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NIGP Consulting


Enhancing Efficiency and Transparency in the Public Sector: How Periscope’s Valuable Solutions Deliver Proven Results

A recent report was published by a global consulting firm regarding how governments are making positive strides in better managing the various challenges met in the public sector and in enhancing transparency to gain public trust, despite heavy debt loads and budget constraints. The analysis indicates that governments are able to achieve these objectives and successfully do more with less by adopting such practices including increasing their use of accessible data, connecting with citizens for valuable input and feedback, advancing their knowledge base, and working with other sectors to improve procurement processes. This approach focuses on the four aforementioned concepts and encourages public sector leaders to think more logically and leave behind legacy processes that are no longer effective. Periscope Holdings applauds the report and is a firm believer in these practices, offering essential procurement solutions and services that are designed for the public sector and align perfectly with the highlighted recommendations.

Increasing Use of Data and Analytics

Data tracking and analysis capabilities facilitate informed decision making and lead to more accurate results in measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of operations. The report recommends gathering detailed performance statistics, applying benchmarking techniques, and using relevant data to promote government initiatives. Periscope’s e-procurement solution BuySpeed incorporates key procurement performance metrics and best practices from our clients to further develop our industry-leading suite of management dashboards and reports powered by BuySpeed’s Business Intelligence (BI) module. The State of Arizona implemented the BI framework to monitor performance and track spend and has since experienced a 26% reduction in costs toward various commodities and services. Further, the company works with state and local government entities to aid in master data cleanup for a more standardized format, rationalized inventory, and visibility of spend, and to deliver benchmarking analysis through its NIGP Consulting Program. The team is currently working with the State of Arkansas to conduct a material master data cleanse, which is expected to improve reporting capabilities, reduce inventory and carrying costs, increase vendor participation, and provide a highly structured, industry-standard classification system.

Connecting with Citizens for Input and Feedback

The movement toward citizen involvement is growing, and more governments are relying on the public for input on the design and development of services, in order to not only better meet their expectations but also to transfer some level of accountability. Additionally, they are improving productivity and further encouraging citizen participation by boosting transparency of data through technology. BuySpeed Sourcing and eProcurement software transforms the public procurement and competitive solicitation process by providing a one-stop-shop for viewing bids, solicitations, vendor responses, contracts, and more. BuySpeed’s vendor management functionality empowers private enterprises and ensures that primary suppliers of products and services to our state and local governments are sharing the administrative load associated with a fair and competitive procurement process. Further, this capability allows vendors to easily register for free, download bid notices and respond to bids online. The City of Baltimore more than tripled its vendor registrations, from 3,000 to nearly 10,000, after a successful launch of BuySpeed in 2007.

Advancing the Knowledge Base

This report points out that gathering well-trained employees who are driven by a purpose is absolutely essential in the strategic success of public sector programs. Procurement staff assessment, including the areas of knowledge, skills, experience, and workload management, is a primary component of many of the procurement reviews designed by Periscope’s NIGP Consulting services. Additionally through the efforts of the NIGP Consulting Program, we strive to advance the overall competency level of our public purchasing clients, assist them in achieving and maintaining necessary certifications, and assess staff skill sets relative to best practices in the industry. We work with our clients to leverage valuable educational resources that are available to them, such as those through the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing (NIGP). Upon entering a project with the NIGP Consulting team, the County of Sarasota raised staff credentials with over 1,000 training hours logged within a 12-month period and members earning advanced certifications, such as CPPB, CPPO, CPM, and FCCM. Employing individuals who possess thorough backgrounds and advanced knowledge and skills is yet another way governments are able to gain greater productivity and do more with less.

Improving Procurement Processes

This overarching approach to government reform highlights the need for governments to improve the procurement of products and services and reduce costs. At Periscope Holdings, this is the foundation on which we have built our sole purpose. Our company focus is to eradicate waste and maximize value the value of every dollar spent, and we work every day to ensure that the tools and services we provide fulfill this mission for each and every one of our clients. The BuySpeed solution streamlines processes, decreases expenditures, and creates transparency to drive significant savings and ensures close collaboration with suppliers and vendors throughout the entire procure-to-pay process. Periscope is currently developing new offerings that will allow even greater visibility to and analysis of products and services that governments are purchasing collectively – qualities that will further assist public entities in making meaningful benchmark comparisons while also empowering a market-focused supplier community to be responsive to government needs.

