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Agiloft: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses, Tech Selection Tips [PRO]

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This installment of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis explores Agiloft’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis of its solution to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor. It also offers a critique (pros/cons) of the user interface.

Most procurement organizations have only started to explore the full set of capabilities that integrated contract lifecycle management (CLM) capabilities can bring. Yet in most cases today — outside of procurement organizations deploying integrated suite-based contract management technologies, many of which offer limited capabilities relative to independent CLM vendors — CLM remains loosely coupled from overall procurement processes, including sourcing, supplier management, transactional buying, contract compliance and risk management.

Agiloft, one of dozens of independent CLM providers in the market today, offers a means of creating a synthetic process-driven and data-driven “hub” beyond providing core contract management capabilities alone. To do that, the vendor uses a unique term to describe its approach to putting contracts at the center of numerous business processes: contract and commerce lifecycle management (CCLM). And it’s not alone in its thinking. What Agiloft calls CCLM we at Spend Matters call commercial value management (CVM), a concept of contract management where granularly modelled contract obligations form the basis for managing enterprise-wide value creation via a centralized CLM system.

Admittedly, CCLM or CVM is at this time more conceptual than actionable strategy. But we feel that the most mature organizations are moving in this direction with their contract management practices, and, perhaps as a proof point, Agiloft’s most advanced competitors each have their own version of the CCLM/CVM vision that they are articulating with their own roadmaps.

Part 1 of our analysis provided a company background and detailed overview of the Agiloft solution, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Agiloft in the CLM area. Next up, this series will offer a look at Agiloft’s competitors, a company SWOT analysis, user selection guide, and more tech selection tips.

Agiloft: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 1) — Background & Solution Overview [PRO]

The contract lifecycle management (CLM) market can have many inroads. Some vendors position themselves as fluent with the sales and CPQ world, basing their value props on enablement of frontline business users and acceleration of agreement execution. Others are buy-side specialists, prioritizing the ability to deeply model and track the quantities and conditions for manufacturing agreements to ensure continuity of supply. And still more are more legal specialists, built around the idea of empowering in-house counsel to become a trusted business partner and earn a “seat at the table.”

Agiloft, a contract lifecycle management vendor that has been operating since 1991, has never gone to market touting just a single set of use cases or a key department to enable. Instead, it has essentially turned this question around and asked, “What do you want us to be?”

This is because Agiloft, while used by more than 500 customers as a CLM system, is actually a no-code platform built upon a business process management framework that has been configured as a CLM application.

Said another way, Agiloft is like a LEGO set in which the code bricks have been assembled to deploy systems for CLM and asset management, among other use cases. This has allowed customers to collect, store and track any and all contract data and attachments that an organization might require, as well as design custom workflows that tie into other systems, making Agiloft both a CLM tool and a broader system for business process orchestration.

The potential for organizations looking to tap such powerful customization while obtaining core CLM capabilities are interesting, yet Agiloft, despite its age and consistently strong customer references, as illustrated its Value Leader ranking within our CLM SolutionMap, has never quite broken out as a well-known CLM pacesetter. Part of this has been a conservative approach to growth and investment — the vendor has historically focused its investment on product development, and it took on outside funding for the first time in 2020, nearly three decade after its founding.

But with a fresh round of external investment and a new CEO at the helm, is Agiloft positioned to break out of its no-code shell into a more widely acknowledged CLM pole position?

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, which updates our 2017 review, provides facts and expert analysis to help buying organizations, suppliers and partners make informed decisions about Agiloft’s CLM and related capabilities. Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview. The rest of this three-part research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses, a look at Agiloft’s competitors, a company SWOT analysis and tech selection tips.

Beyond Spend Influence: Enabling Procurement’s Emerging Roles in Business Transformation (Part 3) — Digitally Enabled Engagement, Outcomes, Demand and Spend [PRO]

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In the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO series, we kicked off our analysis of how progressive organizations are influencing spend and stakeholders at a deeper level beyond traditional sourcing influence.

In Part 2, we discussed how progressive procurement organizations were improving their influence through coherent communication and alignment of procurement “services” to various stakeholders. This influence isn’t just seeking to drive stakeholders to procurement for procurement resources exclusively to create value that procurement gets credit for, but rather, to have procurement educate and enable stakeholders to make the best decisions that will deliver the outcomes most important to them.

Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, said in an interview, “I don’t think we make money when we sell something, we make money when we help someone make a purchase decision.” In other words, Amazon is looking to be your trusted advisor and buying concierge to help you get the best deal (whether or not you actually do — especially with dynamic pricing!), which keeps you in the Amazon “walled garden” and elevates its brand/role beyond just being another online supplier to find stuff. By broadening its value and “brand permission,” it can then “help” you make these purchase decisions and others in your life. Just ask Alexa!

In this installment, we will dive into the details of how some procurement organizations are digitally enabling this engagement and elevating their brand in ways that meet stakeholder outcomes but also allows procurement to see and shape the demand that will drive spend, supply and needed source-to-pay resources.

