One of the more important jobs of the procure-to-pay (“P2P”) and accounts payable (“AP”) professional is keeping up with what is happening in the industry at large. This is critical for a few reasons, including skills development and the hunt for new technologies, but is sometimes difficult to do. That is why, every two weeks, the team at CPO Rising collects news stories and announcements on the people, companies, and events that can have the biggest impact on the AP/P2P team; this cuts down on the amount of time needed to keep up to date and makes it easier to get back to the task at hand—driving strategic value for the organization.
This past two weeks in P2P news includes a few developments: SAP acquired data analytics firm Roambi to boost out their business intelligence capabilities, BuyerQuest and Taulia announced a partnership, and Canon’s imaging solutions division expanded its partnership with Box. Read on to find out more about these and all the other impactful news from around the AP and P2P world.
SAP Leads Global Market Shift to Cloud Analytics with Acquisition of Roambi
SAP announced recently that it had acquired mobile analytics provider Roambi in a bid to expand access to cloud-based analytics, as well as move toward furnishing increased predictive analytics functionality. The announcement of the Roambi acquisition came in tandem with revealing a new SAP Predictive Analytics solution, which will be available soon on the SAP HANA platform. The acquisition of Roambi, a mobile-centric data analytics and visualization solution provider, is meant to aid in SAP’s strategy of equipping the entire enterprise—from the line-of-business all the way through the executive suite—with the ability to view, interact with, and share data anytime and anywhere.
This is not the first area that SAP has focused on mobile capabilities; other portfolio solutions, such as Ariba and Concur, offer mobile capabilities of their core functionality—invoice and supplier management for Ariba, and expense reporting for Concur—but they have historically not provided mobile analytics capabilities. The addition of Roambi to the SAP portfolio could presage this functionality added to SAP’s portfolio solutions, but that remains to be seen. Either way, the addition of mobile analytics to even SAP’s ERP offering has the potential to be significant.
BuyerQuest and Taulia Announce Global Alliance to Boost Financial Supply Chains
BuyerQuest and Taulia announced last week that they had inked a strategic partnership to combine BuyerQuest’s eProcurement portfolio with Taulia’s financial supply chain solutions to create an end-to-end procure-to-pay product offering. The two solution providers announced the partnership with the aim of providing a holistic solution set that allows BuyerQuest customers to leverage Taulia’s invoice-financing capabilities, while Taulia customers gain access to BuyerQuest’s eCommerce procurement platform.
This is the second strategic partnership Taulia has announced in recent weeks (the company inked a deal with Lavante not that long ago), and the partnership with BuyerQuest makes similar sense. Taulia has long focused on its financial supply chain offerings, and instead depended on partnerships with AP and procurement solution providers to expand into the full P2P workflow.
Lexmark Launches ReadSoft Online R8 for Accounts Payable Processing in the Cloud
Lexmark recently announced that it had released ReadSoft Online R8, a cloud-based invoice processing solution designed expressly for the small and mid-sized business market. Invoices can be uploaded into the system, paper invoices scanned in, and invoices sent via email processed through data capture. The solution includes an updated user interface and expanding supplier recognition capabilities beyond the previous version of ReadSoft Online.
Lexmark’s acquisition of ReadSoft in late 2014 added additional scan-and-capture invoicing capabilities to the Lexmark Enterprise Software portfolio. This release of ReadSoft Online R8 shows that Lexmark is interested in maintaining the ReadSoft brand as it continues to support new releases.
Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, Inc. Expands Collaboration with Box
Canon Information and Imaging Solutions, a subsidiary of Canon U.S.A., announced recently that it had expanded its partnership with cloud-storage provider Box. The intent of the partnership’s expansion is to help enterprises streamline their business process automation and records management. The blend of Canon Information and Imaging with Box is designed to increase access to AP automation solutions (how?), as well as manage to integrate paper and digital flows through using Box’s cloud content management solutions.
Automating the P2P process is a critical need in many organizations, especially when it comes down to driving greater efficiencies. Canon has a history of offering outsourced P2P services, so the integration of Box’s cloud content management can only benefit them in the long term. The joint solution aims to extend the capabilities of Canon’s solutions with the expertise that Box has developed from its focus on the content management marketplace. This could benefit Canon, and Box, tremendously in the long run through an enhanced solution profile.