Vizibl is a supplier collaboration platform. It brings together organisations with their strategic and important suppliers. There are two parts to Vizibl, a supplier relationship management (SRM) system essentially for those customers to manage their suppliers. The SRM enriches its information by pulling in spend data, performance data, projects, management data, and innovation data. Unlike CRM systems, both parties have access to the system.
The second part helps procurement teams to oversee supplier projects. These may be innovation projects, change resilience projects, sustainability projects. The solution coordinates the visibility of all that communication and project work between the organisation and its suppliers. It also provides transparency between the organisation and its suppliers in terms of all the joint activities they undertake.
Enterprise Times spoke to Nick Pike, Chief Revenue Officer at Vizibl and Darragh Toolan, VP marketing at Vizibl. Enterprise Times asked Pike whether their project solution is a full project management solution.
Vizibl, the software
So is it a project management system?
Pike replied: “We’re not trying to be a full PPM system or project management system. We are providing an overview and an update status of where exactly you are in a particular project flow. We’ll pick up from an opportunity or an idea in a similar way to an innovation management tool. Then we propagate that into a project you are running with that particular supplier. It provides team and management visibility as you move through the various stages of that project, gated to control the visibility of the process as you go.
“Vodafone for example, have all of their new projects, by default entered into Vizibl by the supplier in question. It is then be tracked through the full process typically from initiation to completion in the Vizibl platform. We providing visibility of the projects’ and the next actions are simply to move that to the subsequent step. It is like a Kanban board with governance.”
How does Vizibl fit into the enterprise software architecture?
“We take data from systems like Ariba or the ERP systems. Most of our customers would have a selection of ERPs. They have typically one procure to pay system, something like an Ariba or Coupa. Often they will also have a strategic sourcing solution, Jaggaer or they may use Ariba. They may have a risk management solution again either inside Ariba or RiskMethods, and they may have a spend analytics solutions like Sievo. We’re taking data feeds from all of those different platforms and putting them instantly into one relationship management portal. We can also take a feed out of project management systems. We’ll do that with a CSV file import rather than having a point to point integration into a Monday.com.”
Vizibl targets the Global 2000 and just below with a focus on large complex enterprise. SAP is fairly prevalent across those, and Vizibl has an open and declarative API to integrate with some solutions. It also supports a flat-file integration. Pike believes that in time Vizibl will need to integrate to Oracle, Infor and Microsoft. As yet Vizibl has not been asked to integrate to Workday. Pike expects being asked for a Workday implementation soon.
What is next on the roadmap?
“A focus on an iPaas solution which will continue to increase the speed we can onboard data. We are typically involved with our clients, onboarding their data into the system. We want our clients to do that themselves without our involvement. Therefore, we are currently evaluating the use of a white label solution. We will launch a rapid deployment capability as part of a new product we’re bringing out shortly around resilience issues that we see in the market.
“Secondly, we’re thinking in terms of the visualisation of that data, making additional persona-based use cases and adding flexibility in terms of dashboarding and display.
“Thirdly, adding intelligence to that data. We have a small amount of AI capability that we apply to scraped information on particular suppliers. We will scrape about 200 sources and bring that into the system. It gives the supplier manager updated information on what’s going on within the public sphere about their suppliers. Then we will add basic intelligence on top of the data we gather.”
Vizibl, the company
What is the state of the nation at Vizibl?
“We are Series A funded and raised about £3 million last year, led by Seneca. We are just over 30 people of which, maybe, half of those we added in the last year. It means we are very much at the series A rapid growth part. We have a small number of lead customers in the telecommunications, pharmaceutical, FMCG and banking sectors. The public ones are companies like Vodafone and Astellas on the pharmaceutical side. We’re not disclosing revenue at this point. We have physical offices in London and Luxembourg and a virtual presence in New York City.”
What are your routes to market?
“Generally direct. We’ve done some work with Accenture, particularly around Vodafone. We have a joint go to market with Accenture in place and a small and mid-sized consultancy called h&z out of Germany. We’ll be looking to add two or three more SIs over the coming year. We’re not looking to have a significant indirect channel at this point. We will look to establish a compelling and extended base of customers, and then we look for further channel expansion in 2021 and beyond.”
What is your messaging?
Toolan commented: “The big push from our perspective this year is very much about that evolution of procurement as a function as a whole. A lot of systems, even SourceDay, are super focused on collaborating around some of the contract or tactical behaviour. We very much believe that the future of procurement is moving much more into the strategic role within the organisation. One where they are the controllers of the external assets from a supplier perspective enabling innovation from those supplier ecosystems to drive back into the organisation.
“Our fundamental belief as an organisation is that procurement will sit at the centre of that. It will move from a function that’s hyper-focused on cost savings, to becoming facilitators of innovation within the organisation. It’s one that’s very much aligned with top-level business objectives from a growth point of view as well. To enable that you need to collaborate with that external ecosystem.”
On the future
What are you looking to achieve in the next six to 12 months?
“We now have a sales and marketing team of about ten people. Our focus is heavily upon new customer acquisition and growth in our core markets across FMCG, pharma, telco and banking. We’re targeting between two and three x growth over the coming year. For us, COVID is a double-edged sword. One, it shines a very bright light on the supply chain and has the benefit of making the area that we enable more “of the moment”. At the same time, it is slowing down all of our customers and our prospects, their decision making processes in terms of strategic projects they’re working on.”
Do you have any plans for acquisitions?
“We expect to mainly grow from organic growth and building out our proposition rather than acquiring.”
What about a Series B fundraising
“The expectation is that we would link our next round of fundraising to more significant international expansion in 2021. The climate is interesting at the moment. It may be that the benefit and the light shone on supply chain accelerates a lot of our growth. So we may bring that forward, or it may go back a bit.”
What are your business challenges
“Largely around growth. How do we grow the business at the pace that we think is some possible given the current backdrop? Our customer base is typically fairly slow-moving and historically has taken time to make decisions. How do we accelerate that decision making processes, and prove value, in the short term and against longer-term strategic objective?”
What are your personal challenges?
“The biggest one has been shifting to remote working and remote-based engagement with our clients. How do we build relationships? How do we build trust without having the capability to be in front of those clients? We’re a young vendor, and we have some great ideas and some great product. But at the same time, we appreciate that we’ve got to make our customers and prospects feel confident to move forward. That’s leading to us making the product faster to adopt and release versions of the product which are a subset of our capability. So we can move towards a land and expand model.”
Do you have a tip for remote working you can share?
“We are doing activities together even if they’re remote. At the moment we have a 100k in May. About half the organisation is walking daily and updating each other through apps like Strava on their activity. We are getting the engagement that would normally happen by being together physically, by collaborating on activities physically over the virtual channels.”
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Vizibl is another interesting company in the Procure-Tech space. Like many scaleup organisations, it seems to have the right product at the right time. The challenge will be to ensure that it is the solution of choice for large enterprises before the bigger vendors replicate the technology solution they have.
Where Vizibl is being sensible is in its approach to fitting into a hybrid model. It cannot develop everything that procurement teams and large enterprises need.
However, by integrating with the solutions they commonly use, it should grow its revenues. Even if it does, it may still be an acquisition target for one of the larger vendors looking to expand its capabilities.