Category Archives: Conferences

Procurement Pros to Morph into ‘Business People’


At Infosys Confluence 2016, I spoke on a panel titled “Reimagining the Procurement Value Chain” with procurement leaders Ben Moreno, from Stanford University, and Oscar Leon Chong, from Honeywell. The session was moderated by Gartner Managing Vice President Ruby Jivan. The conference, recently held in San Francisco, doubled in attendees over last year and featured a huge group of diverse partners, including Tradeshift.

ISM Accelerates Into Indianapolis — Examining Content Tracks at the 2016 Annual Event and the Brewing Knowledge Battle

ISM 2016

Over the past two days, five members of the Spend Matters team descended on Indianapolis for the 2016 ISM Annual Conference. We (Jason Busch and Pierre Mitchell) are presenting in various sessions throughout the 3-day event and our team is catching the general vibe of the largest procurement event (roughly 2,500 people this year) in North America, and we’ve been impressed with the track design and much of the content in the sessions we’ve sat in on this year.

When Slowing Down May Speed You Up: Coupa Inspire 2016

Coupa Inspire 2016

We’ll be summarizing our current and comparative analysis of Coupa as well as our Inspire 2016 takeaways from the hundreds of company, partner and customer conversations that the Spend Matters team had at the event this week in a more detailed Spend Matters PRO analysis in the coming days. But as our team wraps up the week and a truly an excellent event, I thought it would make sense to pose an almost rhetorical question: Might Coupa actually slow down to speed up?

Reflecting on the IQN Conference: The Rebirth of VMS

I have finally reached a week without travel and a moment when I can look back on the IQNsiders event in Washington, D.C., and reflect. And I find myself with two main thoughts. First, I realized how far — according to my observations — IQN has come in the past few years.

A Quick Look at Suite Highlights and Coupa Release 15: Coupa Inspire 2016

Coupa Inspire 2016

Raja Hammoud, Coupa’s vice president of product management, kicked off the second day of Coupa Inspire with a morning keynote centered on the value of a suite approach to procurement technology. The core of her overall message centered on how Coupa is focused on the intersections of modules, or what she termed “suite synergy.” Raja also shared some high-level elements of Coupa Release 15, which is generally available today

Value as a Service and Design-Centered Procurement

Coupa Inspire 2016

I typically leave technology conference write-ups to my esteemed colleague Jason Busch, but I thought I’d chime in on some of my takeaways from the 2016 Coupa Inspire conference. Coupa has wisely pivoted from its old slogan of “savings as a service” to a broader “value as a service” model. If Coupa is really going to align itself to procurement and help procurement alignment to the business, then it does indeed need to focus on creating value beyond cost savings.

Rob Bernshteyn on Oatmeal, Value and What’s to Come: Coupa Inspire 2016

Coupa Inspire 2016

Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn kicked off Inspire this year with a show of comic genius tying back to his personal mantra — which you can read in his new book — of “value as a service.” Using oatmeal as the focus of his opening tirade this year, he danced around the story of a failure of room service in a hotel to provide the value he wanted from a particular transaction: simply a bowl of oatmeal, on-time, without frills. (He tossed the punchline, a packet of instant oatmeal, nonchalantly into the audience at the end.)

Coupa Inspire 2016: E-Procurement Customer Blocking and Tackling Still Matters

Coupa Inspire 2016

I had the chance to sit in with a small group of Coupa customers yesterday during an informal (non-sanctioned) meeting. A number of these organizations were relatively new to Coupa and were in the process of rollouts, some global, some regional. What struck me in this session — and some other informal chats I’ve had with people here so far — is how much basic blocking and tackling still matters from a deployment perspective and how much organizations take for granted that things will “just work.”

Coupa Inspire 2016: The Procurement Cloud Grows Up


Coupa has been evangelizing the benefits of software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-based procurement technology for going on a decade. The Coupa of today is still the same on many levels (except for the free part). It’s feisty, fast and loves to challenge the competition with a different philosophy — not just an alternative set of products. Although that philosophy has changed dramatically and now centers very much on “spend capture” as a means to drive better savings and procurement outcomes, the same passion from the early years is still evident.

Total Talent Management: Chimera or Change? — Beeline Conference 2016 Dispatch

total talent management

The Beeline Conference included a session on total talent management (TTM), a much talked about topic these days. Given the topicality and allure of the concept to many in the contingent workforce management space, having such a session is a no-brainer (and it was a great session with lots of guided interaction aimed at determining what people thought about TTM).

Doug Leeby on the Future of Contingent Workforce Management: ‘You’re Not Going to Like This’ — Beeline Conference 2016 Dispatch

Beeline Conference 2016

Beeline President Doug Leeby cracked open the 2016 Beeline Conference with an address that focused on how Beeline is preparing for radical shifts in the contingent workforce space. Leeby began by covering some history and basic statistics about the company and some favorable benchmarking comparisons, but he quickly diverted into talking about his vision of the future and some predictions. These were often punctuated by the statement, “You’re not going to like this.”