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Technology Round-Up – June 29, 2017

CPO Rising’s Technology Round-Up returns today with another assortment of complex spend management technology news and updates from the past month to share with our community. If you are a sourcing, procurement, or spend management solution provider and you have news to share with us, please drop us a note at editor at cporising dot com. Thanks, and enjoy!

IBM and Maersk Co-Develop Blockchain Solution to Digitize Global Supply Chains

For some time, IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Maersk Group, the multinational shipping and logistics conglomerate based in Denmark, have been co-developing a Blockchain digital tracking system to serve the worldwide shipping and logistics industries in an effort to drive transparency and reduce costs (click here to learn more about Blockchain for procurement). The solution is built upon Hyperledger, the same Linux-based, open-source digital ledger that SAP Ariba and Everledger are using to develop their own Blockchain for procurement solution (click here and here to read about their collaboration). Like SAP Ariba and Everledger, IBM and Maersk are looking to develop and bring to market a solution for the age-old problem in shipping in logistics: how to increase transparency, fidelity, and trust in the global shipment of goods and decrease the inherent time, paperwork, fraud, and costs associated with global trade.

As such, Maersk and IBM began to look closely at the number of stops and transactions that different types of cargo and goods undergo before arriving at their final destination; and they worked with representatives in various customs and border protection agencies to integrate government processing into the digital tracking and tracing of goods from point of origin to destination. The result is an IBM-hosted and secured solution (on Bluemix) that, in partnership with Maersk, they currently offer to select companies in Beta version (V 1.0). The two companies intend to offer a user-tested and improved version of the solution to the broader shipping and logistics market later this year – one that they claim will reduce costs, fraud, time, and waste in the global supply chain. Stay tuned for this developing story.

Jaggaer Direct and ConnXus Integrate Solutions to Enhance Supplier Diversity

Earlier this month, representatives from Jaggaer, the North Carolina-based source-to-settle solutions provider formerly known as SciQuest, announced that they have partnered with ConnXus, an Ohio-based provider of supplier discovery, diversity, and management systems for the cloud. The partnership entails ConnXus integrating its SmartScrub data validation tool with Jaggaer’s direct procurement platform in an effort to enhance supplier diversity for Jaggaer’s customers. The integration will mean that Jaggaer clients can leverage SmartCube in an effort to validate their supplier diversity data, which can be a crucial competitive differentiator, “in the context” of an integrated procurement tool without having to go outside of the platform to leverage SmartCube.

Scout RFP Gets into the Contract Management Game

Last week, Scout RFP, the San Francisco-based provider of cloud-based strategic sourcing tools, announced the summer release of Scout Contracts, its platform-based contract management solution. Scout Contracts works in tandem with its sourcing and RFP platform in that end users can move from the sourcing phase of an event to the vendor contract management phase. They can store associated contracts on the platform, manage the review and execution phases, check contract milestones and get pre-set notifications, and renew, source, and /or cancel vendor contracts at any time. Users can even roll expiring contracts into new or extended / renewed sourcing events in order to simplify the larger strategic sourcing process.

Primechain Brings Blockchain to Contract Management

Speaking of Blockchain and contract management, news has broken that Pune, India-based Primechain, which develops Blockchain solutions for many different types of industries, has begun work on a Blockchain system for contract management, complete with alerting, reporting, a centralized dashboard, and mobile enablement. As described, the system sounds very similar – if not identical to – other cloud-based digital contract management solutions on the market today. But unlike conventional contract management solutions, Primechain has put their solution entirely on a Blockchain, where permissioned/provisioned users write, review, process, sign, send, and store contracts digitally. This reduces the risks associated with contract fraud and damage to physical contracts, even the time it takes to send paper and ink contracts in the mail. All of these risks are mitigated with digital contracts on the Blockchain, where changes are instantly recorded, and are secured and governed from on high. The result is a highly transparent, secure, and digital contract management solution that can be accessed anywhere at anytime on any device.

SAP Ariba Integrates Mercateo Unite to Enhance Spot Buys in Europe

Earlier this month, SAP Ariba, the California-based provider of source-to-settle solutions and the world’s largest business network, announced at SAPAribaLive in Prague that it has partnered with Mercateo, the UK-based provider of eProcurement solutions, in order to support Ariba’s spot buy capabilities in Europe. Partnering with Mercateo will allow Ariba customers to access more than 50 million items via Mercateo and transact with suppliers on the Ariba Network.

Are you interested in attending Ardent Partners’ second annual CPO Rising procurement executive summit in Boston this November? We’re lining up a spectacular speaker roster for this year’s event – one that will not disappoint. Tickets are on sale now and early bird pricing is available until July 31. Don’t delay – get your tickets now!

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