iValua: Proving Their Mettle with Source to Settle, Part IV
In Parts I through III, we noted that when we last covered iValua in 2010, they were one of the few providers tackling end-to-end sourcing and procurement in a single suite of integrated modules built on one common platform. We noted in Tackling End-to-End Sourcing and Procurement, Part I that this French company had capabilities that, at least to some degree, addressed each of the core phases of the basic sourcing-and-procurement cycle except decision optimization and tax reclamation. Since then, they have added advanced tax tracking capability, and a boatload of other features that include SIM/SPM, Risk Management, Project Management, Enhanced Analytics, and Extensive UI customization. Today, we will continue our coverage of the platform, which includes modules for Supplier Management, Sourcing, Contract Management, Catalog Management Procurement, Invoice Management, Expense Management, and Reporting that were covered in Parts I through III; and Administration that will be covered today as we wrap up the series.
Administration is very extensive in the iValua platform. Administrative users can manage users, tables, workflows, reporting indicators, units of measure, currency, alerts, menu options, content, templates (for RFX and Auctions), import, scheduled processes, notifications, (re)assignments, and information sources (as the platform can pull in RSS and XML feeds from various web sources for display on the dashboard).
The ability to define arbitrary data tables and import the data for analysis into the system is quite powerful. It makes the built-in analytics capability much more useful as the data can be augmented and enriched to also include data from the payment platform, third party supplier assessments, and optimization events conducted external to the iValua system. A classic limitation of many Sourcing and Procurement systems was the inability to import arbitrary data not accounted for in the existing schema. The iValua platform took a best practice from leading spend analysis platforms and made sure a user could import whatever data she needed anywhere in the supported source-to-settle process. The ETL screen is comparable to an advanced version of Microsoft Excel import (familiar to every Microsoft Office User) that allows the user to define the first line index and last import row, column and line separators, text qualifiers, encodings, and field template (that defines the fields and their names). The user can also define how long the data should be kept (and throw-away one-time analysis data or archive payment data indefinitely), who can see it, and what modules, plans, or anomalies the data should be associated with.
Design Mode is a new capability in the iValua platform that allows a user to dynamically redesign the layout of their menus, screens, and dashboard widgets. Each user can customize the look and feel of the application in a way that makes them most productive using simple drag-and-drop and checklist-based / mouse-click component and option selection. It is quite slick. It also allows iValua to customize a configuration for a new client extremely rapidly based upon the particular needs of the different users of the application.
In summary, the iValua is a very extensive Source-To-Settle platform and an extremely viable option for a mid-size or large organization that is looking to update their sourcing and procurement capabilities in an integrated end-to-end source to settle platform. It is especially suited to a multi-national that has to operate in a significant number of countries and languages as iValua, which already supports 15 different languages, is used daily by more than 150K users and 500K suppliers in over 70 countries.