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Q&A: Keith Hausmann on joining Globality: ‘This is what I’d been looking for’

11/11/2019 By


Globality, an artificial intelligence-powered platform that facilitates the efficient buying and selling of enterprise services, hired a new chief revenue officer this fall, and we caught up with Keith Hausmann about his role as the new leader of business development and sales for the rapidly growing company.

Hausmann started as the CRO in September after years at Accenture, where he led supply chain and procurement business process optimization and built a technology ecosystem network.

In his new role at Globality, his focus is on leveraging AI to help clients with the sourcing of high-value B2B services, including marketing, consulting, technology, legal and more, to create a new ecosystem for global trade.

“This is what I’d been looking for,” Hausmann said of Globality’s mission.


Spend Matters: What drew you to Globality after being Accenture’s managing director of procurement and supply chain?

Keith Hausmann: I’ve been in smaller companies most of my career — companies starting, forming, creating a new category, doing something unique and different. I knew I was going to end up back in an environment of this kind at some point. It was only a question of when and for what and why.

When I was introduced to Globality, it was a jaw-dropping moment for me because the vision I’d laid out literally seven or eight years ago around procurement, particularly sourcing, was a reality at Globality. Many people talk about AI but are not really delivering it at scale in a true platform. When I saw what Globality was doing, I knew that this is what I’d been looking for — what I’ve been wanting and finally seeing.

Globality has the financial backing, a fantastic AI platform and a leadership team that has built companies many times over across different industries. The relevance to my background, combined with what they are doing, all came together for me in a really great way.

Most procurement solutions don’t handle services procurement very well, but they’re increasingly prevalent in suite solutions. How does Globality coexist with them?

What Globality is doing is becoming the ultimate, comprehensive marketplace (buying channel) for high-value, complex services, unlike what you see in other company’s solutions. What we’re doing is effectively using AI to draw out the complex intent of the purchaser and match that with curated suppliers that very specifically meet their requirements.

Whether these are the big consulting firms or whether they are extremely niche, not-well-known firms that the big companies never would have heard of — the Globality platform ultimately allows its users to complete that requirement and do that all online, conversationally, in a very intuitive, user-friendly way.

Our AI engine is called Glo. Think of Glo as a strategic sourcing partner that guides you from defining your specific project requirements all the way through to awarding business for complex, high-value services.

Let’s talk about those clients. Who are the main stakeholders in the buyer companies and what are the on-ramps for the solution?

Our main stakeholders are innovative or disruptive CPOs — CPOs who know AI is part of the future of procurement but don’t know where or how to start. CPOs who want to free up their talent to focus on higher-order strategic relationships, and can let Glo do a significant amount of the sourcing execution engine work, or that are truly trying to give a different experience to their stakeholders.

I was looking at one of my old friends who works at a prominent technology company now, and her tagline on LinkedIn is “changing the strategic sourcing experience.” Those are the kinds of people we’re looking for with that persona.

We also hear from CFOs and COOs, through board connections and other relationships, and they are particularly interested in generating savings through specification and demand management, as well as a unique new form of competition.

What we normally do with a client is run a “proof of concept” (a wave one analysis program) where we go out and target spend in management consulting, spend in marketing or spend in HR consulting, whatever it might be. We then champion end users and projects that make sense from a size-value/impact perspective.

As projects are run through the platform, we build a wellspring of support for a better user experience, faster cycle time and value generation, which frees up the procurement person to do something of higher value. From there, projects go into an ordered, phased, scaling program where we evaluate which categories and geographies should be next.

Tail spend is one facet of our story. We have a model where, in theory, we have an entire supplier network of 17,000+ suppliers today, and we have built a single-payer capability around this. So if clients want to take their smaller services spend, as one part of our engagement, and aggregate it into one master flow of payments, we have the ability to do that.

Taking a wider market view, who are your main competitors, and how does Globality differentiate itself? What’s the territory that you really defend?

I think we’re in a disruptive space that’s doing something different. There are companies out there that help clients in the procurement function with bespoke, one-off AI solutions. They’ll partner with you and develop capabilities like virtual assistants. I think those might be seen as our competitors. We also have clients who use other procurement platforms and still want to get value out of them. When they ask how we exist in the ecosystem with them, our answer is as the comprehensive buying channel for high-value, complex (SOW) services.

The major software platforms are all about buying channels. For example, what is the buying channel for high-value professional services, what is the buying channel for travel, what is buying channel for IT hardware? I think that every client I’ve ever worked with is really confused about what the buying channels should be for consulting or marketing services, or learning and development, and so on. The standard S2P platforms do not have a good answer to this question like we do.

They have ways that you can buy those things through their system, but it’s awkward. It’s not led by good, user-friendly UX design principles.

We enable guided buying. We take you through all of your high-value, complex professional services and marketing IT, management consulting and so on. After our client goes through the intuitive, AI-driven, needs-identification matching and proposal comparison, then it goes back through an API into the other procurement systems so that you have this as a system of record. It does what it always does, making it seamless for our clients in the way they like to work. We’re charting new territory, classically disrupting the way things were done before.

Your role as CRO has some obvious goals, but what would you really like to bring to the table at Globality?

I’m excited to bring my functional experience and relationships, as well as my evangelistic, passionate mind-set about the opportunity ahead. From all of my experience, procurement doesn’t change fast enough. And I’m ready to get to work to change this.

Sourcing is ready for a shift, to ultimately uplift the experience of the buyer, the seller and the procurement practitioners overseeing the spend. Let’s change the way specifications are developed and suppliers are vetted and identified — and ensure the best possible providers are chosen at the appropriate cost!