Spend Management Competition Rises

By Beth Cox

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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, Calif.

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.