SAP to Acquire Fieldglass for Contingent Workforce Management

SAP has announced its intent to acquire Fieldglass, a provider of procuring and managing contingent labor and services. Fieldglass' cloud-based vendor management system (VMS) allows organizations to better procure and manage their flexible and temporary workforces, including contingent labor and services managed through statements of work (SOWs), such as project-based spend, offshore engagements, and independent contractors.
Contingent labor and SOW services is a US$3.3 trillion, high-growth market according to some estimates. There is growing demand among employers to manage flexible workforces that can be quickly engaged and on-boarded to support rapidly changing business and customer needs.
Contingent workforce is a large, and yet for the most part poorly managed, category of spend, as current technologies don’t adequately address the problem. Combined with the collaborative, network-based procurement and sourcing capabilities of Ariba and the human capital management (HCM) expertise of SuccessFactors, the acquisition should position SAP to deliver a platform for businesses to manage their entire workforce—both temporary and permanent staff—from recruitment through retirement.
At the recently held Ariba LIVE 2014 conference, there were hints about impending integration between Ariba and SuccessFactors to handle the growing service contract workforce. Fieldglass should fit in well in this mix, while SAP's innovations in cloud, in-memory, and mobile technology are poised to transform workforce management (WFM). IBM and Kronos, who already have similar capabilities, should be on alert, while SciQuest, Zycus, and other Ariba spend management competitors might look at acquiring Fieldglass VMS competitors such as IQNavigator or Beeline.
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