Following is the second blog in a series based on a discussion between Bob Cohen, Basware VP North America, and Andrew Bartolini, Chief Research Officer, Ardent Partners and author of the recently published study e-Payables 2014: The Quest. During their conversation, a range of purchase-to-pay trends were discussed, such as e-invoicing, e-payments and business commerce networks. This blog focuses on leveraging social, mobile and the cloud.
Bob Cohen: What is motivating AP departments to embrace the cloud?
Andrew Bartolini: When organizations were originally thinking about e-commerce in the B2B Internet boom of the late 1990’s/early 2000’s they were looking at solutions that had to be implemented behind their firewall, on their own servers. These implementations were costly and quite lengthy. Today, cloud solutions are generally much faster to deploy than installed solutions and they bypass the need for IT hardware, infrastructure and support investments. Additionally, the subscription, or pay-as-you-go model, is attractive to many companies. As a result, cloud has taken over the world of enterprise technology and has become for many organizations, a default decision. For these reasons, companies with an installed or legacy system mindset should be considering cloud options when they’re looking for the next best-in-class solutions.
Bob Cohen: How are social capabilities being incorporated in AP operations?
Andrew Bartolini: Social is starting to change the way that organizations collaborate and communicate. Social business capabilities are lagging behind the consumer side, but there are huge opportunities to change that dynamic. We've started to see enterprise software companies infuse their own solutions with capabilities that make their users' communications more effective and timely by simply moving these conversations to the places that provide better visibility into the information that's being discussed. For example, discussions about the status of invoices are much more effective when they are taking place within business commerce networks that contain the data on these invoices. This allows companies and their suppliers to view and refer to specific invoice information in their conversations.
Bob Cohen: What impact is mobile having on AP?
Andrew Bartolini: Mobility is on the cusp of being the big driver to re-shape B2B e-commerce. When IT organizations at large enterprises detach more fully from desktops and laptops and move to smart devices, this mobility will have large, lasting impact on B2B e-commerce. However, it has been challenging for B2B commerce providers to create complex and usable solutions. For example, when they move e-procurement and e-invoicing systems from laptops to smart devices like an iPad, they have to really simplify how the systems work and what information is presented to the users. As these capabilities are offered on mobile devices, they will drive a huge adoption of, and usage of e-procurement and e-invoicing systems within the enterprise.
To download the complete Ardent Partners’ report, e-Payables 2014: The Quest, click here »