Coupa Targets UK/Continent With New EMEA Head — But How Big is the European P2P Opportunity?

Spend Matters readers by now are undoubtedly familiar with Coupa, a provider that is turning the eProcurement world upside down by reinventing what it means to get an application in the buying masses hands. They go far beyond basic indirect requisitioning, covering all spend rather than just select categories. It's also darn easy to use in what we've previously described as an "opinionated Spend Management attitude." Unfortunately for global customers, Coupa has up until now been a somewhat difficult application to license, deploy, and use owing to limited reseller agreements throughout EMEA. No more. Over on Spend Matters UK/Europe, Peter Smith reports that Coupa are ramping up their sales and business development efforts with a new European commercial head, Alex Kleiner.

Choosing Alex Kleiner as the VP of Sales for Europe is a major step for the firm. Alex, who we know, has an ideal background to make Coupa a household name on the continent. As Peter observes, "Kleiner is a fascinating guy -- at first sight, every inch your American East Coast preppie businessman, but has actually lived in the UK since 2002 and loves it...[he was one of] the founders of Frictionless in 1998, an innovative eSourcing software and services firm who were bought out by SAP in 2006, and provided SAP with much of their sourcing capability. He stayed with SAP for a while, then worked for Hubwoo."

Peter's observations about Coupa are in line with my own. He notes that "it is all 'cloud" based, and draws heavily on learning from the consumer market ('one-click' thinking, for instance). At first sight, the Coupa software is so user-friendly it will probably draw hysterical laughter from anyone who has gone through a two year, painful eProcurement implementation! And it covers T&E/T&S processes as well as procurement." No doubt Coupa has a large hurdle to climb in the UK market and on the Continent. It's far from a household name today. But factor in the situation where there are rarely a range of assured shortlist candidates for P2P in the UK/Europe market -- unlike in the US, where Ariba competes in the great majority of deals -- and Coupa's ability to go both down- and up-market, and things could get quite interesting quickly across the pond for them indeed!

Jason Busch

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