Back to Hub

Ivalua NOW 2019 Chicago: ‘We have this ambitious vision,’ CEO says of new release, roadmap

04/30/2019 By and

Ivalua CEO David Khuat-Duy on Tuesday kicked off the procurement solution provider’s customer event, Ivalua NOW 2019 Chicago, with an eye toward maintaining its dedication to serving customers, discussing its latest release and shedding light on its plans for the future.

“We have this long-term strategy of building a very big company with a fantastic product that we can offer to the market. And this is our vision,” Khuat-Duy said. “We don’t have a short-term vision, like exiting or doing something different. We have this ambitious vision.”

He said that mission is built on having a 98% rate of customer retention, which he vowed to maintain as Ivalua plans to expand its 15-office global reach with more individual, local teams.

A recent Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis of Europe-based Ivalua said the source-to-pay procurement suite technology provider, until recently, “has not gotten the attention its capabilities would suggest it deserves on the global stage.”

In launching Ivalua’s two-day event, Khuat-Duy discussed the provider’s nearly 20-year effort to build up a unified suite on a single code and he highlighted the latest development from its updated offering, Release 162.

The update includes:

  • A new user interface platform with a redesign for a modern user experience
  • An upgraded catalog/shopping experience that adds guided buying and a cross-catalog search feature called Search 360.
  • A focus on direct materials that offers bill-of-materials scenarios.
  • Forecast and PO collaboration.
  • Category management upgrades.
  • An integrated virtual assistant named Iva.

“We have a platform that’s very configurable,” he said, stressing that Ivalua focuses on having an out-of-the-box capability that tries to offer a rapid time to value.

He said the competitive advantage that Ivalua is seeking requires it to be beyond best-in-class — to be unique, to create visibility, to foster agility.

For the future, Ivalua’s roadmap includes:

  • Improved business insights, with predictive spend analytics; cost repository management; and sourcing optimization made simple.
  • “Customer delight,” which entails guided buying, a digital assistant and digital contracting.
  • Effective compliance/risk, to be addressed with smart contracting; supplier risk monitoring/third-party integration; and APQP.
  • Faster time-to-value, with pre-packaged best practice solutions, industry configurations and packaged integrations.

“The more we grow, the more we can have leverage and bring this new innovation,” Khuat-Duy said. “But we want to do that in a sustainable way.”
One area that’s being beefed up in Ivalua’s current arsenal and for the future is in artificial intelligence (AI). Its new chatbot assistant is named Iva — pronounced ee-vah.

In a demonstration that followed a digital magic show, Iva’s AI-assisted search and shopping features were put on display by Ivalua’s VP of Product Marketing Vishal Patel.

Users can type in questions and respond to Iva’s prompts or what it finds for your search. It returned results quickly and also has a voice-activated feature.

Ivalua said its overall AI strategy is meant to help people make faster, better decisions. It wants to imbed AI into each module in its platform to assist in all areas of S2P.

It would rely on a base of data pulled from each category (supplier risk performance, spend data, invoice payment, etc.) and would have a layer of intelligence that relies on deep learning, natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning. Those two layers would then inform an engagement layer for people working in areas like supplier management, sourcing, contract management, procurement, invoicing, and strategy and analytics.

For more on Ivalua’s product roadmap, look for Spend Matters PRO analysis in the days to come.