Editor’s Note: Welcome to February’s edition of our Technology Round-Up. Over the past month, we’ve tracked so many exciting developments within the supply management solution provider market that we decided to publish this month’s Technology Round-Up in three parts. Part I (below) and Part II (publishing this afternoon) features solution innovation and provider partnerships, while Part III (next week) will feature financial news from the solution provider market. There’s something for everyone in this month’s edition, so we invite you to stay tuned. Now, without further ado, here’s the first half of the news that’s fit to print….
Technology Round-Up – February 17, 2015 – Part I
b-pack and ReadSoft Join Forces in the US Market
In January, Atlanta-based procure-to-pay (P2P) solution provider, b-pack, announced that it has partnered with Sweden-based business process automation solution provider, ReadSoft, to provide automated financial process applications in the US market. This relationship builds upon their partnership in European markets, and will allow b-pack’s clients to digitize paper-based invoices within an automated and cloud-based P2P solution. According to Julien Nadaud, b-pack founder and CEO, “Becoming a ReadSoft partner in the US was a natural extension of our successful relationship in Europe. We are happy to be able to offer our US customers the same seamless cloud-based experience, and our fruitful partnership with ReadSoft will enable us to provide the accuracy and speed improvements that come with elimination of manual data entry.”
Exari Releases Newest Version of its Intelligent Contract Management Solution
In January, Boston-based contract management solution provider, Exari, announced the release of version 6.3 of its Intelligent Contract Management Solution, available on-premise or in the cloud. The new release features updated contract authoring, editing, and reporting capabilities that, according to Exari’s leadership, will streamline the contract management lifecycle for its users. Specifically, the new version features Negotiator Ribbon for Word, which allows users to edit incoming and outgoing documents; dynamic clause selection, which enables users to move clauses in and out of contracts; and DocuSIgn eSignature integration for speedy contract execution.
There are many other enhancements to Exari’s existing solution. For example, version 6.3 allows users to automatically identify and digitally capture changes made on paper contracts during negotiations. It also allows for fast and easy contractual, legal, and risk data capture, which feeds into Exari’s Content Data Model and allows for customizable risk scoring, reporting, and analysis. Version 6.3 also features greater configuration across contract templates, action, and storage. It also allows users to embed PDFs into contracts, and process bulk documents more quickly.
Xchanging Announces New Procurement Service, Acquires Spikes Cavell Analytic Limited
Over the past month, Xchanging plc (LON: XCH), the London-based business process outsourcing, procurement, and technology services provider, announced that it has launched “Procurement-as-a-Service (PaaS)” as its newest offering. PaaS combines procurement outsourcing, advisory, and technology solutions as a managed service to its customers, either on a temporary, extended, or permanent basis, allowing Xchanging’s clients to fill critical talent or technology gaps and allow the client’s users to learn industry best practices. The release of PaaS comes alongside enhancements to its MM4 eSourcing platform, which include a more user-friendly interface and new applications for sourcing, contract management, and supplier performance management.
Xchanging also announced that is has fully acquired UK-based spend analytics firm, Spikes Cavell Analytic Limited (SCAL), as well as its 35 employees and 60-plus customers. SCAL brings with it two features that XChanging plans to cross-sell to existing clients: The Observatory, a spend analytics database that is offered as a managed service, and Spotlight on Spend, another managed service that allows publicly-accountable organizations to publish complex financial information that is easily digestible and understood to the public. Xchanging plans to offer SCAL’s spend analytics services either purely “as-a-Service” or as part of their PaaS bundle.
State of Flux Technologies Launches New Name, Brand – Statess
Yesterday, London-based supplier management solution provider, State of Flux Technologies, announced that it has launched a new name and brand, Statess (pronounced State-ess). The new brand and name follows a year of increased growth, investment, and clientele for their suite of supplier management solutions. Statess is focused on developing and delivering supplier performance, innovation management, relationship management, risk management, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) technology solutions. Statess will also leverage what it calls “an expanded partner ecosystem” of 15 solution providers, including spend analysis, sourcing, procure-to-pay, and CSR. According to Lance Younger, Statess CEO, “Our new brand and strong partner ecosystem reinforce our passion and focus on supplier management software.”
ESM Solutions Announces Partnership with PunchOut2Go
In January, Pennsylvania-based ESM Solutions, which provides SaaS-based sourcing and P2P solutions, announced its partnership with PunchOut2Go to develop custom-built punch-out catalogs for B2B suppliers. Launched in 2012, the Virginia-based PunchOut2Go has been working with suppliers in over 30 countries to develop punch-out catalogs that are easy to customize, integrate, maintain, and use. According to Tom Van Houten, ESM Solutions’ VP of Business Development, “ESM Solutions is excited to partner with PunchOut2Go. Our partnership will be cost-effective and will streamline the supplier on-boarding process for our customers.”
Here’s how PunchOut2Go’s developers do it. According to ESM and Punchout2Go, they work directly with supplier development teams to develop catalogs in under 30 days that “simplify the process” of integrating a supplier’s punch-out catalog into any eProcurement solution. PunchOut2Go’s catalogs work as well with open-source eCommerce platforms, such as Magento, as they do with other platforms, since they use an open API. PunchOut2Go’s developers also work with buyer procurement teams and procurement system providers to test the catalogs in development and ensure a smooth integration.