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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 few weeks in P2P news includes a few developments: Basware acquired Verian Technologies for $36 million, Tradeshift is entering the Chinese market as part of a deal with Baiwang, and SAP Ariba announced two separate partnerships—one with Prime Revenue to launch a supply chain finance platform, and one with American Express to streamline purchase reconciliation. Read on to find out more about these and all the other impactful news from around the AP and P2P world.
Basware Acquires Verian, a Leading Cloud-Based Purchase-to-Pay Solution Provider in the US
Basware (Helsinki: BAS1V) last week announced it had signed an agreement to acquire Verian Technologies, a provider of procure-to-pay (“P2P”) solutions based in the U.S. The acquisition, priced at $36 million (€31.8 million) in cash and equity, adds the 150,000 users of Verian’s cloud-based SaaS eProcurement and invoice management solution to the Basware family, thus extending the Basware brand deeper into the North American marketplace. Ardent’s full analysis of the deal is forthcoming, so watch CPO Rising in the coming days for more details!
Basware and WEX to Provide New B2B Invoice Payment Solution for Real-Time Electronic Payments
Basware and WEX recently announced the release of a new real-time payments solution for B2B invoices. The new joint solution is designed to increase cash flow with access to extended payment terms, automate reconciliation, and reduce late payments. The new solution taps into WEX’s extensive portfolio of corporate payment solutions, as well as Basware’s networked procure-to-pay offering. The solution will be offered as part of the Basware Financing Services portfolio.
Real-time payments have become something of a Holy Grail in B2B payments. The ability to send payment on the same day and have it credited to the supplier’s account in real time can add incredible flexibility in terms of payment timing. Even wire transfers, which are generally credited on the same day, can still take several hours to process. Real-time payments aim to decrease this lag to almost nothing, and afford a corresponding increase in scheduling flexibility in the process. That Basware and WEX are wading into offering such a solution is a potential game-changer. Basware has one of the largest network footprints in the world, and their recent emphasis on their financing services portfolio shows how serious they are with increasing their payment capabilities. This is a solid move for both parties in the deal, and and more solution providers may soon follow a similar pathway.
Tradeshift Enters Strategic Partnership With Baiwang to Accelerate Supply Chain Digitization in China
Tradeshift recently announced a partnership with Chinese tax services provider Baiwang with the aim of pushing forward the digitization of trade in mainland China and streamlining cross-border supply chains. The partnership was announced less than two months before the expansion of the Chinese government’s pilot of implementing Value-Added Tax (“VAT”) in the country instead of Business Tax. Baiwang is one of two companies licensed to provide the necessary tax hardware and software to make the change. The partnership with Tradeshift will also, ideally, support the sustainable development goals included in China’s 13th Five-Year Plan.
Baiwang has a 70% market share in the Chinese financial services and insurance industries—two of the groups that must make the change to VAT on May 1—so Tradeshift inking a deal with them creates the potential for a huge expansion of the Tradeshift platform to those industries. This deal in general puts Tradeshift on solid footing for an expansion into the Chinese marketplace, which has lagged many other geographies on a transition to electronic invoices and electronic payment. This is a potentially huge partnership for Tradeshift, but it remains to be seen what sort of positive impact the deal has for the company.
Xerox and Tradeshift to Deliver Digital Procurement and Accounts Payable Services
Xerox recently announced it had inked a global reseller agreement with Tradeshift for its procurement and accounts payable solutions. Tradeshift’s cloud-based procurement and AP solution is designed to augment Xerox’s current procure-to-pay solution, which also includes procurement outsourcing and 11 finance and procurement shared-services centers worldwide. Tradeshift’s business network is also meant to provide collaboration capabilities to Xerox customers.
Tradeshift has inked a number of similar partnership deals in the past, which is overall a good strategy for the cloud solution provider. Xerox is much larger company, with an established footprint and a large client base. Inking a deal with Xerox is thus a wise move for Tradeshift, because it places the solution in front of a large number of customers without significant investment in direct sales staff. Overall, this looks to be a very good move for Tradeshift.
AvidXchange™ to Create “MRI Vendor Pay” as Part of Extended Partnership with MRI Software
In an expansion of its partnership with MRI Software, a global property and investment management solution provider, AvidXchange announced that it would release a new solution called “MRI Vendor Pay powered by AvidXchange.” The offering is designed to fully automate the payment process for MRI Software clients, and allow them to eliminate paper checks entirely. This latest announcement expands on the partnership that Avid and MRI have had for over a decade, which has resulted in more than 200 joint enterprise clients through the United States.
This joint product offering is a logical next step in a long-term partnership like this. With such tight integration between the solution providers already—more than 200 joint clients is a fair-sized joint market—it is only reasonable to expect the release of a joint solution. Avid has a long history of deepening its products in the payment space, whether through acquisition or partnership, and this new solution is no different in that respect.
SAP Ariba Teams with PrimeRevenue to Transform Financial Supply Chain
SAP Ariba and PrimeRevenue announced a joint supply chain financing solution this week, resulting in a multi-funder platform that leverages the supply chain finance experience of PrimeRevenue with the expanded reach of the Ariba Network. The new supply chain finance solution is designed to shift invoices payable from balance sheet liabilities into strategic company assets, according to a joint statement from the companies, and will take advantage of the current Ariba financial supply chain solution suite. The new SCF solution offers more than 55 funding sources to choose from, and also allows the flexibility for users to include their own funding source if they have one.
PrimeRevenue and SAP Ariba both have their strengths—PrimeRevenue has offered supply chain finance for a number of years, and SAP Ariba has one of the largest business networks in the world—so a partnership between the two is a logical move on both sides. It also helps that interest in supply chain finance is on an upswing, especially given the persistently tight credit markets worldwide. Ardent Partners has written extensively about supply chain finance in the past, and a new solution from SAP Ariba, one of the biggest players in the AP technology space, is a huge endorsement of this solution class. With this latest solution, SAP Ariba also now offers a complete set of financial solutions to make the most of supplier payments. It will be interesting to see how their financial supply chain solutions progress from here.
SAP Ariba and American Express Team to Streamline Purchase Reconciliation and Compliance
SAP Ariba and American Express announced recently a partnership designed to help buyers reconcile one-time purchases and ensure compliance with company procurement policies. The joint solution integrates American Express’s global corporate payments infrastructure with Ariba Spot Buy, which allows enterprises to find and purchase non-contract items. American Express customers will be able to match purchases made through Ariba Spot Buy with their American Express corporate accounts, which is designed to simplify reconciliation and ensure policy compliance for non-contract spend.
Non-contract, or “maverick,” spend is a significant problem for many enterprises. Ardent Partners analysts estimates that enterprises can experience savings leakage of between 6% and 18% as a result of non-contract spend per year, so the ability to reconcile emergency non-contract purchases and ensure policy compliance could help enterprises track that spend in a more nuanced fashion. As such, this joint offering has a huge potential upside for both solution providers—SAP Ariba gains a new marketplace for its Spot Buy product, and American Express customers gain the ability to reconcile and track non-contract spend in a more efficient fashion. Essentially, it is a win-win for the solution providers and their customers alike.