What’s happening in the procurement technology market? Acquisitions, moves, careers.

In this article taken from the most recent edition of The Procurement & Spend Management Insider report we cover two key areas following on from the previous report published in April 2018:

  • Industry News and Developments
  • Demand and Supply trends in the sector

The procurement technology market has been a little quieter in terms of senior management moves and merger/acquisition activity than reported in our previous update.

In terms of acquisitions, we’ve seen three significant deals in recent months. Coupa acquired specialist vendor management solution provider DCR Workforce in early September on the back of announcing impressive quarterly financial results, showing revenue growth year on year of some 38%, better than analyst predictions according to Spend Matters.

This resulted in Coupa shares reaching a post IPO high of $80.73 in mid-September although they’d dropped back to just over $60 by mid-October.

More recently Coupa bought Aquirre in mid-October.  Again more details on the deal are available from Spend Matters who explained that the new acquisition “stands out against competing e-procurement and procure-to-pay solutions for its superior front-end shopping user experience and its continued efforts to drive innovation within this segment of the procurement software market.”

Meanwhile Proactis continued their growth with the acquisition of Dutch firm eSize in August.

Rumours continue to circulate the market of at least one more significant business sale before the end of the year with a few underperforming vendors looking vulnerable, but nothing has been confirmed in time for this publication.

Notable senior management changes include both Dean Pathak and Patrick Hyati, Heads of Northern and Southern Europe respectively leaving SAP Ariba towards the end of the summer.  Both had previously reported to EMEA GM Paul Devlin who left earlier this year.

Amabel Grant, formerly of Procserve, Barware and most recently the CCS has joined Bloom Procurement Services as CTO where she teams up with her old OGC colleague David Shields.  This is a significant boost for the public sector focused firm.

Simon Dadswell has left Proactis where he was Marketing Director. Simon was a popular and regular presence at industry events like eWorld and moves into a new role outsider the sector.

In Europe Ivalua have been busy with their expansion. New recruits include Markku Kronqvist formerly of Synertrade who will give increased presence in the Nordics market. They’ve also hired Olga Alvado from BravoSolutions (now Jaggaer of course) in France who lost their Sales Lead Maurice Hamoir to Per Augusta.

SAP Ariba continues to hire extensively across Europe with clear emphasis on increasing their capability in their Customer Value organisation. This includes people with experience of implementing their solutions along with investment in key areas of customer success and value realisation.

Despite Coupa’s impressive results, it appears that hiring hasn’t been as aggressive for them recently, but the consultancies who support their implementations continue to invest in their teams, both in terms of numbers and developing capability.

Hot off the press is the news that Lance Younger will be leaving Deloitte in the next few months.  Lance is the Lead Partner for Deloitte’s UK and EMEA Sourcing & Procurement practice with a focus on procurement transformation, enterprise cost reduction, supplier management and digital procurement.  

He has strong relationships across a number of the key procurement software solutions including Ariba (where he used to lead their EMEA Consulting Team), Coupa, Tradeshift and several niche providers. We expect he’ll be a significant loss to Deloitte’s capability in this area, so it will be interesting to see how they replace him and where he’ll land next.

Notes on our observations from our last report

We predicted limited hiring from newly merged organisations in our last report. The three main deals that we mentioned were Jaggaer’s acquisition of BravoSolution, the Proactis/Perfect Commerce reversed takeover and Advanced Software adding Science Warehouse to their portfolio.

We haven’t seen any evidence to contradict our prediction as each of these organisations have largely been successful in retaining its key people albeit with a couple of exceptions as outlined above.

We did predict more merger and acquisition activity and there maybe more before the year end but with the uncertainty created by Brexit and other political trends geared around trade, it’s quite likely that we’ll see business leaders acting cautiously until these issues settle down.

23/1/19 update – this latest point is an interesting one. There was in fact one more deal in late 2018 as Coupa acquired Risk Management provider Hiperos although that was obviously driven in the US.  Around the same time rumours surfaced of Tradeshift’s bid to buy Basware which is ongoing at the time of publication.  In fact the one deal we heard may happen before Christmas hasn’t done so we’ll bring you news on that as soon as we can.

Andrew Daley

Director

Edbury Daley

 

New research – hiring, salary & bonus trends in procurement technology

Specialist procurement technology recruiters Edbury Daley have undertaken some research into salary and bonus trends in the sector on behalf of some of their clients with some interesting findings.

The fundamental issue is that the procurement technology market is growing at a pace that the existing talent pool can’t support and that is leading to shortages in key areas. The result is challenging hiring conditions and rising salaries.

The headlines from their research include:

  • Salaries for experienced Sales Directors continue to rise due to the shortage of proven leaders with experience in the sector.
  • Furthermore there is an acute scarcity of mid-level sales people with experience of articulating the value technology proposition to procurement and finance stakeholders.  This is forcing vendors to go outside of the sector for such hires.
  • The salaries required to hire experienced pre-sales specialists from the industry are proving to be prohibitively expensive for several vendors. Unfortunately, the situation is not much better when you consider going outside our market into neighbouring sectors.
  • Experienced Implementation consultants are the single biggest skill set in demand. This is driven by both solution providers and consultancies who support the implementation and associated transformation projects.  We have a clear supply/demand inequality that is creating real hiring challenges. We’ve been expecting the interim market to gain a boost from this problem for a while and we may be about to reach that point.
  • Account Management and Customer Success are two areas where the issue isn’t quite as acute as hiring based on transferable skills is more achievable than in some of the areas mentioned above where specific experience is vital. Even so, strong performers can expect to see their skills in demand as the industry continues to grow.

Edbury Daley provide bespoke salary research for the sector and would recommend it to any organisations thinking about end of financial year pay reviews, staff retention and planned recruitment.

This article is taken from their Procurement & Spend Management Insider report which is available to download here.

The Future Of Your Career – Training & Development

Following on from his previous article mentioned in our November news, Andrew Daley turned his attention to the question of your training and further education options in his most recent career advice piece.  Here’s the link to his article on the Edbury Daley website: The future of your career – part 2

If you want to keep up to date with more valuable content on all things relating to procurement technology careers and hiring advice, including new video content due to be published in February, why not follow Edbury Daley on Linked In or Twitter.