Highlights from Across the Pond at Coupa Inspire 2017: A Fraud Detection Acquisition, Open Buy Launch and R19

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Coupa has acquired an AI fraud detection company and begun its official rollout of Open Buy with Amazon Business, our colleagues at Spend Matters UK/Europe reported from Coupa Inspire last week.

The two announcements highlight Coupa’s recent push to integrate more advanced functionality into its spend management platform, from bringing sourcing optimization to a wider audience to enabling the elusive “guided buying” experience.

The acquisition of Sunnyvale, California-based Deep Relevance will help Coupa “create a fraud profile based on analyzing customer and aggregated community data for expenses, purchase orders and invoices,” the company said in a press release. The staggeringly high cost of procurement fraud offers a compelling case for Coupa’s move into the area: businesses lose as much as $2.9 trillion globally each year due to such oversights, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.

Key to solving this issue will be Deep Relevance’s AI capabilities, as Spend Matters Contributing Analyst Michael Lamoureux told our UK/Europe colleagues.

“It's really hard to find the low-impact fraud needles in a T&E haystack, but these needles can add up quickly — especially for products and services never even delivered,” he said. “Only automated processing that can compare multiple entries across multiple dimensions and learn typical patterns can identify the majority of errant fraud that passes through a T&E system.”

In addition to the prevention of purchases that shouldn’t happen, Coupa took steps last week to better guide users through the purchasing process.

Coupa Open Buy with Amazon Business is now generally available in the U.S., and will soon launch in the U.K. and Germany. Our UK/Europe colleagues reported particular enthusiasm for this news, which elicited “cheers from the audience.”

Our analysts have indicated keen interest in how this initiative between Coupa and Amazon Business will develop, as well.

“Coupa Open Buy with Amazon Business is a game-changer for unified catalog management and real guided buying, “ said Pierre Mitchell, chief research officer at Spend Matters, in a prior writeup of the offering. “It’s not just a small step forward for marketplace, catalog and tail spend innovation but a larger leap for allowing employee usability and right-sized controls."

Finally, the UK/Europe team got a first look during the event opener at Coupa’s Release 19. Key elements of the update include the launch of Coupa Risk Aware, which delivers operational risk management capabilities; new functionality for sourcing through Coupa Sourcing Optimization; the addition of “community intelligence” to T&E; and the expansion of its e-invoicing capabilities to six additional countries, according to a press release.

For more information on what the UK/Europe team learned about these recent developments and Coupa’s most recent release, stay tuned to Spend Matters this week for additional analysis.

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