Following the lead of smaller developers such as Ariba Inc. and CascadeWorks Inc., enterprise software developers Oracle Corp. and PeopleSoft Inc. are each readying products to help companies define, track and analyze procurement and sourcing costs.
Oracle, of Redwood Shores, Calif., is focusing on spend management from a business process perspective with a tool called DBI (Daily Business Intelligence). The software, due in the first half of next year, tracks aspects of spending—including noncompliance with pricing contracts and maverick spending—across departments.
DBI acts as a dashboard to track spending across processes, such as finance and manufacturing, that are covered by the companys E-Business Suite of applications. Each E-Business Suite group is developing integration software that exposes data related to spending and other business processes in the dashboard, officials said.
Separately, PeopleSofts Project Portfolio Management, or PPM, software enables users to pull together information on groups of activities to determine which projects are worth continuing based on the degree to which they support company goals and provide a return on investment. PPM lets users check the health of ongoing projects.
Due next quarter, PPM can be integrated with PeopleSofts Strategic Sourcing software to provide an overall view of corporate spending, according to officials in Pleasanton, Calif.
PPM, provided through PeopleSofts portal application, will give a unified dashboard view of ongoing projects.
Meanwhile, developers Ariba, of Sunnyvale, Calif., and CascadeWorks are building on the spend management applications they have each been selling for about a year.
An Ariba initiative, code-named Project Colorado and due in December, is portal-based software that provides a common view of sourcing and procurement across an organization. Project Colorado connects a companys stakeholders to its strategic sourcing processes with the aim to increase collaboration inside and outside the firewall as well as to improve the quality of information used in decision making and sourcing efficiency, officials said.
For its part, San Francisco-based CascadeWorks this week will introduce Clarity 4.0, which adds support for complex services as well as an integrated contract compliance engine.
KeyBank, a subsidiary of KeyCorp, uses a mix of software from Oracle and Ariba to manage accounting, expense tracking and reporting. Debbie Manos, senior vice president and chief sourcing officer at KeyBank, in Cleveland, welcomed Oracles deeper commitment to spending management but saw a place for Ariba in her organization.
"Because [Ariba is in a] niche, they are more dynamic—can put more customer feedback into their product—versus Oracle, [which is] pretty big and has a huge user base that they are trying to meet the needs of," said Manos.