Purchase to Pay

I love the way Nipendo describes itself– “the leading provider of P2P extreme platforms” – it’s like purchase to pay is a sport and Nipendo’s products are like cliff diving. I saw this description in their press release today about the Nipendo guarantee – a guarantee of 90% straight through processing. That is a big guarantee, one that some, especially Nipendo’s more traditional competition might say is too good to be true. But I’ve had a closer look and I would say to anyone examining the market place for P2P solutions - you can’t ignore this. So what does Nipendo actually say?

Please forgive the contrived alliteration but it had to be done. Today, Basware and Bravo solutions announced a partnership that appears to create a powerful synergy from their individual strengths. Both best-in-class P2P solution providers. BravoSolutions' key strengths are in spend analysis and eSourcing while Basware are best recognized for their supplier network and the application suite aimed at automating procurement and AP. By combining both technologies the pair believe that they can "extend the value delivered to customers and plug the 'savings gap.” The press release issued today explains the detail:

A few years ago, I was walking down the street in Rugby, England when I heard a load voice shout "Pick that up!" The voice coming from a loud speaker high up on a lamp post. Some kids were hanging around and one of them had dropped litter. I didn't know until then that the CCTV camera footage was being monitored in real time. This is in the UK and I had thought, naively it seems, that CTV cameras in the street were there to help find missing kids and catch rapists. I abhor litter louts as much as anyone but a surveillance state seems like a bit of a heavy handed approach to keeping the streets clean. A few months later, I was in a cab in Oslo, Norway. There was a small camera pointed at me throughout the journey. I asked and the driver explained that all cabs have these cameras. The video footage is never looked at unless there's an incident - in which case, relevant footage will be examined. Seems like a great idea to me. Now you may ask, why am I bothered about a camera in the street but not a camera in the cab? Actually, it's for the same reason that I have a problem with Sarbanes Oxley and the growing cult of transparency.

I recently made some comments about Basware that were somewhat critical. It was positive, constructive criticism. I wanted to point out that Basware was ideally placed to become a monster. With one of it’s largest competitors sidelined somewhat by their acquisition by SAP, Basware could fall into the trap of becoming complacent – indeed, I have , from personal experience seen hints of this on the horizon. But I overlooked something – something that to an observer from outside of their organization could go unnoticed. It is the astonishing turn-around that Basware has performed, the foresight they have shown making that change and the energy and determination they have exhibited in completing it.

This week we’re delighted to welcome a new sponsor, Nipendo, to Purchasing Insight. Nipendo is fairly new on the P2P scene but in the five or so years that they’ve been about they’ve already made quite an impact with an impressive customer list which includes HP, IBM, Motorola, Pfizer and Office Depot. I was excited to speak to Nipendo’s CEO, Eyal Rosenberg,  a couple of weeks ago – I wanted to know what makes Nipendo’s proposition stand out from the crowd. We covered a lot of ground but the thing that stood out for me was the concept of E2E-invoicing. At first, I was a little skeptical but as Eyal explain more, enhancing his explanation with case study examples, the Nipendo vision became clearer.

A major shift in the way P2P departments collaborate has been highlighted in a new survey conducted by Accounts Payable News and sponsored by Basware. The survey highlights the introduction of Heads of P2P, or Global Process Owners as a key driver of this change. Over 58% of departments now work closely together, resulting in increased organisational level recognition for Accounts Payable (A/P) departments. The survey found that collaboration levels were also enabled by an increase in the application of automation solutions and technology, with 43% now using einvoicing, a 6% rise over last year. Despite this, those operating in an almost entirely automated environment remain in the minority, with fewer than 11% of organisations doing so.

There are lots of reasons to do e-procurement but most of the stated reasons are not the real reason at all. Indeed, most of the reasons stated for implementing e-procurement are impossible to deliver. But there is one very good reason to implement e-procurement and oddly, the functionality that delivers it is usually not available from the e-procurement vendors.