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Broad-Based Vendors

These are best-in-breed software vendors who sell technology that they say will support. you across the full range of sourcing functions and spend categories

In our report, we divide these functions into eight categories: strategy, analysis, catalog (data cleansing), RFx, auction, award, contract, and monitoring.

Most broad-based vendors have been in business for only a few years, have relatively few customers, and their support has some holes in it. When you tease what they actually have away from their ambitions and their claims, you will see really good support for certain functions, really good support for certain spend categories, and a desire to fill in the gaps depending upon what their expanding customer base wants. (Obviously, these generalizations themselves apply more or less well to different vendors.)

In young markets like these, with vendors whose product set is not perfectly filled in, your ability to get value depends heavily on fit. If you're good at strategy, have clean data already, have a well-organized smart group of buyers, and want to focus on indirect procurement, a broad-based vendor that is really good at RFx/auction software might be just the thing.

One caution. The processes supported by broad-based vendors tend to work better for some spend categories rather than others. A vendor that supports "any" spend category tends to be best at procurement of indirect goods and some commodities, though there is wide variation. In the list below, we have grouped the vendors who are best at direct procurement in a special category.

The other thing we think exceedingly important is the ability for the company you're buying from to deliver expertise and intellectual property, as well as software. Companies that say, "We're a software company; we'll let our consulting partners help you figure this out," are at best complicating your buy and at worst leaving you in the lurch.

That said, there are some excellent companies among the list shown below.

To get our publicly available information about them, click on the logo. To get the full scoop, contact Rick McLaughlin at (617) 864-9032 or rick@b2banalysts.com.

No Clear Spend Category Specialization

Ariba Clarus
CommerceOne Diligent
eBreviate B2E Markets
HealyHudson Mindflow

Direct Spend Orientation

VerticalNet i2