Coupa announce a European update and client gains

We welcomes Coupa as our new Lead Sponsor yesterday, and with superb timing they just yesterday announced a European business update with some recent client wins across three countries.

In the UK, they’ve become the preferred partner for procurement-to-pay for  Bourne Leisure. Whilst you may not have heard of them, one of their three main brands is a UK household name – Butlins! Ah, happy memories of that holiday in Butlins Ayr many, many years ago.... The other brands are Warner Leisure Hotels and Haven, and overall they’re a substantial privately owned business, with over 12,000 staff.

The Head of Procurement at Bourne, Melanie Jeffrey, reviewed a number of systems in the marketplace before choosing Coupa and said, “We believe that our team will find this system to be very intuitive, thereby enabling them to use it quickly with minimal training”. That must be important in their user domain (as well as for procurement staff)  when you consider , for instance, how many different catering outlets they must have across the company, each of which will need to order supplies very regularly, and probably with a lot of seasonal staff as well.

The second win is NNIT A/S, a large Danish IT services and consulting firm with 1800 staff who “chose Coupa over five other procurement solutions based on its intuitive nature and flexible customization for services procurement”. Obviously there’s a lot of IT related purchases here, through software, hardware and service categories.

And the last is the one that, whilst not their biggest customer at the moment, has the “wow” factor – well for me anyway, as a music fanatic. It’s Spotify, the Swedish music streaming business that has revolutionised my music listening / consuming habits over the last few years. I was a very early adopter and whilst it isn’t perfect, it is an amazing service. (And I recommend you pay the few pounds a month to avoid the adverts and get unlimited listening too). Anyway.. enough on extolling the virtues of Spotify!

Spotify “needed a quick and easy way to rein in IT spend”. And there was an interesting quote here. “With many of our listeners signing up via Facebook, we wanted to carry that social culture to our own internal procure-to-pay function” said Benjamin Hasselgren, IT procurement manager at Spotify.

We’ve commented before on the trend for B2B software to start looking and feeling more like B2C or even social media. This isn’t just a fad – it is a permanent change, I’m sure. The next generation coming into the workplace will respond much more easily to systems that remind them of Facebook, Twitter or eBay, and they won’t put up with complex interfaces that aren’t pretty much immediately and intuitively usable.

So Spotify are just the sort of super-fast growing, leading edge technology firm for whom the Coupa USPs of consumer type interfaces, ease of use, and virtually training-free implementation, all appeal strongly. And whilst it isn’t a big firm yet, who would bet against Spotify being a billion-Euro corporation by the end of the decade? Or probably sooner.

As well as the customer wins, Coupa have generally continued their aggressive global and European expansion - they've added 10 languages this year, opened a UK office, and announced strategic partnerships with Stretch, a leading Nordic consulting firm as well as with Xoomworks in the UK and  KPMG and IBM globally. Makes me feel exhausted just reading about it...

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