Making Sense of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure to Pay 2021

Making sense of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Procure to Pay 2021

The Gartner Magic Quadrant for P2P speaks for itself. Coupa shines – again. No surprise there. Together with SAP, Jaggaer, Ivalua and GEP, the leader group represents a familiar set that I would expect to see on any shortlist. It’s notable that Tradeshift and Synertrade are absent, both having failed to meet criteria for new customers signed in 2020.

But the Magic Quadrant isn’t perfect. The thing is, the analysts’ assessments are always looking at how solutions fit across all industries, all geographies and for all business processes. And there’s one thing we can be sure of – there is no organisation that has that breadth of business requirement. Every business is different and the analysis need interpretation.

So how do you make sense of the Magic Quadrant? How can you glean insights that are more specific to your business and to your business requirements?

Here’s a set of further insights to get you started.

Magic Quadrant 2021 Insights


Coupa has stood above the competition by Gartner’s assessment for 6 years in a row. Any P2P shortlist that doesn’t have Coupa on it is not complete. But Gartner points out the issue with Coupa’s pricing, claiming that they can be inflexible and ultimately expensive depending on how well deployed the solution is. This is a perfectly valid view but any procurement professional should know how to deal with price model negotiations. Remember, price isn’t the be all and end all – if cheap doesn’t deliver value, it’s expensive.


Oracle is interesting. If wouldn’t have it in the same analysis as all of the other because it is so specific to organisations with Oracle financials. It works. It integrates with lots of other software. It’s not the best user interface in the world. It’s OK – but only in an Oracle world. If you run Oracle, take it seriously, otherwise, ignore it.

SAP Ariba

Unlike Oracle, SAP Ariba is not only good in a SAP environment. It is mature and feature rich. For organisations that run SAP, you have to have a good reason not to use Ariba for P2P – but those good reasons do exist. Make sure you know what they are and don’t think that Ariba is a shoo-in.

Jaggaer and Ivalua

Ivalua and Jaggaer are amongst the leaders and they excel in some industry verticals. If your industry vertical fits and support limited to N America and Europe is adequate, these two should be considered very seriously.

The also rans

It is easy to look at the leader quadrant and see this is your preselected short list. It shouldn’t be. When you overlay you own organisation’s specific needs, some of the other players will begin to shine. Basware and Medius come close to the leader quadrant and fall outside partly because of functionality limitations (Basware) and regional focus (Medius). But if you are a European business with a P2P priority on payables, both of these should be considered.

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