Daily Archives: February 19, 2014

Basware: P2P for the Global “E” Part IV

In today’s post, we continue our introduction to Basware, a Finnish provider of enterprise finance solutions that serves the global e-Commerce, P2P, and AP Automation marketplace with over 2,000 international customers that collectively do business with over 1 Million companies in over 100 countries. In Part II we discussed the AP Automation and Invoice Processing solutions, the full Purchase-to-Pay process coverage from the Procurement and AP perspective, and the full compliance with e-Commerce, Taxation and Digital Signature Requirements that they offer in over 50 countries. Then, in Part III, we discussed the Basware Commerce Network (BCN). An open commerce network that connects almost 1 Million companies in over 100 countries through 170 partner networks, the BCN currently delivers over 60 Million e-invoices per year with a combined value in excess of $420 Billion and Basware expects to be processing over 150 Million e-invoices a year by the end of 2015 with a combined value in excess of $1 Trillion dollars. Part of this increase will be as a result of Basware’s new partnership with Mastercard, which provides suppliers’ a guaranteed payment once the invoice has been approved, and an early payment option as well. In addition, buyers can have extended payment time if they need it. In addition, cross-border payments, which take over a week on average, are simplified and generally executed at a reduced cost to both parties.

Today we are going to focus on their analytics capability, called Basware Analytics. Basware built their analytics platform on top of Tableau Software‘s Data Visualization Engine, a high-performance data engine designed to allow for real-time data analysis, visualization, and reporting. Using this engine as a foundation, they focussed on designing an analytics application that was useable by the average Spend Management professional and that presented that professional with over 80% of the information across the P2P cycle that a Spend Management professional needs immediately upon log-in.

Over time, Basware has built a suite of package reports that cover 80% of a Spend Management and Finance organization’s need for process and spend visibility to drive process efficiency. In addition, they provide a suite of templates that can be easily altered in such a way that, in most organizations, users are able to build reports that quickly cover most of the reporting needs not covered out-of-the-box within a few hours of deployment, and gradually build reports, possibly with the help of Basware’s services organization, that will let them achieve the remaining 20%.

The solution was designed from an AP and Procurement perspective and in addition to standard procurement reports which include, but are not limited to, total spend, geographical spend by organization or cost centre, top suppliers, top products, invoices received, procurement KPIs, and maverick spend, there are accounts payable reports which include, but are not limited to, invoices received, invoices received with or without a contract or PO, cash flow analysis, spend by supplier analysis, AP KPIs, AP Process and Cycle Times, and AP Financial metrics. Each report allows for real-time drill down and filtering on any dimension. Because the underlying analysis engine has been built to sit on top of all invoiced spend and related P2P data, the platform can address spend visibility, supplier performance, procurement performance, contract compliance, catalog coverage, cash forecasting and management, accounts payable and invoice management. With the visibility provided, you can dive into opportunity identification, process optimization, and rationalization.

Users can access the template behind any report and quickly customize it by adding or removing available dimensions, customizing filters, and tweaking the layout. A user can select which of the available data sources1 (which have been mapped to a common schema) she wants to use, specify the dimensions of interest (to build the cube), define the default ranges and allowable filters, choose the graph types, and modify the layout. The application supports all of the standard graphs and charts, including cloud charts (which is great for looking at search term history or the most common products and/or services being bought) and tree-maps, which give a quick visual representation as to which supplier, cost centre, product, etc. is accounting for the most (maverick) spend. It’s one of few, and most effective, implementations of cloud charts and tree maps that SI has seen to date.

The user does not require any technical skills to modify the templates to adjust or create new reports. This solution is optimal for giving more people within the organization real-time access to spend and process metrics, and allows the Procurement and Finance organizations to begin their spend analysis journey immediately. (In addition, if the user needs help or wants to add custom data sources, Basware has professional services personnel in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific and offers a broad suite of support services, including supplier activation/onboarding, in 10 languages: English, Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.)

1 Even though reports are limited to Basware’s data sources out of the box, the customer has an option to extend the reporting solution to other data sources through the use of other Tableau Software tools leveraged by Basware.