) is a vendor-driven term and concept that achieved buzzword status in staffing and contingent workforce management circles within just a year of its inception. It is a real and important technology solution development, one that has focused attention on an important expanding gap between talent-hungry enterprises and a fast growing, business-critical segment of the modern global workforce. While FMS is one catalyst of this focus and a way of beginning to bridge this gap — a procurement “white space,” if you will — it is also a part of a much larger set of developments, encompassing a range of incumbent and new services and solutions players as well as new technology infrastructures that will unfold and take shape in the coming years.

In Part 1 of this Spend Matters Plus series, we cover how a procurement white space has appeared between enterprises and an important growing labor population: the independent workforce. We also provide an understanding of what this independent workforce is and why it is important. In Part 2, we begin to identify the broad range of incumbent and new services and solutions players that are bringing together different approaches to connecting supply and demand in this emerging contingent workforce category.

Wax Digital: Vendor Snapshot (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

In Part 1, we introduced you to Wax Digital, a source-to-pay provider from the UK that you may not be familiar with, especially since it has not yet participated in Solution Map (although that changes this quarter). Wax Digital is a provider of note as it is one of the few providers that has a relatively complete, integrated, source-to-pay offering on one code base that is already used globally in over 100 countries. In our last article, we overviewed some of the key parts of Wax Digital’s platform. In this post, we dive into its strengths and weaknesses.

Wax Digital: Vendor Snapshot (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

Some vendors prefer to wax poetic. Others prefer to wax digital. One such source-to-pay provider likes waxing digital so much, that it even calls itself Wax Digital. And it is our latest source-to-pay vendor to get the in-depth PRO treatment here on Spend Matters (before its debut in Q4 SolutionMap).

By now you are all familiar with its primary source-to-pay competitors, including SAP Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, iValua, Jaggaer, SynerTrade and Zycus, as they have been covered extensively on PRO and appear in the SPT & S2P solution maps, and while you are quite familiar with the American S2P providers (Ariba, Coupa, Determine, GEP, Jaggaer and Zycus) and now the European S2P providers (iValua and SynerTrade), you're likely not as familiar with their English counterparts, namely Proactis and Wax Digital, as they have not had as much exposure in recent years. And Wax Digital is definitely a provider that should make your familiarization list.

Wax Digital, which has been around for almost two decades, is one of the largest European providers of source-to-pay solutions, with users in over 100 countries around the globe. It is available in 15 languages out of the box and supports all currencies under ISO 4217 for its 250,000+ global users.

Part 1 of this analysis provides a detailed company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit for when organizations should consider Wax Digital. The remaining parts of this research brief will dive into product strengths and weaknesses, competitor and SWOT analyses, and insider evaluation and selection considerations.

So You Want to Build a B2B Marketplace: 8 Business Scenarios & Case Examples (Part 1) [PRO]

global trade

Just what is a B2B marketplace?

Ask someone like the “gray hairs” on the Spend Matters team who were advisers to first generation industry-based exchanges during the .com era (1999-2001) and they’d likely tell you it was a great theoretical concept to bring buyers and suppliers together in support of procurement and supply chain processes and/or transactional document exchange — albeit one that failed in execution just about every time. But ask someone who is younger and they might point to Amazon Business as an archetype of a B2B marketplace model today. Both would be right, of course.

But what is important for our purposes is that B2B marketplaces are back.

At its fall 2018 analyst day, the technology provider Tradeshift noted that 30% of its 2018 (revenue) bookings have come from “private marketplace” deals (i.e., not selling applications such as invoice-to-pay or e-procurement alone but buy-side and sell-side marketplace enablement).

But just what is a marketplace today — beyond pointing to Amazon Business as one example — and why do they matter? And most important, why would you, as a procurement organization or distribution/business intermediary, want to build one?

This Spend Matters PRO series provides insight into these and other questions. Part 1 of this series begins by segmenting the market into (and defining) eight business scenarios that the groups can enable to go beyond standard procure-to-pay or storefront/e-commerce enablement, which include both “private” and “public” marketplace models. These include Digital Trading Company (“buy/sell” models), Extended Bill of Material Orchestration, Group Purchasing Organization (GPO) and Distributor “Value Add.”

For each of the eight areas, we provide a summary description of the marketplace concept, technologies (off-the-shelf) that can enable it, selected vendor shortlists, best-fit industries that it can support and best-fit spend categories (if applicable).

Later installments in the series will provider deeper insight into the following issues: what you’ll need to build one, technology vendors to consider capable of providing marketplace technology/infrastructure (based on Spend Matters’ SolutionMap benchmark data), and whether a marketplace, for procurement organizations, is a substitute for traditional cloud-based source-to-pay applications.

Spend Matters is involved in technology strategy and RFI projects for organizations building — or evaluating building — marketplaces using “off-the-shelf” technologies. Contact us to learn more.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Ivalua (Part 4)  [PRO]

marketing

For those people who are not in the weeds of B2B catalog management and search but know enough to have an opinion, it might seem that Ivalua would have some cards stacked against it on a comparative basis. Consider on the one hand that Ivalua is better known as a source-to-pay suite provider than an e-procurement specialist (although in Spend Matters’ Q3 E-Procurement SolutionMap Insider report, Ivalua is a top performer, tying with three other providers for second place overall in analyst/functional scoring). And on the other hand, Ivalua is very much a workflow, business process and industry specialist vs. a provider paying particular attention to all of the nuances of B2B search and catalog management as a core differentiator.

