I have to say that I am quite impressed with Rosslyn Analytics‘ spend analysis platform and their overall approach to the problem as compared to many of the spend analysis providers in the space, especially given the relative youth of the platform. And no, it has nothing to do with their UI, graphics, or other eye candy that, as you know, accounts for zero points of credit as far as I am concerned (despite the fact that some bloggers and analysts apparently go Gaga for fancy graphics). Heck, I’m not even going to give them points for ease of use, because that’s a basic requirement of any modern supply management application.
So why am I impressed with Rosslyn? Vision. Clarity. Execution.
Rosslyn understands that sustainable results only emerge en-masse when you enable the masses, your platform has to evolve as needs evolve, every organization is different, and even if it every organization wasn’t different, you still can’t do everything yourself, and it shows in their platform and their delivery there-of.
Rosslyn believes that you don’t have spend visibility unless that visibility is available to, and understood by, everyone in the organization. As a result, they not only sell their platform using an unlimited access model, but designed the basics of their platform to be self-explanatory to the point that anyone — be it a procurement, finance, accounts payable, accounts receivable, or sales user — can load it up and intuitively find a report on the aspects of spend or organization performance relevant to them. Their vision is to provide the foundations of a platform that everyone can use to make more informed decisions.
Rosslyn also believes that you can’t make good decisions unless you have a complete set of relevant data. As a result, they have not only streamlined extract and upload for over 30 of the most common ERP and MRP systems, but they have also built a rules-based platform that allows them to integrate with new systems in under a day, on average. They are able to automatically extend your data with D&B data, other third party index data, and even your own proprietary indexes if you have them. And cleansing is built in, as it should be, because the point, as I have stressed over and over again, is analysis. As a result, you not only see an integrated view of your data, but you have the ability to augment it with non-spend data and give it context, because A/P and invoice data is just the beginning.
Rosslyn is committed to insuring that each and every customer gets rapid results, and their execution speaks for itself. Not only are they able to get even the largest companies up, running, and fully operational — with an average refresh rate less than 24 hours (maxing out at 72 hours, which compares very well with the industry average of 4-5 weeks for most of the spend visibility platforms on the market) — in two to three weeks, but most of their customers see ROI in under 8 weeks. Furthermore, while most organizations will start with only 10 to 20 users, they find that the number of users increases 10-fold within 3 months. In addition, they are constantly upgrading their fully cloud-based multi-tenant SaaS solution with new features, with major upgrades every quarter and minor upgrades every few weeks. Sometimes they add new reports and reporting capabilities “seemingly overnight” to meet the evolving needs of their user base.
And while the platform may not do everything you might want (but then again, what platform will), you can take comfort in the facts that (1) it’s as good as the majority of the spend analysis platforms on the market and that (2) Rosslyn understands you can’t do everything. Thus, while some of the platforms are trying to broaden their footprint and do everything, Rosslyn is staying focussed on spend visibility and working with third-party e-Procurement platform providers to give you a complete solution. Furthermore, while some platforms will make it nearly impossible to get your data out in an effort to lock you into their solution exclusively, Rosslyn makes it just as easy to get your data out of their platform as they do to get your data in. Recognizing that some users will always be more comfortable with Excel, that power analysts will always be trying to come up with new ways to analyze data that current platforms don’t yet address, and that some corporations have invested Millions in proprietary data warehouses and business intelligence platforms, Rosslyn supports exports to a number of standard data formats (XLS, CSV, PDF, etc.) and supports full bi-directional integration with your data warehouses. (They can extract your data, cleanse, classify, and augment it with their rules-based classification engine, and push it back in automatically on a regular refresh cycle.)
In Part II, I will describe the built in capabilities of the platform as it exists now, and some of the exciting developments you’ll see next quarter.
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