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SPARK Matrix Notes Several TPRA Vendor Members on their 2023 VRM List

By: Heather Kadavy, Sr. Membership Success Coordinator for TPRA

In the ever-evolving landscape of Third Party Risk Management (TPRM), sometimes called Vendor Risk Management (VRM), staying ahead of the game is crucial. One tool that has gained recognition and attention in recent times is the SPARK Matrix™, an assessment and ranking framework.

About the SPARK Matrix™

The SPARK Matrix™ includes, but is not limited to:

1.      Informed Decision-Making: One of the primary benefits of the SPARK Matrix™ is its ability to provide organizations with a benchmark for selecting VRM solutions. With the complexities of vendor-related risks growing, it is crucial to have a standardized framework for evaluating the available options. The SPARK Matrix™ facilitates informed decision-making by comparing capabilities, features, and performance across different solutions.

2.      Risk Mitigation: Effective VRM is all about identifying and mitigating risks associated with third party vendors. The SPARK Matrix™ helps organizations to understand the landscape of VRM solutions and their capabilities, allowing them to tailor their risk mitigation strategies effectively. It can be a valuable tool for staying proactive in the face of evolving risks.

3.      Regulatory Alignment: As regulations around data protection and privacy evolve, it is essential for VRM solutions to stay aligned with these changing requirements. The SPARK Matrix™ assesses the level of alignment with regulations, reducing the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties. This is particularly crucial for organizations handling sensitive data.


Congratulations to Our TPRM Vendor Members Noted on the Matrix

We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to TPRA's current Vendor Members who were recognized in the SPARK Matrix™: Vendor Risk Management (VRM), 2023. These companies (listed below in alphabetical order) have demonstrated their commitment to excellence and innovation in the TPRM space:

  • Aravo Solutions: has consistently been at the forefront of TPRM innovation, offering robust solutions to manage third-party risks effectively.

  • Ncontracts: has been a valuable partner in helping organizations streamline their vendor management processes and mitigate risks.

  • OneTrust: is known for its comprehensive privacy, security, and third-party risk management solutions, which align with the evolving regulatory landscape.

  • ProcessUnity: integrated risk and compliance management solutions continue to empower organizations to proactively manage vendor risks.

  • Venminder: dedication to third party risk management has been unwavering, providing organizations with tools and expertise to enhance their TPRM programs.


What Sets VRM Groups Apart?

The SPARK Matrix™ is an assessment and ranking framework designed to evaluate and rank Vendor Risk Management (VRM) solutions based on numerous factors, including capabilities, features, and performance. It aims to provide organizations with a benchmark for selecting the most suitable VRM solution for their unique requirements.

While the SPARK Matrix™ is a valuable resource, we want to emphasize that it does not represent a comprehensive list of all TPRM vendors in the market. Instead, it reflects those vendors who participated in the evaluation process. The TPRM landscape is diverse and continually evolving, with numerous vendors offering specialized solutions to meet the unique needs of different organizations. Therefore, it is crucial that TPRM teams look for competitive factors & differentiators when evaluating potential technology partnerships:

1.      Tailored Solutions: Exceptional VRM groups recognize that one size does not fit all. They offer tailored solutions that align with the specific needs and risk profiles of their clients. Customization and flexibility are key.

  • End to End Vendor Lifecycle Management to enable cost optimization, operational excellence, and growth through vendor selection, contract negotiation, vendor onboarding, vendor continuous monitoring of performance and risk management.

  • Issue & Incident Management: to enable event identification, assessment and resolution of issues or incidents with third party vendors to maintain the security, compliance, and reliability of the vendor relationships.

  • Compliance with Laws & Regulations: to keep organizations aligned with changing regulations and ensure that vendors comply with application laws, and industry standards. [e.g., cloud computing, APIs (Application Programming Interface), RPA (robotic process automation), cognitive automation, big data analytics, blockchains, etc.]

