ESM Solutions' Blog
February 26, 2015
Registration is now open and the countdown to ESM Solutions’ annual user conference has begun! After rocking Philadelphia in September 2014, Explore will return this coming November 2nd - 4th in sunny Charleston, South Carolina.
Registration for attendees is now open on the Explore 2015 website at www.esmsolutions.com/esmexplore/attendee-registration/. For exhibitor and sponsor inquiries, visit the Explore website or contact email@example.com. To register, make a hotel reservation, and learn more about Explore 2015, visit www.esmsolutions.com/esmexplore.
We can’t wait to see you in Charleston!
February 5, 2015
A word from Dan Corazzi, CEO of ESM Solutions
I am very pleased to be able to say that when it comes to the utilization of our products, the sophistication of ESM Solutions’ customers has grown exponentially over the course of the last ten years.
During this period, we have seen a major increase in customers’ functionality requirements, as well as a significant increase in customer throughput, output, and the product inter-operability. At the same time, technology has been evolving at a breakneck pace and in many cases, outdating itself in years rather than over decades. These ongoing technology advances present unique opportunities and challenges for all SaaS-based software companies as we work to stay current with all of our customers’ growing needs.
To that end, the ESM Solutions product suite has evolved significantly in the past three years. In this short length of time, we have completed a re-write of our easyPurchase™solution, we have added a contracts module and an invoicing module to our suite of products; and, we have greatly expanded our various supplier offerings.
So, after reading this, you may want to ask the question – what is next? Well, the short answer is that we have begun development for a completely new sourcing solution. Many of you are currently utilizing our various sourcing tools: easyBid, easyQuote and easyProject. When using these tools, most of the customer focus has been on quantitative analysis; however, the world of procurement has drastically changed when it comes to RFXs. As a result, qualitative requirements and analysis are now a must-have for most customers. To seamlessly meet these requirements, when completed, our re-designed sourcing offering will have a completely new user interface, with all three current products incorporated into one “sourcing product.” In doing so, we will provide you with templates, supplier scoring, chat, questions and answers, and a social capability which will eventually allow you to share sourcing information across our entire customer base, if you so choose
With our agile product development methodology, we are able to achieve the “initial release” of products in shorter timeframes, with additional functionalities added in phased sprint releases over time. Because of this process, it is our expectation that the first release of our new sourcing solution will occur in the latter part of the second quarter of 2015. As a company, we are very excited to bring this new technology to our customers, because beyond just being state-of-the-art, it will allow for greater inter-operability across our entire product suite.
As always, we look forward to your input and feedback on our products.
January 19, 2015
ESM Solutions Announces a New Strategic Partnership with PunchOut2Go
What is a punchout
In the procure-to-pay world, a supplier’s best option for a contracted catalog is often a punchout. A punchout catalog can be maintained in real-time as a close replication of the supplier’s actual website – much different from the non-configurable product list that is a hosted catalog. Suppliers will often opt for a punchout catalog because they know it will be easy to manage and aesthetically pleasing for buyers. Benefits of a punchout catalog include the use of modern-day eCommerce functionalities such as related products, enhanced search and cross sells, which give users a desirable and familiar B2C experience.
The problem? Once registered with an eProcurement provider, many suppliers come to a roadblock if they do not have the technical capabilities to build a punchout catalog or to enable their site for punchout. Even if they do complete an in-house integration, their next customer may use a procurement system that requires completely different formats to achieve punchout. Luckily, PunchOut2Go has the solution to make B2B integrations easy, saving everyone time and money.
Why work together
As a leading eProcurement provider, ESM Solutions strives to find the best opportunities to improve the customer experience by collaborating with other innovative companies. For suppliers in need of a catalog, ESM Solutions’ partner PunchOut2Go has the technical expertise to build a punchout from start to finish. “ESM Solutions is excited to partner with PunchOut2Go,” said Tom Van Houten, VP of Business Development at ESM Solutions, “Our partnership will be cost-effective and will streamline the supplier on-boarding process for our customers.”
Suppliers can expect their punchouts to be completed in under 30 days, and sometimes in even less than a week. This is largely due to PunchOut2Go’s efficient manner of working closely with the supplier’s developers to simplify the process. Similarly, PunchOut2Go collaborates with the buyer’s procurement team and procurement system provider to run tests and ensure a smooth pre- and post-integration.
“Ultimately, this will streamline punchouts and integrations on ESM Solutions’ side.” said Brady Behrman, CEO of PunchOut2Go.
How they got here
About seven years ago, a mom-and-pop store in Richmond, Virginia needed a punchout catalog for their largest customer, the state of Virginia. They were told that without a punchout, they would lose the State’s business when the State switched to eProcurement.
At the time, there was no real solution for building a punchout. The mom-and-pop owners turned to PunchOut2Go’s current CEO and COO, Brady Behrman and Shawn McKnight, who were then working on web development and design. Nevertheless, the two web developers took on the project, and in about 6 months, they completed the integration. After realizing the need for a gateway solution, Behrman and McKnight spent years working towards this easier, adaptable solution. As a result, PunchOut2Go was launched in 2012. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, the company has seen remarkable growth with prominent suppliers in almost 30 countries benefiting from their services.