The public sector has the opportunity to benefit from increasing their use of data, connecting with citizens for input and feedback, advancing their knowledge base, and improving procurement processes by first being willing to make a change. Governments should step up and implement creative solutions that will generate savings and raise efficiencies. Procurement transformation encompassing these four practices is a valuable investment and a crucial step to creating a more effective and manageable organization. Periscope takes pride in offering unique, purpose-built functionality and useful services that are proven to bring about procurement success.

Videos on BuySpeed eProcurement Software Now Available

Periscope is proud to offer a series of short informative videos that demonstrate the unmatched functionality and various capabilities of BuySpeed, its top-rated, source-to-pay eProcurement solution. Our videos walk viewers through real examples and step-by-step visuals to highlight how our clients, like the states of Arizona and New Jersey and the cities of Baltimore and New Orleans, have streamlined processes to achieve incredible efficiency gains, eliminated off-contract spend and driven savings by enabling process controls, and enhanced transparency with effective data capturing techniques. To request access to the videos and learn how our purpose-driven approach succeeds in eradicating waste and maximizing value, please contact Christi Becker at cbecker@periscopeholdings.com or 512-666-9422.

Periscope Goes Live with Buy4Michigan

Austin, TX, August 21, 2013 – The State of Michigan’s new BuySpeed eProcurement system, also known as Buy4Michigan, was launched on Wednesday, May 29. As part of the statewide transition to a complete procure-to-pay process from their existing system Bid4Michigan, Phase One of the implementation provides functionality that effectively aids in vendor registration and management of solicitations and awards.

The procurement transformation goals of Michigan leadership outlined the development of cooperative procurement among public entities across the state as a strategy to achieve savings. The cooperative procurement approach allows local organizations, political subdivisions, and schools to use the eProcurement system to manage their procurement processes. By utilizing BuySpeed with this approach, the state is expected to gain a widespread reduction in costs and help alleviate budget shortfalls.

Throughout the course of implementation, the Periscope team loaded over 30 state agencies and more than 380 local cooperative purchasing (MiDEAL) members, Michigan public schools, universities, and community colleges in Buy4Michigan. The state has now begun the ongoing process of training the software users from the cooperative purchasing organizations and gathering and training additional organizations.

Within 10 business days of the eProcurement system going live, over 400 purchasers and trainers from the over 30 state agencies were established in Buy4Michigan to conduct new solicitations. Over 200 additional users from cooperative purchasing organizations are preparing for upcoming training sessions being scheduled by the state. Further, Michigan has registered approximately 10,300 vendors, constituting over 12,000 additional system users. To date, more than 40 solicitations have been submitted by state agencies, three of which have already resulted in award recommendations.

“The state of Michigan endeavors to streamline our processes and enhance transparency to discover opportunities for savings,” said Jeff Brownlee, Michigan’s Chief Procurement Officer. “Periscope has delivered a quality eProcurement system that we anticipate will enable major strides in advancing the efficiency of our procurement processes for years to come.”

“We want to thank the state of Michigan and our implementation partner, Compuware, Inc., for a successful launch of the first phase of the Buy4Michigan solution,” said Brian Utley, Periscope’s President and CEO. “Jeff and his staff are setting a great example for governments looking to step up and transform the way they do business.”

Phase Two of the project will integrate Buy4Michigan with Michigan’s state financial system and will entail a statewide rollout of requisitions and approval capabilities, contract ordering and purchasing functionality, and receiving and invoicing interfaces. The second phase is currently in the design and development stages and is projected to launch in 2014.


Periscope Holdings, Inc. (www.periscopeholdings.com) is a privately-held technology company headquartered in Austin, Texas.  Periscope works with public entities to achieve best practices in procurement through its comprehensive software solution BuySpeed and consulting services.  

Periscope eradicates waste in procurement delivering time and money-saving results for more than 100,000 users in the United States and Canada.  BuySpeed customers include the states of Arizona, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and New Jersey; the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore, New Orleans and Tucson; the counties of Harris, Knox, and San Bernardino, as well as Virginia Beach Public Schools, Alaska Department of Transportation and the Washington Convention Center and Sports Authority.

Periscope also holds the exclusive license to maintain, enhance and market the NIGP Commodity/Services Code on behalf of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. (www.nigp.org), and oversees management of the NIGP Consulting program.

