9 March 2011 | Lindsay Clark
difference between the mainstream procurement software systems is marginal,
according to Forrester Research.
specialist procurement technology suppliers hold a slight advantage in terms of
functionality, providers of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software who
also support purchasing functions, are closing the gap.
author Duncan Jones, principal analyst at Forrester, said: “Overall, there was
little to broadly differentiate among the 11 products [evaluated], which are
all proven solutions with loyal customer bases and talented product management
teams. Procurement executives looking to choose an enterprise-wide solution
should therefore drill into the detailed evaluation criteria, where clear
report said Ariba has the most complete range of
functionality and the best user experience, while Basware scored
highly for its broad category and supplier support.
vendors Oracle, SAP and Lawson
provided “very good” systems that are a logical choice for customers of their
ERP suites. However, the major weakness for these products was “the
over-reliance on a portal approach to connect with suppliers”, the report said.
teams should evaluate the available software systems according to how they best
fit with their strategy and organisation. This could include global reach, such
as multi-lingual and multi-currency support, and the ability to integrate with
existing ERP solutions.
should also look at category support. “What are the biggest causes of rogue
buying and invoice discrepancies? For which categories do you have
custom-developed or overly manual solutions?”
questions should help assess a vendor’s suitability and define software
requirements, the report - The Forrester Wave: eProcurement Solutions, Q1 2011 - said.