The “quality” of spend influence isn’t about late-stage sourcing involvement, but rather, early engagement upstream at the moments of truth when spend is being planned by a few critical budget holders — or when suppliers are being sought by thousands of employees with a business need.

In either case, procurement must proactively find the stakeholders or help the stakeholders find procurement (or find the preferred suppliers and their products/services via “guided buying”). There isn’t just one “seat at the table” for procurement, because there is not just a single table to sit at (although the CEO’s executive team/committee is a good one!), but multiple tables where stakeholders sit.

TalentNet: Vendor Analysis — Solution Overview, SWOT, Tech Selection Tips, Analyst Summary [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO research brief provides an introduction to TalentNet, a direct sourcing and brand-based talent acquisition solution. It’s a software-as-a-service offering that enables businesses to attract, assess, onboard and manage contract workers — and now, permanent workers.

TalentNet falls within the solution category that Spend Matters refers to as Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S). The company has recently expanded its solution to support direct sourcing of permanent employees as well as contract workers.

TalentNet was covered in the Spend Matters SolutionMap for software solutions that enable businesses to direct source and manage their contract workforce and small service providers (where it was mapped as a SolutionMap Value Leader (upper right quadrant) for our Nimble, Deep, Turn-Key and Global personas).

In An Executive’s Guide to Direct Sourcing of Contract Work/Services Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, Spend Matters covered the modern concept of direct sourcing; the emerging, digital direct sourcing ecosystem; enabling direct sourcing technology solutions; and practice notes for executives moving in this direction. TalentNet is a pure-play, purpose-built technology solution provider that has pursued its own differentiation direction, as we will discuss. 

This Vendor Analysis takes a closer look at TalentNet, providing an overall understanding of the company and its solution, a summary assessment of features and functions, a company SWOT analysis, and a selection checklist for companies that might consider TalentNet.

Infor Nexus: Vendor Analysis (Part 3) — In-Depth Solution Overview [PRO]

In this final part of our Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we’ll do an in-depth look of the Infor Nexus solution overview, providing a complete look at its procurement offering for direct spend.

Part 1 of the series focused on Infor Nexus’s solution strengths and weaknesses, and Part 2 focused on Infor Nexus competitors and the technology market that they are in.

In this final section, we will look at the Infor Nexus solution, which covers the direct materials procurement process and supply chain collaboration — from orders through shipments, invoice, payments and supply chain financing, backed by its business network where buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers and financial institutions collaborate and exchange documents.

Infor Nexus: Vendor Analysis (Part 2) — SWOT, Competitors & Market Overview, Selection Tips [PRO]

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In Part 2 of this Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we’ll look at Infor Nexus’s competitors and market landscape, as well as provide a company SWOT assessment.

Infor Nexus’s value proposition is focused on the direct material purchasing space. Infor Nexus procurement’s business model starts from the PO reception (issued by the ERP) and goes up to the payment and financing process, passing through the matching, approvals and fulfillment processes.

In Part 1, we focused on Infor Nexus’ company details, a brief solution overview, and its solution’s strengths and weaknesses. The third and final installment provides a more in-depth overview of Infor Nexus procurement’s platform capabilities.

Infor Nexus: Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Company & Solution Overview and Solution Strengths/Weaknesses  [PRO]

direct materials sourcing

In this three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis, we are first going to focus on Infor Nexus’s strengths and weaknesses in direct/supply chain procurement.

Infor Nexus also is a supply chain business network where buyers, suppliers, manufacturers, logistics providers and financial institutions can collaborate and exchange documents to automate its supply chain processes flowing between all stakeholders.

Its solution provides buyers and suppliers a single source for automated order management, collaboration and creation of fulfillment documents (invoice, packing list) with N-way document matching and flexible workflow to streamline the AP process.

Part 1 will have some company details, a brief solution overview, and Infor Nexus’s solution strengths and weaknesses. In Part 2, we provide a company SWOT assessment and look at Infor Nexus’s competitors as well as the overall market in which Infor Nexus plays. In our third and final installment, we provide a more in-depth overview of Infor Nexus’s platform capabilities.

Billtrust solution overview: A supplier-centric B2B payments offering [PRO]

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Billtrust’s solution focuses on payments from a different angle.

B2B payments capabilities have almost always been viewed from the payer perspective. How do we get more manual or check payments electronically? How do I increase my rebates using a card program? How can we simplify cross-border payments? The list goes on.

From the source-to-pay vendor marketplace, and more specifically AP automation vendors, many have been attempting to add some payment capabilities beyond “OK-to-pay” status. We’ve analyzed several payments solutions, like Coupa Pay, Tiplati’s payment capabilities and Tradeshift Pay.

But how about if we looked at it from the payee perspective — the vendor or supplier? How about if we had someone that could present payment options that facilitate payment acceptance, balancing supplier preference and buyer convenience?

Most people don’t think to look to the accounts receivable (AR) vendors, or what the market calls order-to-cash.

