Spend Matters' Fall 2021 SolutionMap now updates vendor rankings for 68 procurement technology offerings and unveils changes in personas, tech categories and RFI requirements – Spend Matters

Spend Matters today is releasing the Fall 2021 SolutionMap procurement technology benchmarking rankings for 68 solutions and is unveiling SolutionMap’s second major revamp since the 2017 launch, including new “market personas,” updated technology categories and a more focused RFI.
Ten vendors are new to SolutionMap. See their areas of expertise in the technology category chart below.
The latest SolutionMap RFI contains new questions that account for recent innovations and updates to other questions that better reflect which capabilities are “industry standards” versus “best-in-class.” Known as the most rigorous, data-centric functionality assessment process in the industry, SolutionMap contains 500+ RFI requirements across 10 source-to-pay module and suite technology categories to pinpoint the actual capabilities of each participating vendor. Customer feedback also factors into where vendors rank on the maps.
SolutionMap is updated and published every six months to accurately reflect solution updates. Since launching 4.5 years ago, more than 220,000 procurement professionals have consulted the free rankings. Many have subscribed to SolutionMap Insider content, PRO analyst research and Spend Matters TechMatch℠ to gain access to deeper data cuts and vendor intelligence to drive procurement tech-selection decisions.
The key thing to know about the SolutionMap methodology is that the solution is purely judged based on functionality and capability.
It takes a moment to wrap your head around the “how” of this concept, but it’s quite straightforward:

Additionally, Spend Matters solicits customer references for all vendors (some 900+ validated customer reviews are in use across the 68 solutions for the Fall 2021 update cycle — references are valid for 2.5 years) to balance the “cerebral” analyst scoring.
As such, the benchmark ranking is a combination of “functionality-centric” analyst scores and the reference-based customer scores.
Once you realize the SolutionMap benchmarks are based on solution capability data and real-life customer feedback only, you’ll see how useful the SolutionMap dataset is to determine which solutions can meet your core requirements at the onset of a tech selection.
If you want to put all that functionality data to good use in support of your next tech selection, you can sign up for a trial of TechMatch, the Spend Matters shortlisting app. It will make you an informed buyer by fine-tuning your core tech requirements, matching best-fit vendors and giving you negotiation ammunition by showing you each vendors’ functionality strengths and weaknesses. See sample output images.

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It has been two years since the last comprehensive SolutionMap RFI revamp, and SaaS solutions progress quickly. So it was time for another overhaul of the functionality-centric SolutionMap benchmark RFI.
Of course, base procurement technology remain fundamentally the same over time, and a vendor’s relative strengths and weaknesses do not fundamentally change all that rapidly. But Spend Matters analysts update SolutionMap rankings every six months to capture the incremental improvements and the big picture changes of different solutions within the source-to-pay (S2P) realm.
The regular RFI update is needed to:
In this way, the most recent capabilities of suite and best-of-breed solution providers alike are captured continuously with SolutionMap. In addition to TechMatch to inform selections, you can subscribe to SolutionMap Insider if you want to see more of the data behind the rankings and subscribe to PRO analyst content for deeper, broader takes on 175+ different procurement tech vendors, including SWOT analyses and buying recommendations by the analyst team.
Since the inception of SolutionMap, Spend Matters has applied a set of “buying personas” to create variable rankings. This is essentially a filter applied to the data to emphasize the unique needs of different buying organization archetypes (i.e., the Nimble persona typically represents a rapidly growing small to mid-size company seeking low-cost, intuitive, quick-to-implement solutions) to illustrate Spend Matters’ ability to make different data cuts to suit the needs of diverse end-user buying organizations.
Example of the original SolutionMap buying personas

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Building on (yet simplifying) this concept are the new “Market Personas” replacing the original buying personas:

You may detect a correlation between the old and new personas (i.e., Nimble loosely corresponds to the new SME Persona), but the new personas have been further refined. In addition to considering core functionality data, market personas have been enriched to consider geographic reach, client base, price, implementation duration and available (support) services.
Please note that the market rankings will assign vendors only to their best-fit personas. For example, if a suite vendor could hypothetically sell a single module (like sourcing) to an SME — but in reality requires a multi-module (suite) sale, they will not be shown in the SME ranking for the single module (sourcing, in this case), but may appear in the suite view for the Source-to-Contract category (S2C). For more details on the persona weightings, see this post.
The following market personas are available for each SolutionMap technology category:

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You may have noticed some updates to the SolutionMap technology categories as well while reviewing the market persona grid. In addition to updating the SolutionMap RFI requirements and market personas, the analysts also have assessed the core technology categories (or modules) and made the following updates to reflect market developments and adopted lingo:
You can visit spendmatters.com/solutionmap to view the free ranking charts by technology category and the new market personas. Procurement technology selection and benchmarking intelligence services are available at a premium.
Also available are subscription research (Spend Matters PRO and SolutionMap Insider) and TechMatch, the rapid procurement tech-selection app.
Finally, here is an overview of ranked vendors by SolutionMap technology category for your reference. Ten companies are new to SolutionMap for the Fall 2021 update.
Recently, Workforce Logic was acquired by PRO Unlimited. Suplari was acquired by Microsoft. And just last week, two SolutionMap participants were in an M&A deal, with Scanmarket acquiring Symfact.

Vendor-by-vendor comparisons are part of a SolutionMap Insider subscription. If you’re not a subscriber, click the image below. If you’re a subscriber, log in to your account, read the Provider Scoring Summary (see a sample “one-sheet” below) and compare vendor scores to your heart’s content: Explore the Provider Scoring Summary pages here.
Click the sample Provider Scoring Summary to see the full one-sheet.
 
As a participant in SolutionMap, you get draft analyst scores against your self-scores. BUT WE HAVE MORE! Our Scoring Benchmark and Gap Analysis shows you final scoring at the line-item level, with percentages against the benchmark norm:
Talk to your client services manager to learn more about benchmarking.
Due-diligence programs are typically centered on transaction-specific advisory, but they can start at the investigatory phase of interest if you want to “get smart” on procurement solutions and adjacent markets as quickly as possible. We also offer bespoke post-LOI services. Contact Kevin Mallin to learn more about services for investors.
Our friendly client services team eagerly awaits your message. Find the technology category that you’re interested in below, and mention the team member’s name when you contact us:
Thank you all for your ongoing readership. We’re thrilled to get another successful release out into the world.
— The Spend Matters team
Spend Matters is the leading solution intelligence source for procurement and supply chain professionals. Combining deep technology analysis and tailored advisory services with daily news coverage and subscription research, Spend Matters is trusted by CPOs, consultants, investors and solution providers alike as their procurement technology intelligence partner. Spend Matters is owned and managed by Azul Partners, Inc.

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