A P2P Vendor Crosses the Analytics Line: Coupa Ventures Into Spend Analysis (Part 3)

In the first two posts in this series (which you can read here and here), we offered up a first look into The Coupa Spend Optimizer product, a new spend analysis solution that is actually much broader -- but in places not as deep -- as other spend analysis offerings in the market today. These posts contain numerous screen shots of the product in addition to a couple of new additional screen grabs at the end of this post. In this final post looking at Coupa's new spend analytics solution, we'll include our analysis and recommendations for Coupa customers/prospects and competitors/partners:

Coupa Customers and Prospects:

  • Existing Coupa customers should evaluate Coupa Spend Optimizer as a logical addition to their existing Coupa investments, even in cases where they already have an existing spend analysis toolset. The Coupa suite (e.g., P2P, contract, T&E) specific embedded reports and analytics and the ability to create data mashups present a solid case for at least evaluating the option of adding this module on, aside from the basic spend analysis capabilities the product offers which can help drive sourcing and compliance strategies
  • Potential Coupa customers considering the broader Coupa suite may wish to consider the added capabilities and insights the Optimizer product can bring to initial roll-outs and deployments rather than waiting to deploy later; such a strategy may also help companies negotiating with Coupa to obtain more aggressive pricing on this new product, especially in cases where prospects can show the tool does not meet all of their specific spend analysis needs alone with its current functionality (but will help with tracking and continual building of the business case for a broader Coupa suite roll-out)
  • Companies evaluating Coupa in a head-to-head competitive context against other P2P vendors may wish to consider the Optimizer product in the context of the benefits of broader P2P and T&E reporting and analytical drill-down capabilities alone rather than looking at it as a spend analysis tool

Coupa Competitors:

  • At least initially, Coupa's latest new product introduction is likely to cause greater competitive consternation with other P2P vendors including Ariba, SAP and Oracle than it is to rock the boat with partners such as Emptoris (and other best-of-breed or top tier spend analysis companies like BIQ, Spend Radar, Rosslyn, BravoSolution, Zycus, Endeca/Oracle, etc.). The solution will further serve in a head-to-head comparative situation on the P2P front to help make the case for Coupa as the provider that now not only has the most unique user interface for P2P and T&E for frontline business users, but also the reporting and management cockpit that can provide the best real-time view into compliance and spending patterns for purchasing managers
  • Coupa competitors in the P2P space should take note that Coupa is continuing to differentiate itself in a number of areas that are simply different from where they themselves have often invested significant dollars and development time and effort. At the end of the competitive day, if Coupa keeps growing at the rate it has accomplished in recent quarters, it is likely to be at the expense of other providers that did not quickly adapt as much to a new P2P philosophy as much to a vendor with a rapid ability to innovate and deliver new products
  • As the Coupa Spend Optimizer product matures, it is likely to become more competitive with other spend analysis products, including those providers that have partnered with Coupa either formally or informally (e.g., Emptoris, Iasta) to sell a broader source-to-pay vision in competitive situations against Ariba and other suite vendors. These informal and formal partners should invest time to better understand Coupa's ultimate motivations in pursuing this market segment and whether or not Coupa has the desire and intent to enhance its capabilities -- or roll out new solutions -- in areas that are more threatening to their core business. But Spend Matters suspects that the old adage, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend," will likely continue to prevail in the near partnering term

Jason Busch

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