Enterprise procurement is a truly complex beast. No one organisation is the same, a myriad of complex structures to be navigated, often with mixed operational and financial reporting lines and associated responsibilities. To add to this are management hot topic areas such as sustainability (ISO 20400:2017), social diversity, managing risk and compliance (does your procurement function get audited?) and SRM. It’s time to understand how procurement can use SaaS solutions that provide an immediate return on investment and provide outcomes. It’s time to start solving problems that are inch wide and mile deep through the power of cloud computing.
There are three different types of cloud computing services, commonly referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). Great technology should be able to integrate seamlessly, not impact internal IT infrastructure and deliver benefits immediately. This is the benefit of as-a-service technology in the cloud and allows you to buy integration into your systems straight out of the box,
Let’s first understand SaaS. The power of SaaS is that you don’t load software on your computer or indeed anywhere on your network. The software is installed “in the cloud” and you access it via a browser and most importantly is available 24×7 “on-demand” regardless of what technology infrastructure you are using. If you don’t think you are using SaaS in your work or private life, you probably are. The Google suite of programs, including Gmail, Office 365 and enterprise platforms such as Salesforce are all delivered to your PC as SaaS.
So why hasn’t SaaS delivery of procurement technology caught on? Many organisations look at a technology solution for procurement through their fingers as they try to cover their eyes and ears. At the end of the day, Procurement is about driving value and ultimately EDITDA savings to the budget. But the days of low hanging fruit and easy saves are almost extinct, but the perceived cost and complexity in implementing a software platform to help procurement drive value is seen as too high
Many enterprises have invested in solutions for Source to Contract (S2C), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM), Procure to Pay (P2P) and Source to Pay (S2P) that are available right now and have been for a long time and have seen the benefits flow. The transactional elements of S2C have been solved for years. The ‘big-guys’ in the market have enormous power in this space and have been delivering efficiency to enterprise for decades.
But these solutions are not small. They are big IT projects that will generally require CapEx funding, integration into your enterprise tech stack, project management resourcing and are generally a pretty big deal. Now, more than ever, it is simple and most importantly affordable to start with a specific outcome in-mind and solve it!
I have some good news. Help is on its way with the worlds’ largest software maker and the most valuable publicly trading company in the world, Microsoft, are preparing for this shift in enterprise buying through the launch of the Microsoft P2P Integrated Solutions Program and in January announced the following:
Microsoft is working closely with Porrt, LiveTiles, Intelledox and Veritec to build an enterprise solution which will be published in AppSource planned for March 2019. There are 7 other collaborations with Microsoft globally to deliver a targeted industry solution to AppSource and Azure Marketplace within the same timeframes. The solution will initially target both the Financial Services Industry and Healthcare Industry, and focus on managing Supplier Performance and Compliance Management.
Why is this important? Well, Australian procurement technology company Portt, a Microsoft Gold Partner and recent winner of Microsoft Partner of the year were selected to participate in a strategic initiative that supports this change holistic change as enterprise organisations move from buying systems (toolkits) to buying solutions (turn-key outcomes).
With Microsoft getting on board and local vendors such as Portt are right at the front line of this change. An opportunity exists for procurement to change the dial in how they use technology to drive value to their business stakeholders through heightened effectiveness and transparency of process through each procurement interaction & process being compliant, structured and auditable. That’s a great business outcome.
- Learn more about how Portt can empower procurement here.