Processing paper invoices and determining whether and how to pay them costs companies both time and money. The chance to cut these costs through automation is creating growing business demand for electronic invoice presentation and payment (EIPP) software. EIPP falls into two categories: accounts receivable (AR) solutions for sellers who want to get electronic invoices into the hands of buyers and accounts payable (AP) solutions for buyers who want to receive all invoices electronically. In a new report, Forrester Research (Nasdaq: FORR) uses its Forrester Wave™ methodology to evaluate the leading AP EIPP vendors. The results: The leading American vendors scored higher than most of their European counterparts.
“Demand for EIPP is growing because it delivers real cost savings and process efficiencies,” says Forrester Research Vice President Andrew Bartels. “Vendors are offering strategic functions such as cash management and payment management, which optimize cash flow for a user company and contribute immediate results to the bottom line.”
Forrester evaluated nine vendors against 74 criteria that were grouped into three high-level buckets: current offering, strategy, and market presence. A combination of vendor surveys and customer reference calls were used to assess strengths and weaknesses. Vendors were chosen because of their early momentum in the market, their innovation, and their ability to offer fluency in multiple languages and currencies.
- TradeCard (US) was the leader in strategy and one of the top vendors in current offering. However, its market presence lags behind older vendors.
- Xign (US) had the highest scores for current offering, with top marks for customer support, security, and accounts payable functions.
- Ariba’s (US) current offering is strong, particularly in architecture.
- BasWare (Finland) is No. 1 in market share and scored well in architecture and technology. Lower scores in security and advanced accounts payable functions — where its European clients are not as demanding as US clients — kept it from getting top marks.
- U.S. Bank PowerTrack (US), which is No. 2 in market share, received strong scores across the board. However, the company’s relatively old platform hurt its technology score.
- Burns (UK) received scores were close to average in most categories. It scored well on strategy thanks to product vision, go-to-market strategy, and R&D.
- Deskom (France) had an almost identical score to Burns on current offering but showed weakness in product vision and go-to-market strategy.
- b-process (France) seeks to be a low-cost, basic services provider, which shows in its scores. It performed well in both usability and pricing.
- Open Business Exchange (UK) has a fundamental philosophy difference from most of its competitors: It offers a no-frills solution focusing more on invoice delivery.
This is the fifth document in Forrester’s Electronic Invoice Presentation And Payment series, which includes an earlier Forrester Wave evaluation of the AR EIPP market.
“The Forrester Wave™: Accounts Payable EIPP Q3 2005,” is available to Forrester WholeView2™ clients at www.forrester.com.
The Forrester Wave Methodology
The Forrester Wave methodology is open, rigorous, and unbiased. Forrester starts with an open criteria review process, verifies findings against customer interviews, and checks facts with vendors. This research is performed without sponsorship to help user companies make better vendor selections. Forrester does not charge vendors in any way to participate in a Forrester Wave. All Forrester Waves include an interactive vendor comparison tool that provides detailed product evaluations and customizable rankings.