Spend Matters is delighted to announce the 2022 roster for our “Future 5” list. For the fourth year in a row, our analysts have highlighted five start-ups that excited them the most. These Future 5 vendors are on track to qualify for next year’s “50 Procurement Providers to Watch” list. This year, the five companies that have proven themselves as potential future trend setters are Carbmee, Focal Point, Open Envoy, ProcureWise and Relish.
To warrant such attention, these vendors must have a product that is ideally 2-to-5 years old, is used by more than five customers and displays an innovative application of technology. Moreover, these vendors must have more than $10 million in revenue and our analysts must find them both sustainable and growing with a clear momentum. In this series of articles, we explain what these vendors offer, why they are likely to become future members of our “50 Procurement Providers to Watch” and “50 Procurement Providers to Know” lists and what challenges they may face.
Today, we’re introducing the next of the five nominees this year: ProcureWise.
What it does
ProcureWise is an AI-powered unified total talent platform that offers traditional VMS capabilities while also being seamlessly connected to its recruiting software, CEIPAL. The unique combination of recruiting software that covers all types of hiring — from internal to external and extended workers — puts this untraditional VMS in the growing market of software providers that offer solutions for a company’s end-to-end hiring needs in a single technology (unified total talent).
One foundational property separating ProcureWise’s solution from legacy VMS contingent workforce solutions — and places it categorically with the new breed of extended workforce solutions — is that it’s a unified platform for sourcing and managing any type of extended worker. Data is not siloed; it is managed in a database where a worker is a worker regardless of the form of their engagement. The platform therefore provides complete current and ex post visibility into all extended workers and engagement types.
Beyond that foundational strength, ProcureWise has continued to expand its solution capabilities since its launch in 2020. The provider now offers additional solutions for customers looking to expand their direct sourcing and self-management capabilities, to improve the management of their documents and payments and to better understand their DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) metrics. The most interesting aspect of ProcureWise is that it offers these expanded capabilities as a single solution to its clients through its VMS while also offering some of it independently as standalone solutions, such as DEI and ATS (applicant tracking).
Why we chose it
We named ProcureWise in the Future 5 for 2022 because it is emblematic of the next wave of technologies addressing the growth and management of the extended workforce.
There is no doubt that the contingent workforce solution landscape and market has changed a great deal compared to five years ago, when the technology solutions segment was mature and evolving gradually. As it happens, new entrants are usually drawn into a market by client organizations’ unhappiness with their existing solutions and their desire for something more and/or different — in this case, state-of-the-art technology platforms that can provide what is for clients unprecedented flexibility and new capabilities that align with a multi-channel sourcing and total talent paradigm.
ProcureWise is exactly this kind of new solution. The vendor, alongside competitors VNDLY (Workday), Simplify VMS, Renhead and Utmost, can fulfill the role of legacy VMS. ProcureWise seems to cover all the basic areas of a VMS functionality that a Gen 1 or possibly even a Gen 2 program may require to capture the major benefits of a VMS. Moreover, that functionality will be expanded over time.
The a fundamental difference between ProcureWise and a legacy VMS is the former is a modern technology platform that can support a range of capabilities; the latter may not. These include a unified talent platform, multi-channel sourcing, full spectrum extended workforce analytics and a software architecture that anticipates applications of AI.
What’s more, in addition to early commercial traction, ProcureWise stood up against some of the larger names in the VMS space in our VMS SolutionMap for Fall 2022 — a feat not often seen — or even attempted — by vendors so early in their development. These factors together are taken as signs of early competitive differentiation.
Any threats or challenges ahead?
As we put it in our PRO coverage of ProcureWise, this vendor is something like a newly bottled wine. The company and solution exhibit many strong fundamentals supporting success and some competitive advantages. Still, it is important for the company to complete further successful deployments at a few connoisseur enterprise clients to support greater market confidence.
And, to be sure, there are other vintages available. The market is already aware of new alternatives to legacy VMS solutions (including VNDLY, which has demonstrated its compatibility with large enterprises and has generated significant interest and praise in the market) — so a fast-follower strategy is possible. ProcureWise will have to differentiate itself from these other solutions. This could be done in a variety of ways, but this must be done with clear and “correct” go-to-market strategy which may or not exist today.
That said, based on what we have seen, we are optimistic about ProcureWise completing further successful deployments and offering businesses a fully viable product with both platform and functionality advantages. Enterprises that fit the core profile of a ProcureWise customer should not wait and see, but definitely should put the vendor on their candidate lists at solution sourcing time.
Look out for more coverage of the Spend Matters Future 5 next week when we introduce Relish.
If you’d like to get under our analysts’ radar, procurement tech providers can create a free listing in the Spend Matters Almanac, the most comprehensive technology and service directory of procurement and supply chain solution providers.
If you’d like to know more about our analysts’ 50 Providers To Watch and Know methodology and selection process, join our webinar on October 31.