The Conferences Category

Coupa’s Customer Conference and Earnings Continue to ‘Inspire’ — But a New Competitive Battle is Looming [PRO]

A few weeks back we attended Coupa Inspire 2018. The event left us with a perspective that Coupa is not only doing some things extremely well but also that it would do well not to make the same mistakes of those that came before it with a similar rise to fame (i.e., a healthier dose of competitive paranoia is always more effective than getting punch-drunk on the fame of continued growth and capital market success).

In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, we provide a summary of a number of key announcements made during Coupa Inspire 2018 and over the past 18 months at Coupa. In addition, we’ll trace the history of Coupa’s product launches and introductions to provide context on how new offerings may evolve.

We’ll also offer perspective and opinions on the trajectory Coupa has been on — including whether it is sustainable — and conclude with comments on what has become arguably the most important procure-to-pay (P2P) battleground on which Coupa is positioning itself against competitors: how to enable as close to 100% of spend under management as possible with a P2P solution at the core. Incidentally, this is a topic that Oracle and SAP (inclusive of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and Concur) also have been doing quite a bit of thinking on of late — not to mention Coupa’s partner, customer and frenemy Amazon Business.

As a follow-on to this research brief, we will later share our thoughts on Coupa’s Q1 2019 earnings report from earlier in June, including how traction (and competition) in the market is translating both to wins and losses depending on customer requirements, channel/partner influence and competitive price pressure in select circumstances. Yet it would not be the Spend Matters way unless we wrapped this commentary around five reasons to bet for or against Coupa to maintain a “top three” position in the market.

For those wanting a primer on Coupa, we encourage you to check out our Vendor Snapshot on the provider (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) as well Coupa’s latest Q1 2018 SolutionMap performance in the e-procurement, invoice-to-pay, procure-to-pay and sourcing areas.

Top Providers to Know and Watch, Conference Mania and More: May Highlights on Spend Matters

There is perhaps not a busier month in the world of procurement than May. With the annual ISM conference and a host of other events taking place during the fifth month of the year, practitioners have come to expect a deluge of new developments. (Remember the sunsetting of IBM Emptoris last May, anyone?) Here at Spend Matters, we hope to help practitioners make sense of it all, as well as shine a light on the key trends we see as the procurement space continues to evolve. With that in mind, here are some highlights from our most-read articles in May.

Procurement Findings from ISM2018: The Path Ahead

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Spend Matters welcomes this guest column from Naseem Malik and Nick Lazzara of MRA Global Sourcing.

Having attended several ISM annual conferences as both a participant and the past few years as a CLC member, I’m always struck by the energy, enthusiasm and growing excellence when it comes to this evolving function. As the quality of the conference has improved via content and companies represented, it has steadily bolstered the number of attendees every year, culminating to their highest turnout to date this year. 

Ivalua Now Dispatch: Proving You Don’t Need to be a Megacorp to Succeed

One of the most curious points featured in each of the opening keynotes at Ivalua Now was that while technology providers have to grow to succeed in today's world, they don't have to become part of “Global Megacorp” — my words, not Ivalua’s— or acquire their way to global megacorp status to be a smashing success in the source-to-pay space. The private equity irony was not lost on us if we compare which companies KKR has invested in (Ivalua) versus Accel-KKR (Jaggaer). Queue Whiz Kalifa in that latter case.

‘Collabs’: What Procurement, the Billboard Chart and Supreme Have in Common

Michael Lamoureux, Xavier Olivera and I are in New York City today at Ivalua Now, the procurement technology provider’s customer event. Alex Saric, Ivalua’s CMO, kicked off the morning’s festivities with a quick introductory presentation highlighting parallels between music and procurement. One of these, which I think is ingenious, is the notion of “collaborations” in the recording industry. Saric extended the concept to procurement partnering with the business.

How Current and Future Leaders are Managing a Changing Procurement Function: ISM 2018 Roundup

digital business transformation

The future of procurement will be agile, digital and strategically focused. Regular readers of Spend Matters are familiar with these trends, of course, but how exactly organizations will realize those projections is often less clear. Clarifying this path forward was a top focus for attendees at ISM 2018 last week in Nashville, particularly for procurement’s current and future leaders. During a series of roundtable talks on the second day of the conference, CPOs from household-name companies and winners of the ISM/Thomas 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star awards convened to discuss how they’re approaching digital strategy, the increasing trend toward externalization and ways they’re preparing for risks both in the near term and on the horizon.  

Why Relationship Management Will Be Critical to Procurement’s Cybersecurity Strategy

Cybersecurity was much more than a buzzword at ISM2018, as procurement professionals packed several related sessions earlier Tuesday to learn more about how they can build a defense against this intangible threat.

Throughout these presentations, a common theme emerged. Procurement may be facing numerous cyber risks as it expands its supply base complexity and adopts interconnected software systems, but it never does so alone. Rather, procurement sits at the nexus of a large number of actors who all have a stake in the security of their IT operations.

Coupa Inspire Dispatch: Rob Bernshteyn on Facts, Figures and Updates

Yesterday at Inspire (see my previous live coverage from the event here, here and here) Coupa’s CEO Rob Bernshteyn offered up a number of facts, updates and figures on Coupa which I thought would be worth sharing with Spend Matters readers.

Note: these facts, figures and updates centered primarily on Coupa usage, partners and adoption at the product level. Let’s begin!

Why Supply Chain Finance Could Be the Key to Widespread Blockchain Adoption

Organizations are emerging from the hype phase for the technology and instead starting to take stock of whether they have the technical expertise and talent to actually use blockchain. To do that, they’ll need to know not only where blockchain could be applied in the supply chain but how exactly it works. Only then can procurement organizations begin to assess whether they’ll be ready to take the next adoption step with the technology.

This is the objective of a new study by CAPS Research of Arizona State University. During a presentation Monday at ISM2018, Dale Rogers and Thomas Choi took attendees through a detailed tour of blockchain, from its origins as a descendant of ERP systems to potential ways procurement can spur adoption of the technology using supply chain finance.

Coupa Inspire Dispatch: Rob Bernshteyn on the Shift to Business Spend Management

Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa’s CEO, kicked off Inspire 2018 this morning with an hour-long speech that only he could pull off.

Rob’s talk zig-zagged between providing an overview that framed spending and buying in a new context (“business spend management”), providing a fly-by of Coupa’s suite on a high level, diving deep into products in specific areas, sharing what seemed like 100 screenshots of current and emerging capabilities (especially centered on community intelligence and user guidance) and ploughing through some 50+ facts and figures highlighting different areas of progress Coupa is making.

Coupa Inspire Kicks Off: R20 and Beyond  

As we dial up our coverage of Inspire 2018, it’s worth stepping back for a moment and doing a level set on what Coupa has unveiled this year already. Coupa R20 was a critical release for the provider, one which we described previously as “revolution through evolution." As we noted in our previous coverage, some of R20’s main improvements were focused on services procurement and community-based intelligence, which “allows users to extract insights from the B2B data generated within the Coupa buyer and supplier base.”

Coupa Inspire Kicks Off: Dueling With ISM 2018 and What I’m Watching For  

I touched down in San Francisco last night to attend Coupa Inspire. A number of members of the Spend Matters team are dividing and conquering between Coupa’s customer event and ISM 2018, which is being held on the same dates. If you’re at either conference, look for the ragtag Spend Matters crew. Xavier Olivera flew into Inspire along with me, and along with our trusty, local San Francisco analyst Andrew Karpie, we’ll be the ones on the ground in San Francisco.