Initial Questions Regarding Spend Matters SolutionMap

Posted on April 11, 2017


Spend Matters released its first SolutionMap, an essential tool for procurement executives and their teams to assess and understand vendor capability on an ongoing basis. – Press Release, April 10th, 2017

I received an e-mail from Azul Partners VP of Marketing Carina Kuhl in which she shared news regarding Spend Matters’ release of its first SolutionMap.

Describing it has being a “Groundbreaking Persona-Based Comparative Vendor Analyses of Procurement Technologies,” I must admit that her e-mail peaked my interest. Part of the reason for my interest is the fact that other than the occasional “rankling” of Jason’s sensibilities, in which he has questioned everything from my functioning gray matter to admonishing me for going against the harmonious flow of the procurement blogosphere,  I have been predominantly persona non grata. Who knows, maybe my name was accidently added to the list 😉

Regardless, it would be rude of me to ignore Carina’s overture, especially if she gets fired for sending it to me.

After reviewing the material that was included in the e-mail, some questions immediately came to mind. Here they are in no particular order:

1. How is the SolutionMap different from say a Magic Quadrant?

2. Reference is made to “rankings (that) are based equally on demonstrated technology/solution capability as well as on customer input.” I realize that “customers” respond to certain “questions,” but how do you identify and engage the customers who participate in this exchange? In other words, how do you source or solicit these customers?

3.  Reference is made to an interpretation of the rankings. What is the basis of this “interpretation?” For example, is an algorithm utilized to weight the responses?

4. How large is the customer pool upon which the “interpretation” is based?

5. Finally, let’s consider the following disclaimer; “Spend Matters does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in SolutionMap and does not advise users to select only those with the highest ratings or other designation.” How do you believe that objectivity can be maintained when some of the companies that are referenced in the SolutionMap are also sponsors of the Spend Matters blog?

There are of course several other questions that I have, but the ones above represent a good start.

Back to you Carina.