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Periscope Included Among “Best-Known Vendors” in Public Procurement

New Report By Gartner Discusses Modern State and Local Procurement, Highlights Established Market Leaders

  • Periscope Holdings, Inc. today announced that Gartner, Inc. recognized the company in a report titled “Procurement Technology Guide for U.S. State and Local Government Agencies.”
  • Periscope is one of four vendors that Gartner recognizes as having “assembled extensive and cohesive enough suites to merit consideration as solicitation-to-settle providers” in the state and local procurement industry.
  • Periscope’s product portfolio is equipped to assist in budgeting, encumbrance, shopping carts, e-catalog management, and elaborate approval processes. Its software also enables users to issue shared contracts from which other public entities can purchase.
  • Periscope has a recent history of awards earned after successfully implementing an e-procurement project with the State of Arizona to carry out the company’s purpose of eradicating waste to maximize value. These honors include the 2011 NIGP Innovation Award, the Best Fit Integrator Award from the Center of Digital Government, and the 2012 Bronze Cronin Award from the National Association of State Procurement Officials.
  • Periscope is strongly dedicated to customer satisfaction and President and CEO Brian Utley often extends his personable help to clients and maintains interaction with them.

Periscope’s BuySpeed Solution

  • BuySpeed offers complete strategic sourcing, e-procurement and P2P or “procure-to-pay” capabilities.  Capabilities include online vendor registration, requisitions, bids/quotes, contract management, reverse auctions, P-cards, punchouts, receiving and inventory control.
  • Orders can be received in a distributed environment and paid through seamless integration with most existing accounting or financial systems.
  • BuySpeed helps organizations of all sizes enable transparency and streamline processes, reducing purchasing costs, buying cycle, and the overall cost of goods and services.
  • For more information about the BuySpeed solution, please visit www.buyspeed.com.

Supporting Quotes

  • “We at Periscope are always looking for ways to strengthen our solution’s functionality and increase the value of investment for our customers. Periscope is pleased to be recognized by Gartner with respect to our capabilities,” says Brian Utley, President and CEO of Periscope Holdings, Inc.  “We strive for continuous improvement and innovation by working closely with our current BuySpeed customers as well as meeting the challenges outlined in the Gartner reports.“

Supporting Resources

Analyst Report
Gartner reports are available to Gartner clients at www.gartner.comProcurement Technology Guide for U.S. State and Local Government Agencies, 2013 is the latest report (ID Number: G00246710).

Of the analysis, Gartner says, “Procurement technology is rapidly evolving, driven by advances in mobile device support, ease of use, data model flexibility, multienterprise process enablement and analytics. Modern procurement platforms allow organizations to do things they could not otherwise do in a practical way, such as run a reverse auction, systematically analyze spending and post online contracts that multiple agencies can use. The result is clear — agencies that use a modern procurement platform are far more effective in achieving spend-related goals than those relying on manual processes or basic purchase order systems

Challenged to cut spending, improve efficiency and create new jobs, U.S. states, cities, counties, school districts, utilities and commissions are embracing modern procurement technology as a key enabler. Evidence of this surge in interest is the numerous state platform deals that have closed in the past 12 months. Moreover, Gartner’s volume of inquiries from U.S. state and local government agencies on this subject more than doubled from 2011 to 2012.

This guide covers what Gartner has learned that states and agencies need to know to successfully invest in procurement technology: How to build a business case, how to make program architectural decisions on issues such as delivery mode and funding model, how to select a vendor, how measure program performance.”


Periscope Holdings, Inc. (www.periscopeholdings.com) is a privately held technology company headquartered in Austin, Texas.  Periscope focuses on working with public entities and private companies to achieve best practices in procurement through comprehensive software solutions and consulting services.  Every day Periscope delivers time- and money-saving results for more than 100,000 users throughout the United States.

BuySpeed (www.buyspeed.com) customers include the states of Arizona, Michigan and New Jersey, the counties of Kern and San Bernardino, the cities of Baltimore and New Orleans, Virginia Beach Public Schools, Alaska Department of Transportation and Chicago Housing Authority. Periscope also holds the exclusive license to maintain, enhance and market the NIGP Commodity/Services Code on behalf of the National Institute of Governmental Purchasing, Inc. (www.nigp.org).

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