Coupa Acquisition of Trade Extensions: Spend Matters US on “Customer and Partner Recommendations”

We reported here on the acquisition of sourcing optimisation firm Trade Extensions by Coupa, which is now under way.  Since then, the US Spend Matters tech analysis team has been looking at the deal in more detail. Their article from last week titled “Trade Extensions and Coupa Acquisition Analysis: Customer and Partner Recommendations” is excellent. However, it is only available for subscribers to the Spend Matters PRO service.

We don’t go on about PRO too much because we don’t want to bore our readers or come across as too salesy. But really, if your organisation is of any size, and has invested in procurement technology, then I’m sure there is an excellent business case for subscribing to PRO. The depth of the analysis and advice on procurement and supply chain technology is literally unparalleled anywhere.

In this case, the US team covers detailed and insightful recommendations for three groups of people - Trade Extensions customers, Coupa customers, and “partners” (integrators, resellers etc.) for both firms.

So if you are a customer of one of the firms, how do you make sure this is a positive event for you – not something that might end up costing you money? Will Coupa push up prices for Trade Extensions’ current customers?  What approaches might work for customers given Coupa’s pricing model? How quickly will Coupa sales people be able and equipped to tell you what you need to know about Trade Extensions’ product – and what should you do in the short term? What is the likely integration path? All these questions and many more are answered by Jason and the team.

We suspect there will be another article available via PRO talking about the competitive implications of the deal. That’s another reason for those of you on the solution provider side to subscribe to PRO if you don’t already!  It feels like the market is consolidating quite rapidly now in the core procurement technology world - BravoSolution, Basware, Proactis and Tradeshift have all made significant acquisitions in the past 18 months or so, and Coupa of course recently bought Spend350 before this current move.

One big question is this. How much room is there in the market for full source-to-pay software providers, capable of serving mid-size to large customers who probably have an international footprint? How many firms can thrive and grow at a rate which will satisfy shareholders? Is there room for 3 firms? 4? 5? 10?

We don’t know the answer to this, but at the moment, there are three firms in a strong position in our opinion, two more that should do fine, and quite a few others who probably need to do something dramatic if they really want to play in this game. (We’ll let you work out who we might be talking about here. Buy me a beer and I’ll tell you).

So interesting times ahead for the procurement tech market – and do take a look at PRO if you haven’t considered it already.

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