Tonkean Named In Gartner’s 2023 Hype Cycle for Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Report
August 22, 2023
July 28, 2023
The future of procurement technology is taking shape in real time, and according to Gartner, Tonkean is a key part of it.
Gartner included Tonkean in the 2023 Procurement & Sourcing Solutions Hype Cycle report, in which analysts assess the relative maturity and potential of emerging sourcing and procurement technologies. The 2023 report focuses on recent technical innovations, including AI, supplier collaboration, advancements in procure-to-pay suites, and intake management (which is where Tonkean was included).
Intake management is on the rise, Gartner says, with mainstream adoption predicted to mature within 2-5 years, according to their “hype cycle” matrix. (See above image.)
Innovative organizations that embrace intake management solutions now are getting in at the right time.
Here’s why that is.
Intake management, process experience, and the future of procurement and sourcing
Intake is an area ripe for innovation because in most organizations, intake is a bit of a mess. Requests come from a variety of sources. Many employees submitting those requests aren’t familiar with the standard procurement procedures. Manually triaging those requests slows down and even disrupts procurement operations, increasing risk and vulnerability and fomenting rogue spending.
Procurement teams want simplicity. Everyone else does, too. Organizations need a single point of engagement (that doesn’t require user training) so users can easily ask for what they need. Their requests should be automatically triaged and routed to a resolution (or to a human who can step in), and procurement teams should have tracking and reporting capabilities. And they should be able to provide stakeholder self-service that hews to procurement policies.
That’s where process experience and intake solutions like Tonkean come into play.
Gartner’s report discusses the drivers for intake management. It speaks to the need for procurement teams to better manage their workload and project pipeline, and it reiterates the need for that single request point.
The report also states that some procurement leaders are looking towards intake management as a simpler and less expensive way to automate buying workflows.
In our experience, however, all this matters for reasons that transcend efficiency. Improving intake such that it’s both less expensive and more efficient for procurement, and more enjoyable for everybody else, is a matter of orchestrating business value—a big priority for leading CPOs and procurement teams.
These are all boxes intake management and process experience platforms like Tonkean confidently check.
The role of AI in procurement
Tonkean’s AI Front Door, for example, is designed to solve all these challenges. It’s a single request point that any requester can go to. The interface is incredibly simple—it’s a web portal that looks like a search bar—so requesters can ask for what they need using plain language. Or if they choose, requesters can interact with the AI Front Door from the apps they already use regularly, like Slack, Teams, or email.
And that’s just the start.
The Front Door monitors applications and data sources to predict requests based on historical patterns and can preemptively reach out to users with suggested next actions.
Because it’s powered by GPT, the AI Front Door “understands” the context of the requests to better serve up a resolution. Your procurement team can set customized response patterns depending on whatever processes, requirements, and policies you have.
You can give requesters AI-guided workflows that can open tickets, launch processes, and bring the right people into the loop. The automations can come from virtually any existing platforms in your tech stack. That’s because Tonkean wraps around your existing apps and systems, so you don’t have to rip anything out.
Finally, everything is tracked in a dashboard, so stakeholders can see the status of each request, and auditability is baked in. Simple requests can be resolved almost instantly, and for more complex requests that require a human, Tonkean can launch cross-platform orchestration sequences.
The potential of procurement orchestration
Intake management also plays a crucial role in procurement orchestration.
Dr. Elouise Epstein recently created a spider map of the current procurement tech stack. It’s clear how many tools are emerging to improve every aspect of procurement—starting with intake—and how many of them involve automation and intelligence.
In the center is a cluster of process orchestration tools, including Tonkean. That Dr. Epstein places these process orchestration tools in the UX category is no mistake. Process orchestration helps operations teams better execute, monitor, and manage entire business processes across teams and existing systems. A critical component of process orchestration is intake, triage, and coordination. And intake is very much a UX concern.
It’s more important than ever for procurement teams to be able to execute on their mission quickly and accurately, while ensuring high process adoption from requesters. Tools like Tonkean, along with the other solutions Gartner points to in the Hype Cycle report, can be viewed as reliable partners in that effort.
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