Daily Archives: May 19, 2016

Determine – Determined to Conquer b-pack’s Brave New World Part I

Determine is one of those companies that is a name you know even if it’s a name you don’t know (and a name you should know as it’s a 50/50 company with the doctor‘s seal of approval). It’s a name you don’t know because it didn’t exist until 4th Quarter last year. But it’s a name you should know as it is essentially the merger of the Selectica (founded 1996), Iasta (founded 2000), and b-pack (founded 2000) solutions into one cohesive whole (and not just a Frankenstein solution patched together when one company acquires two others).

Understanding that a true CLM-enhanced Source-to-Pay solution is only valuable if it is one solution that empowers one process based on one workflow, the first thing that the new company did was standardize on one platform — namely, the b-pack platform — and the next thing it did was figure out how to integrate the other two solutions on that platform. Since the b-pack platform is, at it’s core, a business process oriented workflow platform with native Master Data Management capabilities, and not a PO or invoice-driven e-Procurement platform with workflow kludged in as an afterthought, Determine was able to quickly accomplish two things:

  • Convert the Iasta Sourcing platform into an “app” on the b-pack platform
  • Rebuild and integrate all of the core CLM IP from Selectica they were missing native on the b-pack platform

which means that

  • even though you have to load the Iasta app to do your full-featured sourcing events that go beyond simple RFX and include powerful auctions, SRM, and strategic sourcing decision optimization (Iasta is one of the six sourcing samurai), all of the data is stored in the central MDM repository in the Determine core, which means it is 100% available when you start the contracting and/or ordering process (and, similarly, all historical data is instantly available in the Iasta app)
  • even though some more advanced (nice-to-have) features from CLM are still missing, there is sufficient functionality (or workarounds) to meet over 80% of CLM needs (for example, native editing and redlining is not yet integrated, but Word versioning is 100% integrated, which is the solution the Legal team wants anyway)

And the core business process workflows have been extended to cover the end to end sourcing lifecycle as well as the end to end purchasing cycle from both a line item and business object perspective (you can trace a line item all the way from initial sourcing and forward to final return and disposal and you can trace the entire history of each contract, purchase order, invoice etc.).

Plus, all of the unique, non-standard, features of the b-pack platform have been maintained and as soon as an organizational asset has been purchased, an asset record to track the lifecycle of that piece of equipment, software license, or IP can be created (and custom managed by asset type); as soon as inventory appears, appropriate inventory records are created (and pushed to the ERP and/or [W]IMS solution as necessary); as soon as a vehicle is acquired or leased, an appropriate entry in the native (or integrated) FMS (Fleet Management System) is created, and so on. The platform not only enables a true source-to-sink source-to-pay process, but also recognizes that acquisitions and artifacts of the source-to-pay process are the starting points of other business processes and supports those as well. It’s the platform that many sourcerors always wanted but never knew they were missing.

And we’ll tell you more about it in Part II.