Basware (one of the most capable invoice automation/electronic invoice presentment payment software providers in the market) recently announced it was entering the AP outsourcing market with a new BPO offering of its own. This marks an important shift for the vendor, which has expanded into the broader P2P applications market. The announcement also creates competition for BPO firms that might be considered for similar types of transactions where companies want to hand over the tactical components of the AP equation. According to the news, Basware has launched its new InvoiceOut solution, “a process outsourcing service designed to fully automate key aspects of the Accounts Payable (AP) function.” The offering combines “process expertise” with Basware’s software capability, focusing on automation rather than labor cost arbitrage.
Specifically, the solution brings together three key elements: “access to resources that can be scaled up and down based upon business need, best practice process expertise and a flexible, [and] on demand technology infrastructure.” As a component of the resources Basware can deliver, for example, InvoiceOut includes “daily invoice related tasks such as dispute management to handle any discrepancies with the invoice as well as supplier engagement to ensure disputes are resolved quickly.” The solution relies on both Basware’s invoice automation technology as well as the Basware Open network, a supplier network that currently counts over 300,000 actively transacting buyers and suppliers.
I had the chance to trade notes with Robert Cohen, Basware’s VP for North America, asking him a number of specific questions around the launch. My first question to him was whether the services component of the outsourcing offering will primarily be delivered onshore or off. He suggested, “the services will be a combination of both. There will be local services (in local language, local time zone) in the form of a Service Manager/Account Manager and help desk. Scan & capture services are local or regional while the data validation and other manual tasks are offshored to India.”
Stay tuned as our discussion with Basware regarding their new AP outsourcing offering continues.