BravoSolution and Basware Form Global Partnership to Attack the Source-to-Pay Market

by Andrew Bartolini


After months of work at the executive levels within each company, BravoSolution and Basware yesterday announced the formation of a new global partnership that will be focused on jointly attacking the source-to-pay market. The official press release can be read here.


The combination of solutions and services that the two providers will now offer provides broad and comprehensive coverage of the source-to-pay process (with the exclusion of payment/settlement) and aligns with the increasingly popular desire of businesses to manage a seamless process that cuts across the sourcing, procurement, and accounts payable processes. Ardent Partners has tracked the development and evolution of both companies for many years and leadership teams from each side briefed our analysts earlier this week. What follows is our “Instant Analysis.”




The Partners:


BravoSolution, the largest independent solution provider (technically Bravo is a subsidiary of publicly traded Italian industrial conglomerate Italcementi) focused on the strategic sourcing marketplace (and a sponsor of this site) has a solution suite that includes the following:

•Spend analysis
•Contract management
•Supplier performance management
•Collaborative sourcing, including category specific sourcing solutions
•Beyond its strong suite of solutions, Bravo differentiates itself with its broad range of sourcing and strategic services


Basware, the largest independent solution provider (Basware (HEX:BAS1V) is a public company listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd.) focused on the procure-to-pay market (and client of Ardent Partners) has a solution suite that includes the following:


•Travel and Expense Management
•Procure-to-Pay analytics
•Basware also offers a range of transaction, enablement, and other associated services
•Beyond its core P2P solution suite, Basware differentiates itself with its Commerce Network, (one of the largest networks in the market) which supports electronic PO and invoice transactions and has adopted an ‘open’ approach to connections with other networks/partners


The Partnership:


According to the FAQ sent out in support of the announcement, the “joint proposition [of the partnership] focused on bringing together the Art of supply management with the Science of Purchase-to-Pay to deliver a Strategic source-to-pay platform;” which is to say that the strategic value that can be generated from the sourcing process (while working with Bravo) now has a fluid mechanism to capture and retain that value on the operational P2P side (while working with Basware).


The initial partnership will involve the joint pursuit of source-to-pay deals and the ability to cross-sell/up-sell into each others’ customer base. The partnership will also involve multiple integration points between the two solutions, to enable the sourcing and contract negotiations conducted via BravoSolution solutions to be carried over into Basware’s Contract and Catalog Management solution. The procure-to-pay process will then continue within the Basware solutions.


Partnership Analysis:


Ardent Partners’ research has shown that there are significant benefits to having a well-connected and linked source-to-pay process such as the ability to potentially reduce savings leakage, ensure compliance to negotiated contracts and gaining access to more accurate invoice data for spend analysis. This partnership aims to bring benefits such as these to its current customers and other enterprises in the market. The demand for full source-to-pay suites continues to grow as an increasing number of enterprises each year seek out a suite of solutions (versus one or two applications). The trend towards full suites has not accelerated as rapidly in the market as we might have predicted a few years ago, but it is a steady trend and one that will continue to advance in terms of deal percentages and in terms of overall approaches taken in the market (the trend towards suites of solutions is one that already extends to most major technology areas within the enterprise).


The distinct capabilities and specialties of each provider make them a good match and ultimately create a new global source-to-pay solution in the market. The set of solutions and services that the two companies provide independently are quite complimentary with Bravo focused on strategic sourcing and Basware focused on P2P and the network. Geographically, the companies are active in many of the same markets including the US, but in Europe, Basware’s strength is in the north while Bravo’s stronghold is in the south. There are also several other important synergies or similarities between the two companies that greatly increase the likelihood of partnership success including:

•Each company is the largest independent provider in its respective space
•Each company competes aggressively with the ERP and other suite providers in their arena
•Each company is headquartered in Europe and has a global presence with offices in many different countries
•Each company offers a blend of solutions and services to its customers
•Each company has within the past 18 months taken a renewed focus in the continued development and improvement of its solutions.


The partnership is not exclusive nor is it assured of success, so it will be important for the the two companies to work deliberately to ensure that the partnership maintains momentum at the corporate level and that it gains traction within each region or business unit within the respective partners. The companies highlighted Finnair as one early example of a partnership success and the company’s VP of Procurement Jari Huhtinenis was quoted in the partnership announcement as saying that “Finnair is pleased to confirm that it is implementing BravoSolution’s strategic sourcing solution to form an integrated Source-to-Pay solution based on the announced global partnership between Basware and BravoSolution.” Bravo also noted that there are approximately ten other companies who are currently working on a joint deployment of the solutions and that he cross-sell pipeline is growing fast. Beyond additional customer announcements and new joint wins of source-to-pay suite deals, other indications of success will include tighter integrations between the two solution sets and a linkage between Bravo’s sourcing, spend analysis, and supplier solutions and the Basware Commerce Network. We will be watching for these and other indications. For now, enterprises in the market for a new source-to-pay solution suite would be wise to investigate this partnership.


Vishal Patel contributed to this article


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