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Technology Round-Up – September 21, 2017

Ardent’s Technology Round-Up returns today with another assortment of supply 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!

Icertis Gets into the Sourcing Game

Icertis, the Seattle, Washington-based provider of contract management solutions in the cloud, announced that it has launched a sourcing application on its Icertis Contract Management (ICM) Platform. The application puts enterprise-wide contract lifecycle management at its core and uses it to drive sourcing events with current and prospective suppliers. It reaches across the enterprise to build a holistic, 360-degree view of an enterprise’s suppliers based on prior and current sourcing events, contract compliance, performance, and risk profiles. It leverages Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Teams-based tools to drive side-by-side bid evaluation in a collaborative manner, and enable sourcing teams to apply qualitative and quantitative criteria to score bids. It also employs machine learning and “artificial intelligence/cognitive analytics” to use contract terms and clause recommendations to uncover hidden savings opportunities within bids and allow sourcing teams to negotiate better deals. Lastly, Icertis boasts the ability for enterprises to rapidly deploy ICM Sourcing, drive high user adoption with its “intuitive” interface, and be able to adapt the solution as its business needs change.

Vroozi Names a New Board Chairman, Announces Customer Growth

Vroozi, a cloud-based business purchasing platform based in Los Angeles, just informed us that it has named Greg Butterfield as Chairman of its Board of Directors, and that it has increased its customer base by 132% in 2017. Greg brings more than 30 years of executive experience in the enterprise software industry to the Board. He is a Managing Partner at SageCreek Partners and is also a Board member at Venafi. As Board Chairman at Vroozi, he will oversee the company’s organizational expansion, including is “structure, strategy, and market presence,” in parallel with what company officials call its unprecedented customer and user growth over the past year. Since moving beyond its legacy eCataloging and marketplace solutions and providing Procure-to-Pay capabilities to its clients, Vroozi has seen strong customer growth, particularly since the beginning of 2017. In fact, much of this growth has occurred in the last six months.

When asked about what has driven and continues to drive Vroozi’s customer/user growth, Greg said, “As companies grow, managing money needs to be a top priority. The smarter they are the faster they will grow. More and more organizations are recognizing the need to implement smart technology that simplifies purchasing. Vroozi’s platform streamlines the procurement process so that companies can easily register and link all of their suppliers. They now have the ability to quickly distribute an easy to use procurement platform, without having to code or go through a number of IT portals.” Indeed, self-service, user-friendly business tools are all the rage now, as they empower users to be agile, efficient, and self-sufficient. We look forward to hearing more about what Greg and Vroozi’s executive team has in store for its customers in 2018.

Wade Burgess Joins Shiftgig as new CEO

Just a couple of days ago, representatives from Shiftgig, the Chicago-based company that connects companies with temporary or “gig” workers on specific projects, told us that they have selected LinkedIn’s former VP of Talent Solutions, Wade Burgess, as its new CEO, effective September 25. Wade replaces Eddie Lou, who will serve as the company’s first Executive Chairman. Wade will seek to replicate his successes at LinkedIn in helping the company help millions of professionals network and find employment with a different class of workers, “gig workers,” who will make up almost half of the workforce by 2020. Wade will apply his knowledge of enterprise technology and employment solutions he honed over nearly a decade at LinkedIn to Shiftgig’s mission to help connect millions of shift and temporary workers with their next shift or temporary job. Read the full press release from Shiftgig, here.

Jaggaer Integrates its eProcurement Solution with SAP Fiori

Last week, JAGGAER, the North Carolina-based source-to-settle solutions provider (formerly SciQuest) recently announced that it has integrated its eProcurement software solution with SAP Fioriapplications in order to enhance user interface and experience (UI / UX). Features of the integration include, for users, single sign-on (SSO) capability and the ability to integrate purchase requisitions and approvals into SAP Fiori applications; and for managers, the ability to quickly see, approve, or deny any outstanding purchase requisition in their queue, or forward it to different managers. Jaggaer’s integration with SAP Fiori applications also means that Jaggaer users can take advantage of Fiori’s mobile-first/mobile-ready features, which can enable users and approvers to submit and review requisitions on the fly and make better use of their down time or travel time.

Wipro Joins Hyperledger, Set to Develop Enterprise Blockchains

Also last week, Wipro Limited, the information technology, consulting, and business process services company based in India, announced that it has joined Hyperledger’s community of open-source Blockchain developers as it begins to develop enterprise-grade Blockchain solutions. According to company officials, Wipro has garnered recent experience working with and advising clients on the development of their own Blockchain databases, including proofs of concept. By joining Hyperledger, Wipro will bring its open-source technologies and expertise to a fellow open-source operator and look to develop and consult on Blockchain solutions for enterprise-wide application. It will also contribute further to the Hyperledger community of open-source Blockchain development.

Microsoft, IBM, and GS1 Announce Supply Chain Blockchain Partnership

Earlier this month, GS1, a global business communications standards organization credited with creating the bar code, announced a partnership with Microsoft and IBM in which the latter two will integrate GS1 Standards into the development of Blockchain applications for supply chains. In order for two or more parties to leverage Blockchain databases to exchange currency, goods, services, contracts, or information, they need to work with the same language standard to ensure interoperability. That is where GS1 comes in. Its experience in retail operations will come in handy, as they will develop a standard for Microsoft and IBM Blockchain users to leverage in the design and deployment of Blockchain solutions for supply chains.

SyncFab Launches Utility Token Campaign for Supply Chain Blockchains

Earlier this week, SyncFab, a San Francisco-based supply chain management and procurement solution provider specializing in smart manufacturing, announced a campaign to sell ERC20 Ethereum MFG utility tokens for its supply chain Blockchain solutions. Using the MFG tokens, supply chain, procurement, and third-party design firms will be able to more easily access SyncFab’s Blockchains to source domestically manufactured goods. They will also be able to codify these new supplier relationships using smart contracts. Moreover, by using peer-to-peer tools like Blockchain, enterprises will be able to engage in “smart manufacturing” so that they can discover and leverage under-utilized domestic manufacturers who have excess supply or production capacity. Enterprise procurement teams can utilize these inventories and capacities to increase manufacturers’ production scales and make them more profitable while sourcing critical components.

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