Coupa Release 17 Dropped This Week, and Other Top P2P Takeaways

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Coupa made some waves earlier this week with its first cloud platform update of the year — the “sector-news pinnacle” of a very P2P-centric week here at Spend Matters.

What Happened

Called Release 17 (R17), Coupa’s update includes access to Perfect Fit Insights, which gives customers “data-driven insights to help them accelerate decision-making and improve business results,” as well as expanded regulatory compliance and enhanced supplier collaboration features.

Why It Matters

In recent years, Coupa has driven innovation in spend management and procure-to-pay processes faster than any other provider, and “in the case of its new release, it appears to be continuing on the same path,” said Xavier Olivera, our in-house P2P expert.

R17 incorporates new analytical tools that guide procurement organizations through difficult decisions, such as steps necessary for e-invoicing compliance in regions that require the technology. It also adds collaboration mechanisms (e.g., SMS messaging) that remove communication barriers between buyers and suppliers, as well as enhanced overall configurability, which benefits companies that want to avoid custom development.

Perhaps most important about this new version, in Olivera’s view, is that Coupa has prioritized these new features based on direct feedback from its current customers — meaning procurement users are more likely to actually use them.

(We should note that the Spend Matters analyst team has not yet evaluated, via demonstration, the new features and capabilities in Release 17 but looks forward to reporting on them in the coming weeks and months. In the meantime don’t miss our Spend Matters Plus summary brief on the Coupa offering.)

What Else Happened in P2P This Week

  • Aquiire scored two (really) big clients. Vinimaya Inc. announced that two Fortune 500 companies implemented the Aquiire P2P suite. But rather than answer the question this reporter wanted to know — which two? — the release sidestepped it with some classic corporate-speak: “Having two of the most respected corporations in the world implement the Aquiire suite to run their global procurement operations is not only exciting, it is a testament to the innovation, thought-leadership and dedication of our entire team,” from Vinimaya President and CEO Mike Palackdharry.
  • And these guys are still pushing their outlook report on the P2P outsourcing market. IBM, Accenture and Infosys are a few of the key vendors in the spotlight. If nothing else, it wins the award for Most Frequent Pop-Up In My ‘P2P’ Google Alert Over the Past Several Weeks.

Lastly, Xavier Olivera and Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch co-presented “2017: The Most Disruptive Year in P2P Ever?” last Wednesday in a live webinar, which is now available on demand.

Below are some snippets.

Quotable Quotes on Key Disruptive Trends in 2017

On Big Data:

“P2P solutions are going down a path of becoming more predictive in terms of users’ spend behavior.” —Xavier

On Blockchain:

“I’m kind of like of a lovestruck teenager when it comes to blockchain’s potential.” —Jason

“If you Google ‘tuna’ and ‘blockchain,’ you’ll see a supply-chain-provenance test case for using blockchain to trace tuna catches.” —Jason

On Mobile:

“It’s how we live, it’s how our children live today...to think that I’m using a 3-year-old MacBook Pro as the interface for P2P application is just ludicrous! We’re going to see hybrid devices on the rise.” —Jason

On IoT:

“For touchless procurement, it’s critical.” —Jason

“I don’t know if we’re going to be seeing this within the next year, but it will certainly enhance the sector [when it comes].” —Xavier

On AI/Machine Learning:

“The application of true machine learning in e-procurement is limited today. But it’s the notion that the application is not just empty or dull, but guides you to certain activities.” —Jason

Guide yourself to the whole webinar replay for the full monty.

Happy Friday!

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