Spend Management Competition Rises

E-business software and services company FreeMarkets, continuing to make rival
Ariba work hard for its money, launched a new spend management solution that
combines analysis with data collection, cleansing and enhancement services.

The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based company said the new ASP
product is called the FreeMarkets Spend Visibility Solution. It was
engineered to provide client companies with a view of their global spending
and let them design, execute and measure the effectiveness of spend
management strategies.

The move creates even more competition for Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Ariba , which last February launched its Spend Management Suite,
an integrated solution for analysis, sourcing and procurement.

Ariba also faces competition from Mountain View, Calif.-based e-procurement
software maker Market Mile, which recently
acquired spend analysis solutions firm Aentropy
, based in Menlo Park,

Spend data is often spread across multiple systems that are neither connected
nor integrated, with many different users entering information in an
unsystematic, non-standardized manner – hence the market for applications in
this area.

FreeMarkets said its Spend Visibility Solution allows companies to gain a
consolidated view of their global spending and perform actionable analyses in
a repeatable, cost-effective manner.

Features include the ability to standardize and validate spend data
regardless of the source; segment, scrub and store this data in a central
location; analyze it to enhance processes, structure and execute spend
management strategies; and measure their effectiveness.

The hosted solution updates and re-cleanses spend data to maintain a
consistently clear and accurate view of information and generates a variety
of reports and analysis to support spend decisions and strategies, the
company said.