Billtrust is a leader in this space and has been helping businesses accelerate order-to-cash. Billtrust’s solutions automates key areas of the payment cycle:

  • Credit decisioning and application
  • Invoice presentment
  • Invoice payment
  • Cash application
  • Collections


These solutions reduce DSO for clients and accelerate the time to present an invoice and apply cash. In 2019, the Billtrust order-to-cash solution processed over $1 trillion in receivables for leading companies, including customers Iron Mountain, Leica Microsystems, Holt CAT, and Acushnet (Pinnacle, Titleist & Footjoy).

So how can a company like Billtrust, with deep integration with major companies on the AR side, develop a payment solution to help both buyers and sellers?

Icertis: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 3) — Competitors and CLM Market Analysis [PRO]

The third and final installment of this Spend Matters Vendor Analysis provides a look at Icertis’s competitors and a market analysis of vendors in contract lifecycle management (CLM).

As contract management has become a hot topic in the B2B tech sphere, competition between CLM vendors has increased. Customers are looking for an expanding list of capabilities from their CLM solutions, to include not only core clause library and repository support but also automated contract data extraction and ongoing compliance management tools. 

Icertis has maintained a top spot in the contract management market due to its deep support for both the essentials and its continuing expansion of what a CLM platform can do. Organizations evaluating potential vendors will find that Icertis is a strong fit for many cross-enterprise use cases and that the firm does not shy away from complexity where alternatives might falter. At the same time, several CLM vendors are beginning to compete with Icertis on its key vulnerabilities, and a surge of investment in contract analytics, either via acquisition or native development, has kicked off an AI arms race with multiple fronts. 

Part 3 also includes an objective SWOT analysis of the provider, tech selection tips and a summary analysis. Part 1 provided an in-depth look at Icertis as a technology provider and its specific solutions, and Part 2 gave a detailed analysis of Icertis's solution strengths and weaknesses and a review of the product’s user experience.

Now, let’s take a deeper look at the company and Icertis’s competitors.

Icertis: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 2) — Product Strengths and Weaknesses [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis update explores Icertis’s strengths and weaknesses, providing facts and expert analysis to help procurement organizations decide whether they should shortlist the vendor.

The contract lifecycle management (CLM) technology market is not one market. Rather, this technology comprises several subspecialties, each served by a diverse set of vendors with varying degrees of capability. Because of this, procurement, commercial, legal and other users have significant choice between broad-based suites and independent CLM vendors today.

Within this market, Icertis is one of the few providers delivering a robust enterprise-class CLM solution with significant depth across all functional areas of CLM that Spend Matters tracks. Moreover, Icertis takes a truly platform-based approach, rather than offering just a set of fixed modules on a menu. It’s also built on a modern technology stack and continues to adopt some of the latest tools to drive new innovations, particularly in the competitive realm of CLM-based AI. With powerful functionality comes challenges, however, as SolutionMap customer references indicate, with UX/UI factors frequently cited as an area of ongoing improvement.

Part 1 of our analysis provided Icertis's background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Icertis in the P2P technology area. The final installment in this series will offer a SWOT analysis, user selection guide, competitive alternatives, and additional evaluation and selection considerations.

Icertis: Vendor Analysis, 2020 Update (Part 1) — Background and Solution Overview [PRO]

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This three-part Spend Matters PRO Vendor Analysis provides an update to our previous review of Icertis, adding new assessments of core capabilities and introducing new functionality in the Icertis Contract Intelligence platform that's relevant to buy-side and enterprise CLM use cases.

The technology providers that define the contract lifecycle management (CLM) space are the ones that have continuously pushed the boundaries of what such solutions can do. No longer simply concerned with document storage, search and standardization, leading CLM systems have evolved their focuses to include capabilities such as granular obligation modeling, performance management and AI-assisted process automation.

Icertis, one of the top-performing CLM providers in Spend Matters’ CLM SolutionMap since our vendor rankings began, is at the forefront of this development.

The vendor has for several years demonstrated deep support for advanced CLM use cases, from obligation management to multi-tier subcontracting support, many of which have set the functional bar within our SolutionMap evaluation process.

And in the two years since we published our last Vendor Analysis on Icertis, the product’s innovation vision has only continued to grow. Most notably, Icertis has released several AI applications designed to bridge the gap between the contract analytics space and traditional CLM, as well as a set of unique business applications that overlay distinct business processes on top of the contract-based platform, including an RFX application that enables contract-centric sourcing.

Part 1 of our analysis provides a company background and detailed solution overview, as well as a summary recommended fit suggestion for when organizations should consider Icertis. The remainder of this multipart research brief covers product strengths and weaknesses; competitors and a market analysis; a SWOT analysis and tech selection tips.

Beyond Spend Influence: Enabling Procurement’s Emerging Roles in Business Transformation (Part 2) — Empathy, Alignment, Mission, Brand and Procurement Service Delivery [PRO]

In the first installment of this Spend Matters PRO series, we kicked off our analysis of how progressive organizations are influencing spend and stakeholders at a deeper level beyond traditional sourcing influence. In this next edition, we’ll dive into some strategies for deeper and more meaningful engagement with stakeholders, and some examples from some progressive procurement organizations.