Overall Satisfaction with GEP SMART
SMART by GEP (S2C) is used by all procurement professionals at my company in order to facilitate sourcing events, and author/store contracts once executed. This resolves visibility issues we have as we don't have a single instance of backend systems such as P2P or ERP so having a single instance of S2C helps to search for sourcing events and fully executed procurement contracts across all locations.
- SMART is flexible and scalable.
- The account team is there to listen client concerns and business needs.
- The engineering team is willing to share their concepts in development and vet with their clients prior to production release. They value client feedback.
- GEP has a lot of progressive thinkers and is willing to invest in new technology trends such as AI, Machine Learning, digital adoption, etc.
- SMART tends to be too client-focused. This can be a strength while too client-focused approach would not work well as GEP is gaining diverse clients from different verticals. Some functionality was developed for a specific client and it was pushed to production for general clients to use. At the time, SMART was missing some basic functionality and the engineering team was too busy to react to specific enhancement requests from a small pool of clients that it didn't have time to work on basic functionality.
- Generally speaking, SMART is easy to use, but it needs to improve its UI. Some icons are hard to see (web accessibility issues) and not logically placed. Their placement of icons or action menus is not intuitive and will need to be enhanced. I expect GEP to hire professional UX/UI experts to revamp their UX similar to more prevalent apps out there as many users are used to performing certain actions in an app in a certain way. For example, in terms of search functionality, many users are used to how Google search results were displayed and returned. I understand that searching is not GEP's core competency, but users are expecting search functionality to behave like Google search as that is what they are used to. Highly recommend GEP to leverage best practices, market trends, end-user behavioral analysis, etc. when developing logic for functionality.
- SMART user guides and release notes will have to be revamped. Oftentimes, their user guides and release notes are not available, or poorly put together with typos. This is an area GEP will have to invest in and bring a technical writer to develop step by step user guides and release notes (before and after screenshots would be much appreciated) to help those who manage SMART so administrators have a clear understanding of logic and how-to prior to new functionality introduction.
We only have the source to contract (S2C) portion of SMART. I would like S2C to be more integrated as different modules are still owned by different groups and I see that many inconsistencies.
- It helps users to better project manage their sourcing events and contract negotiations.
- Gained visibility across different locations is definitely a positive thing.
Based on my experience, even though there are areas of improvement, GEP SMART usability is much better than other similar applications currently available. Also, GEP's willingness to work with their clients is definitely a plus.
It took us 6 months to go live from the formal project kick-off. Although SMART is a SaaS-based plug and play application, University of California being a public higher education, there were additional compliance-related matters that need to be vetted and with UC's partnership to roll out SMART to its sister university system, California State University, made the implementation more complex and difficult. Otherwise, the implementation timeline would have been much shorter.
I am not sure if GEP has perfected its API integration process. For example, we had to have GEP build an integration to a legacy P2P system, and the connection between two systems tends to break frequently and we have to constantly work with GEP to fix the issue. Also, we looked at an opportunity to integrate AdobeSign as a way to electronically sign contracts. That integration, per GEP, should have been an easy integration, didn't go too well and our governance board voted not to move forward. It was missing key AdobeSign functionality. Since then, GEP built native integrations for AdobeSign and DocuSign. We are hoping to review those options in near future.
Overall SMART performance is ok, but our users frequently experience delayed page load, reports take a while to complete or fail to complete. This issue is getting worse as we are all working remotely. It would be helpful for GEP to enhance the performance for fast response time.
- JAGGAER (formerly SciQuest), SAP Ariba Procurement and Corcentric Source-to-Pay Platform (Determine / Selectica)
We have competitively bid to select GEP and based on the evaluation criteria and pricing proposed, we felt that GEP had the most potential and willingness to work with us. In terms of functionality, I personally think Ariba and Jaggaer have more mature products, but many of those functionalities are considered as bells and whistles which we will not use while we have to pay for them. Hence, GEP was definitely had the best value during the selection process.
Do you think GEP SMART delivers good value for the price?
Are you happy with GEP SMART's feature set?
Did GEP SMART live up to sales and marketing promises?
Did implementation of GEP SMART go as expected?
Would you buy GEP SMART again?
Please see my comments entered in Pros and Cons.
GEP SMART Support
Problems get solved
Quick Initial Response
Difficult to get immediate help
Need to explain problems multiple times
No. We have internal resources providing the first line of support. They will be escalating to GEP Support, and it's been working well for us. So, it is not necessary for us to purchase premium support.
Yes - Typically, a bug was reported, GEP can address it relatively quickly, but at times, they have to send to the Engineering to resolve it. That will take a few days to a few weeks.
Their Customer Success team is great to work with. The Account Manager (Michelle Bramski), and the Technical Account Manager (Satish Parmar) are extremely good to work with and very very knowledgeable.
Overall, I am satisfied with GEP Support.
Using GEP SMART
300 - We have about 300 power license users that are procurement professionals. We also have 200,000 with business user licenses to view contracts.
4 - We have two business system analysts supporting the help desk, one product manager, and one associate director to oversee the program.
- Publish RFx for competitive bidding
- Contract repository for document retention and central contract storage
- Analytical reporting and dashboards
- Leverage vision dashboards for better workload management and Visual representation of total contracts under management
- Rolling out the e-auction functionality to users.
At this time, GEP SMART is at the steady phase, and processes are mapped. Hence, not renewing would impose additional burden for the organization.
Evaluating GEP SMART and Competitors
Yes - We had a sourcing technology that didn't fit for higher education, and the contract module was only used as a repository.
- Product Usability
We have uses quality 75% and pricing 25% (Best Value methodology) in our evaluation criteria.
We will likely to use the same selection process, but with additional emphasis on user experience and how easy it is to integrate with other existing systems.
GEP SMART Implementation
Although we had encountered many bugs, GEP was able to address them quickly, and sent a technical person to sit in our hands-on training sessions to address bugs efficiently.
- Implemented in-house
Change management was a major issue with the implementation - It would have been better if we approached it in a phased manner instead of the big bang approach. Once the production site was ready to go, we had to visit our locations to do hands-on training, and continue to do refresher training semi-annually. The semi-annual refresher training is on hold and delivered virtually in a smaller scale amid the pandemic.
- Bugs - we recorded closer to 500 bugs as we were the first client to be on 2.0
- Inconsistent UI between modules. It is still an issue for us.
Using GEP SMART
Like to use
Easy to use
Technical support not required
Feel confident using
Not well integrated
- Guidelines in RFx
- Loading of pre-signed contracts
- Discussion forum in RFx
- Integration with Office 365 in Contracts
- Gaps as GEP transitioned from Microstrategy to Insights & Vision
Yes, but I don't use it