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A Customer-Centric Mindset: Ivalua NOW Recap

Anna Barnett19 Apr 2017      

PayStream Advisors was recently invited to attend Ivalua NOW, a small technology conference held in NYC. The conference was put on by Ivalua, a global Source-to-Settle (S2S) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) solution provider that has been a PayStream partner for the past couple of years. Although the company reports 500,000 users in over 70 countries, the conference was relatively small with less than 500 attendees. This is partially explained by the fact that the company was founded in France, and its presence is stronger in Europe and other regions than in North America. However, though the event was small, it was also personal, and after speaking with several Ivalua customers, we found this personal approach is something that the company takes very seriously.

In our past analysis of Ivalua’s software, including in our recent P2P Navigator report, we have found that it offers a holistic, well-rounded product suite, intuitive and accessible features, and extensive global capabilities and support. At Ivalua NOW, we discovered the software provider also has a strong focus on customer care that transcends their solution functionalities. This was apparent not only in their messaging, but in client conversations—Ivalua’s customers consistently reported Ivalua’s willingness to work with them to make the product and services fit with their needs.

Ivalua’s solution already offers extensive global capabilities and industry-specific features, both of which have pleased several of their large international customers, including Whirlpool. In fact, the company consistently tailors its services to large companies with global business requirements, and its product supports processes for internationals working in Latin America and Europe. Apart from these global capabilities, the solution’s configurability was the attribute attendees praised most often. It is not just in the way Ivalua configures individual features—the software provider has created several new tools for many of their clients, including a vendor management tool for Whirlpool. Often, these custom-made tools are added to Ivalua’s product suite for the benefit of other customers.

This ability and willingness to create customer software is not particularly unique to Ivalua. Many solution providers will create tools for their customers, often rebranding and moving the tool to their main product suite over time. However, the extent to which Ivalua has done this is impressive, as is the level of satisfaction that seems to dwell among its customer base. The ease and rapidity in which they create or reconfigure tools, according to customer accounts, also speaks to the strength of their system architecture and core code.

Another place in which Ivalua’s user focus shone was in their product roadmap. User conferences are often the chance for software companies to showcase new and exciting features they are rolling out in the coming year. Ivalua is including many of the development goals that we’ve recently seen from other innovative P2P and S2S providers—they are expanding their analytics tools, they are increasing the use of AI and machine learning technology in their software, and they are expanding their direct spend management capabilities. However, rather than just adding features to their software suite, it appears that this year Ivalua is also putting a large focus on strengthening their existing product set and enhancing customer experience. They are improving existing offerings and the user interface,  and they are holistically implementing features that were created specifically for certain customers, or were deemed necessary after extensive customer surveys. When compared to some of the other development projects often announced at user events—such as a plan to transform a procurement solution into “an innovative, next-generation, customer-centric eCommerce platform”—this focus on customer experience and improving ease of use is refreshing.

Ivalua now
Photo credit: Ivalua
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