Our ‘50 Providers to Watch’ lists were announced recently, identifying 50 firms in the procurement solutions area that our analysts think all CPOs and practitioners should keep an eye on. The full lists can be found in the Spend Matters Almanac, our free vendor directory (where you can register if you’d like to make a start on getting your solution in front of the technology analysts). The ‘50 to Watch’ list includes those organisations that are doing something interesting or innovative in the marketplace, including newcomers that are pushing procurement forward.
This year, our list contains some of the firms from the ‘Future 5’ list of start-ups, which we identified last year at the launch of our Future 5 initiative at Digital Procurement World. These five start-up providers were recognised by our analysts as rapidly rising stars in the procurement technology market. They were the new innovators that were either too new, or too small, to make the ‘To Watch’ list at the time, but had a growing presence and a new solution. They fitted the following criteria:
- They were less than five years old and had been in the market for less than two years since their official product launch
- They had five or more customers
- They were involved in exciting, interesting or innovative use of technology
- They showed promising signs of staying power
One of the firms that migrated from the Future 5s list to the Providers To Watch list for 2020 is San Francisco born BidOps. It is a relatively young technology firm, but its founder, CEO Edmund Zagorin, has a sound sourcing background having spent several years in procurement and sourcing roles at consultancies for private and public sector organisations before forming the company in 2017.
BidOps, as described by our analysts, is a cloud-based e-sourcing tool positioning itself as the first AI solution for automating procurement negotiations using adaptive target pricing. The concept behind Bid Ops is to apply much of the advances made in sales CRM software to the procurement world. This includes not only general changes such as the shift to the cloud and an increased emphasis on usability over complex feature/function support but a renewed focus on automation, taking people out of the back-and-forth of negotiation when possible.
Rather than focus solely on serving the buyer, Bid Ops’ founders actually built the vendor side of their platform first, shaping the whole user experience around making negotiation faster, simpler and more pleasant for vendors.
For a neutral vendor analysis see our Pro introduction, company background, solution overview and competitive landscape for BidOps here and here.
The firm’s migration to the 50 To Watch list is attributed partly to its “refreshing take in the e-sourcing market … applying a strong focus to the supplier experience in addition to the procurement one, acknowledging that commerce does indeed involve multiple parties seeking mutually beneficial outcomes.”
Evan Godwin, Bid Ops Head of Marketing explained:
“We are extraordinarily excited to have made the leap from the Spend Matters Future 5 to the 50 To Watch list. As a start-up, this honour validates our place in the market and provides our entire team with a huge sense of pride for the work we have been able to accomplish thus far.
In 2019, we unveiled ground-breaking new features for monitoring and measuring supplier engagement, bolstered our proprietary anchor pricing engine, and launched the first ever messaging platform tailored for sourcing teams. We’re not stopping there either! Enhancements to supplier pre-qualification, pricing and availability, and reporting workflows are all shipping soon — 2020 is shaping up to be a massive year for Bid Ops.”
So we are delighted that the firm is flourishing and we’ll continue to watch with interest as it matures further. In the meantime take a look at this video about BidOps from our analyst Nick Heinzmann, and other short videos covering some of the other providers to watch out for.