  • Reporting, Dashboarding & Analytics: to provide comprehensive reporting, visualization, and analytics capabilities to business owners, risk committees, executive management and/or an organization’s board of directors.  These powerful visualizations are derived by deep insights and assist leadership in making informed business decisions.

2.      Continuous Innovation: Stagnation is the enemy of progress. The best VRM groups are constantly innovating, integrating automation, AI (artificial intelligence), and emerging technologies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their solutions.

3.      Proactive Risk Monitoring: The ability to proactively identify and mitigate risks is a significant differentiator. VRM groups that offer real-time monitoring and alerts are better equipped to tackle the dynamic nature of vendor-related risks.

4.      Scalability and Adaptability: The ability to scale and adapt to an organization's evolving needs is another distinguishing factor. VRM groups that offer scalability and flexibility ensure that their solutions grow with the businesses they serve.


TPRM Teams should take note of the Technology Excellence & Customer Impact factors that each market participant was analyzed against when designing their own TPRM Service Provider analysis components:  

Technology Excellence:

  • Vendor Lifecycle Management: Ability to handle the end-to-end vendor lifecycle management process.

  • Risk-Scoring and Assessment: Evaluate and quantify potential risks associated with vendors.

  • Usability: Quality of a product or system in terms of how easy it is to use, learn, and navigate.

  • Continuous Monitoring and Remediation: Actively monitor and respond to events and issues as they occur.

  • SLA (Service level agreements) & Performance Monitoring: Outlines the level of service expected, the metrics used to measure performance, and the consequences for not meeting the agreed-upon standards.

  • Configurability and Scalability: Ability of a system or software to be easily customized or configured and scalable to meet specific requirements without requiring extensive changes.

  • Dashboarding, Reporting and Analytics: Insights into various aspects of the business, customer behavior, and performance.

  • Workflow and Process Automation: Automate and streamline manual tasks and processes.

  • Integration & Interoperability: Ease of integration with other internal modules and API-based integration with third-party data providers and partners, extent of operability with third party partners.

  • Competition Differentiation: Set it apart from its competitors and give it a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

  • Vision & Roadmap: To what extent does the product vision align with its buyers’ needs in terms of acquiring, satisfying, and retaining customers? Does the vision promote a strong focus on the customer and a positive customer experience? How well does the vision align with current and future customer preferences? Does the company have a clear plan in place for implementing its vision through product improvements, innovation, and partnerships within the next year? Does the company possess the necessary resources and abilities to accomplish its planned roadmap?

Customer Impact

  • Product Strategy & Performance: Evaluation of multiple aspects of product strategy and performance in terms of product availability, price to performance ratio, excellence in GTM strategy, and other product-specific parameters.

  • Market Presence: The ability to demonstrate revenue, client base, and market growth along with a presence in various geographical regions and industry verticals.

  • Proven Record: Evaluation of the existing client base from SMB, mid-market and large enterprise segment, growth rate, and analysis of the customer case studies.

  • Ease of Deployment & Use: The ability to provide superior deployment experience to clients supporting flexible deployment or demonstrate superior purchase, implementation, and usage experience. Additionally, vendors’ products are analyzed to offer user-friendly UI and ownership experience.

  • Customer Service Excellence: The ability to demonstrate vendors capability to provide a range of professional services from consulting, training, and support. Additionally, the company’s service partner strategy or system integration capability across geographical regions is also considered.

  • Unique Value Proposition: The ability to demonstrate unique differentiators driven by ongoing industry trends, industry convergence, technology innovation, and such others.

Trust the Data, Verify the Path Forward

In an era where data reigns supreme, the Spark Matrix™ provides TPRM practitioners with a compass for navigating the intricate vendor landscape. The insights derived from this research empower practitioners to make informed decisions, ensuring that the partnerships they forge are not just built on trust but are also fortified by a robust verification process. Empowered by this, the practitioner is now responsible for practicing their Risk Management skills when leading their organizations forward.


Note: SPARK Matrix™ is NOT Sponsored by TPRA.

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