But is such a hypothesis accurate?

As with everything Ivalua, you must peel the product and platform onion to understand the depths of what it is capable of (and no, Ivalua does not toot its own horn enough here, as it should, given how strong it is overall). But before exploring Ivalua’s catalog management and search/requisitioning capabilities in detail and helping our readers to answer this question, it is essential to develop a foundational understanding of the topics at hand. We recommend starting here:



The first three briefs in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Procurement Cloud Analysis (Part 2) and E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Jaggaer Indirect Analysis (Part 3) provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. It also provided an analysis of Tradeshift’s, Oracle’s and Jaggaer’s catalog management capabilities. Today, we turn our attention to another top-performing (based on Q3 SolutionMap analyst scoring) e-procurement provider: Ivalua.

Lost Sourcing Savings: Survey Data Suggest a Crisis (Part 3) [Plus+]

Editor's note: This Spend Matters Plus brief is a refresh of our 2013 series on sourcing strategies, which originally ran on Spend Matters PRO. Check out Part 1  and Part of this series first. 

If we were to point fingers at where technology can help companies drive implemented savings, five areas would rise to the top: demand aggregation, collaboration (internal and supplier), strategic sourcing (with an emphasis beyond driving to negotiated outcomes alone), analytics and architecture/information management. We won’t investigate the latter topic in this series because of the detailed analysis that our analyst team has already conducted. Yet in the other areas discussed, it’s worth exploring the different technology options, beginning with tools that support demand aggregation strategies.

AI in Procurement Today (Part 2): 6 Applications in P2P [PRO]

As we discussed in Part 1 of this series, AI is the reigning buzzword of the day in procurement software. Just about every enterprise vendor out there claims to have AI, even if all they have is RPA. To help procurement organizations get up to speed, we reviewed the definition of each of the technologies in the “cognitive” stack — RPA, ML, AR, AI and cognitive — and discussed how some (but definitely not all) platforms are making use of these emerging technologies to make procurement faster, better and more productive than ever before.

Specifically, in Part 1 we discussed how the right application of these assistive technologies today can give you a platform that provides true automation, smart auto-reorder of MRO/retail stock and enhanced mobile support. We also noted that there were just a few of the applications that were available. Today, we review three more capabilities that a best-of-breed procurement platform should provide to take your (tactical) procurement to the next level.

AI In Procurement Today (Part 1): Definitions and 6 Applications in P2P [PRO]

AI is the buzzword — or, more precisely, the buzz acronym — du jour in procurement software. Just about every vendor claims its applications have artificial intelligence, even though many have only basic forms of robotic process automation (RPA) or, at best, automated reasoning systems enhanced by machine learning.

But whether or not a vendor has capabilities that constitute true AI is not the ultimate question procurement needs to answer. Rather, procurement must ask what currently available systems can do today, how those systems can be used to automate and improve standard processes, and how today’s technology can prepare organizations to adopt true “cognitive” systems when they become available. Because real AI is coming. And if procurement fails to adopt the precursor technologies available today, laggard organizations risk being left in the dust by those that do.

This Spend Matters PRO series explores use cases for artificial intelligence in procurement, today and in the near future. It begins by defining, in plain terms, what AI is, which technologies fall under its umbrella and how they relate to procurement. We then identify six of the best mainstream applications of AI in procurement and explain how each can be applied to the procure-to-pay cycle. Future installments will examine applications of AI beyond P2P, including sourcing, spend analytics and supplier management.

AdaptOne: Vendor Snapshot (Part 3) — Summary and Competitive Analysis [PRO]

supplier management

The supplier management technology market is among the most fragmented of those in the procurement technology landscape.

It comprises multiple segments (and sub-segments), and Spend Matters now tracks approximately 50 providers that compete within niche segments of it. One of these providers is AdaptOne, a vendor specializing in supplier information management that perfectly matches Spend Matters’ SolutionMap “Turnkey” persona for supplier management. This Spend Matters PRO report provides facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations make informed decisions about AdaptOne’s solution — and whether its “turnkey” services-driven approach is right for them.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider AdaptOne in the procurement, supply chain and finance technology areas. Part 2 covered product strengths and weaknesses. This final installment offers SWOT analysis, explores competitive alternatives to AdaptOne and provides insight into evaluation and selection considerations, including a prioritization/fit checklist.

E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search (Part 3): Jaggaer Indirect Analysis [PRO]

procurement software

Since its early days, Jaggaer has quietly been one of the true leaders in search and catalog management as a component of e-procurement. While Jaggaer has several product lines, its Indirect solution (formerly SciQuest) continues to excel at e-procurement. Its search and catalog management also remain areas where it continues to deliver on the innovative capabilities that originally differentiated its solution in the higher education/laboratory and life sciences area, today applied more broadly to the additional vertical sectors Jaggaer is targeting.

This Spend Matters PRO series examines the catalog management capabilities of some of the top vendors within e-procurement. Most of the leading solution providers featured in the E-Procurement and Procure-to-Pay SolutionMaps can handle the nuances required of search and catalog management.

The first two briefs in this series, E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Introduction and Tradeshift Analysis and E-Procurement Catalog Management and Search: Oracle Analysis, provided a summary overview of the “best practice” Coupa is attempting to achieve by combining its own capability with Aquiire and Simeno. Today, we turn our attention to another top performing e-procurement provider: Jaggaer Indirect.