What makes them stand out
Since they chose not to use a cookie-cutter mold, PunchOut2Go can integrate to any platform. With plug-and-play modules for open-source eCommerce platforms such as Magento™, the customer can “totally control their punchout… We don’t control it,” said Behrman. Another benefit of this module is the ability to customize punchouts to match the look and feel of the supplier’s existing website. Beyond Magento, PunchOut2Go is a truly adaptable solution that can be integrated into any eCommerce platform through PunchOut2Go’s open API. Many eCommerce providers package and deliver PunchOut2Go’s integration solution as an additional offer for their customers. Suppliers also benefit from the ability to test, emulate and gain visibility through the PunchOut2Go portal and can capture data from the punchout movements to measure conversion rates and more.
While many providers only offer the service of building a punchout, PunchOut2Go exceeds the standard requirements. They provide education beyond the integration so that a supplier can understand the functionality of their punchout. Even more impressive is their ongoing effort to educate suppliers on customers’ expectations and preferences for punchout catalogs, providing the due diligence before engaging with the supplier’s customer or procurement integration team.
Where they’re going next
Beyond the new partnership with ESM Solutions, PunchOut2Go has plenty in store for the future as they continue to grow. When asked what is next for his company, Behrman stated they are working on “more turn-key solutions for different eCommerce platforms.” Other projects included improvements to PO and invoice capabilities, as well as document translation services, such as converting cXML to EDI and end-to-end B2B automation.
In the future, working with PunchOut2Go will save ESM Solutions and suppliers time and resources with a smooth process that allows for an easy integration and fast turn-around.
To learn more about the ESM Solutions/Punchout2Go partnership, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Our process follows that the supplier starts with ESM Solutions and receives a referral.
December 15, 2014
ESM Solutions is thrilled to team up with Visage Mobile to provide mobility management solutions for its customers. Mobility is a crucial aspect of any business and its importance is only growing. ESM Solutions will be joining the Visage Partner Network to gain the ability to aggregate and analyze disparate wireless spend and usage data- a challenge Visage readily handles.
“At Visage, our goal is to simplify and make manageable the growing complexity and expense of enterprise mobility programs. ESM Solutions’ proven excellence in providing spend management solutions dovetails perfectly with Visage’s suite of wireless expense management solutions,” said Steve Prince, Vice President of Operations at Visage Mobile.
Visage uses the power of data to solve the pressing and strategic challenges that companies face in managing corporate mobility. Visage’s software solutions deliver unprecedented data and reporting capabilities that give companies increased productivity, competitiveness, and both immediate and long-term wireless expense savings. By integrating enterprise data from third parties, such as MDM and T&E, Visage offers the most robust mobility management solution out there.
“ESM Solutions’ growing customer base continues to ask for additional solutions to address new areas of spend that are significantly impacting their organizations,” said Dan Corazzi, CEO of ESM Solutions, “ESM Solutions is extremely excited to partner with Visage, the leading provider of mobility management solutions, to impact this growing area of mobile spend.”
December 2, 2014
Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS) in Maryland, a top 25 public school system in the United States, has joined ESM Solutions to implement easyPurchase™. PGCPS has over 205 schools that make up its district across the county.
October 24, 2014
Western Washington University is putting the finishing touches on its goal to streamline procurement processes across campus by selecting ESM Solutions to implement its eProcurement Suite.
“We are extremely excited about this partnership between Western Washington University and ESM Solutions to bring the next generation of procurement tools to our campus,” said Brian Sullivan, Assistant Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs at Western.
The selection of ESM came after extended collaboration throughout the entire campus.
Wanna VanCuren, Western’s Director of Business and Financial Systems, is the project manager. Susan Banton will serve as functional analyst, and Pete Heilgeist, Director of Business Services, is the business owner for this implementation.
ESM Solutions’ eProcurement Suite will leverage sourcing, purchasing and contract management for the university. By implementing a faster, easier electronic procure-to-pay solution, Western will be able to:
- Connect to the buying community with suppliers using an online experience
- Save money, time and resources with contracted catalogs and pricing
- Improve organizational compliance and leverage of supplier catalogs
- Automate processes, eliminate errors, and speed up requisitions
- Automate workflows for seamless approval routing
- Connect with mobile devices for eProcurement on-the-go
- Integrate Banner System and ESM Solutions’ application suite to complete the entire procure-to-pay process in one intuitive interface
September 25, 2014
ESM Solutions hosted its inaugural user conference from September 15th to 17th. View the press release here.
September 15, 2014
ESM Explore 2014, a 3-day experience with ESM Solutions’ users and experts, will take place at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel. View the press release here.
August 28, 2014
theReporter™ brings new functionality to easyPurchase™, allowing users to author and edit their own reports and dashboards. View the press release here.
August 19, 2014
ESM Solutions welcomes the University of Southern Indiana (USI), a public university in Evansville, Indiana with over 10,000 students. USI will integrate easyPurchase with its financial system, Banner® by Ellucian™.