Conferences & Events Content

Upwork’s Work Without Limits Executive Summit: A Retrospective

Before the unofficial end of summer, I had the opportunity to attend Upwork’s first Work Without Limits Executive Summit in San Francisco. Upwork, the largest global online freelancer marketplace in terms of gross payment volume (effectively, spend), has earned a place on Spend Matters 50 to Watch list two years in a row, so many eyes are on the company. The focus of the summit was actually Upwork Enterprise, Upwork’s online freelancer sourcing and services solution for enterprise-scale organizations (from midsize to Fortune 500 firms).

Upwork Launches Talent Services Division to Enable Enterprise Use of Online Freelance Workforce

interview

Upwork announced Wednesday that it is launching a new functional organization it calls Talent Services. The company issued a press release titled “Upwork​ ​Creates​ ​World’s​ ​Largest​ ​On-Demand​ ​Talent​ ​Agency” at its Work Without Limits executive summit in San Francisco (read our kick-off coverage here). The new division combines consultative services with Upwork’s technology platform and online marketplace, enabling quick access for enterprise companies to the specific freelance talent they need, when they need it, according to the press release.

Upwork’s Work Without Limits Executive Summit: A Preview

Taulia Connect Cedric Bru

Online freelancing platform Upwork is kicking off its first executive summit Tuesday, and Spend Matters is on hand to cover the event. Upwork has described the Work Without Limits Summit as an “event [that] will bring together an intimate group of HR visionaries, the Fortune 500 C-suite and policy experts to understand how progressive organizations are embracing the new world of work will help forward-thinking executives prepare for the changing world of work.”

ISM 2017: Talent, Procurement Zen and a CPO’s Warning About Technology

I attended a Q&A session with a handful of the “30 under 30” winners in supply management at ISM 2017, and all I can say is that these young professionals from firms like GE, Johnson & Johnson and Coach are indeed impressive (see some of our interviews in the links below). The competition for the designation is increasing, and the winners are increasingly interested in supply management from the get-go. In the first year of the program, only 17% of the winners came into the industry proactively with a supply (chain) management degree, but 40% of winners this year (the third year) were supply management graduates and practitioners.

ISM 2017: The Spend Slayer

At a big procurement conference, how do you get a procurement manager into your booth? The answer is simple (and somewhat sexist, I might add). Find an attractive female — maybe we’ll see a guy one of these years — and a gimmick. In the past, AECSoft, a former vendor in the space, was one that was successful in driving traffic by bringing a model — I think she was Miss Lebanon — to the conference and having her circulate around the floor and hang out at the booth. This year, Jaggaer continued this tradition with the “Spend Slayer,” an archer — or ”archerette,” if you will — who circulated around the exhibit hall with a bow.

ISM 2017: Technology Crosses the Curiosity Chasm

Aside from the provider/solutions expo, technology has always been something of an afterthought for attendees at ISM’s annual conference, at least as I’ve seen it. While a handful of sessions have addressed technology, it’s safe to say that for many of the delegates and ISM members over the years, it has been on the lower end of the priority spectrum, at least from what they plan to get out of the show. But this year something changed.

David Cameron at ISM: Heartfelt, Candid and Relevant

Earlier Tuesday, former U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron gave the keynote address at ISM. I tried to live tweet some of his more memorable statements (see the highlights below or the full summary @jasondbusch). Cameron’s was a heartfelt, candid and relevant talk — his first since leaving office to such a crowd, apparently — by a still young politician with a deft rhetorical touch.

ISM 2017: Highlights from David Cameron’s Keynote

The Tuesday session of ISM’s annual event kicked off with a keynote from David Cameron, former prime minister of the United Kingdom. In a speech covering various geopolitical and public policy issues, Cameron explored how the forces of globalization, automation and the environment are changing global business and the supply chain. Missed the speech? Check out some of the more quotable quotes Cameron’s keynote below, including his advice for U.S. President Donald Trump.

ISM 2017: Initial Impressions? Great!

Eved

The Spend Matters team has descended on Orlando for the ISM 2017 conference. This year’s event is shaping up to be a great one. I got in Sunday but didn’t get a chance to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World, which looked fascinating. There’s a metaphor for supply management here, I think: “How is procurement able to generate 10X returns on investment in the function? It must be magic!” Well, like Disney, it’s a lot of hard work, customer focus, innovation, creativity and technology.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Pulling the String on Steve Wozniak

Pull the string and let him go. That’s pretty much all Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn had to do this morning. Following a fully scripted product marketing update (and its announcement of Release 18) delivered by Raja Hammoud, Coupa’s vice president of product management, Steve Wozniak sat down with Rob and off he went.

Coupa Inspire 2017: Keeping it Cool

Eved

Walking the hallways and meeting with several of Coupa’s customers yesterday, it was hard not to notice a kind of positive speculation in the air. After many months of making data acquisition a priority, resulting in a cool trillion in spend data, Coupa is using this year’s customer conference to motivate specific discussion around using those data to “unleash value.”

Coupa Inspire 2017: A Provocative Keynote

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Coupa Inspire 2017 kicked-off yesterday with CEO Rob Bernshteyn delivering the keynote. Rob’s speech was plain spoken and detailed in terms of Coupa’s product and market vision, as my colleague Pierre Mitchell wrote in an earlier dispatch. The tone of the room was reminiscent of a rock concert. Bottom line: folks were excited. The audience of more than 1,500 was engaged and Coupa’s CEO had command of the room.