Coupa – Great to Have You Back as a Sponsor!

We are delighted to welcome Coupa back as a sponsor of Spend Matters UK/Europe. Coupa has been probably the most “disruptive” software firm we have seen in the procurement world for many years, as well as one of the fastest growing.

The firm was founded back in 2006, but has accelerated really since Rob Bernshteyn came in as CEO in 2009. One of the first meetings I had in the early days of Spend Matters Europe’s existence was when Bernshteyn, still fairly new in the job, came over to London. I remember a handful (literally) of potential customers and a few partner firms meeting him for wine and nibbles in the Institute of Directors. He was very impressive, but I had no idea he was going to lead the sort of growth we have seen – a doubling of revenues every year since then.

The initial focus for the firm was very much spend management – so managing requisitions and orders, invoices and travel management. But with their very rapid development cycle, they’ve expanded out into other functionality, including sourcing, contract management, spend analytics, budget management, and inventory management. Their European operation has expanded from just Alex Kleiner (pictured here, a big music fan by the way), who joined in 2011, to over 50 people reporting to him now as General Manager for EMEA.

And some of their most recent developments and thinking are actually in our view challenging the procurement orthodoxy (in a good way). They are making us think as a procurement profession about long-standing approaches that we have taken as gospel – reduce supplier numbers, consolidate, restrict new supplies, and so on. But are they really the best approaches, or have we been constrained in part by process manageability and then by technology? We talked about that here and we will return to that issue again.

You can also check out what our Editor, Nancy Clinton, thought about the Coupa Inspire event in London last year. (She liked it!) And there is also some serious content in her article about the latest developments discussed at the event.

Coupa also recently won a place on the UK Government Digital Marketplace (the G-Cloud to its friends). This gives the firm a route to market to provide solutions into the entire UK public sector. Of course, many procurement software providers are also on the same framework (BravoSolution, Procserve, Wax Digital, Proactis, etc) but this is a sign of Coupa’s ambition. Having become a serious competitor for private sector business, they’re clearly not going to just leave the public sector to others.

Voices (2)

  1. Alex Kleiner:

    Thank you Peter and the team at Spend Matters as well for the important work you do in covering this market – the good, the bad, and the unusual. Coupa is intent on transforming a market by effecting intrinsic change and visible, quantifiable success with our customers. We are similarly delighted to partner with Spend Matters on this meaningful journey.

  2. Rob Bernshteyn:

    Peter: Thank you for the kind words about Coupa, and myself personally. We are honestly just trying to bring a fresh solution and a renewed spirit to this marketplace. I firmly believe that procurement professionals have not been properly enabled to deliver and then showcase their impact. We are on a mission to empower them and thus deliver real meaningful and measurable financial value for the companies they work. Our approach is grounded in integrity and our spirit is that of being a true partner with our customers. Our common thread is a enabling real customer success…you know the kind that everyone can take some honest pride in.

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