Afternoon Coffee: Daily U.S. coronavirus cases hit record; Google riles EU; SAP and Spend Matters examine procurement trends; PRO recap: Trakti, AnyData, Parley Pro, procurement’s role in business transformation

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The United States reported more than 153,400 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, CNBC reported. On Nov. 1, the U.S. had about 70,000 daily cases.

Yesterday counted the third-straight record one-day spike and pushed the seven-day average of new U.S. cases to over 131,400, up more than 32% compared to a week ago. In addition to new cases, more than 67,000 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the country, which is the highest at any other point during the pandemic.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Friday that a “number of factors” are driving the outbreak — including “pandemic fatigue” of people growing tired of following the procedures. Fauci urged Americans to wear masks, practice social distancing, wash hands frequently and follow other public health measures, the article reported.

“If we do the things that are simple public health measures, that soaring will level and start to come down,” he said on CBS’ “This Morning.” “You add that to the help of a vaccine, we can turn this around. It is not futile.”

Google leaks unfavorable document toward EU big tech policies, fueling tensions

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the head of Google's parent company, apologized to Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton over a leaked internal document that proposed tactics to counter the EU’s tough new rules on internet companies and to lobby against the EU commissioner, according to Reuters.

According to a statement from the European Commission, Pichai and Breton exchanged views in a video-conference call late Thursday. The call came after an internal document from Google outlined a 60-day strategy to attack the European Union’s efforts to make new rules against big tech. Pichai apologized for the way the document came out, which he said he hadn’t seen or sanctioned, the article reported. The incident shows the intense lobbying by tech companies against proposed EU rules, which could force changes into how the businesses operate.

According to Reuters, Breton told Pichai: “The internet cannot remain a ‘Wild West’: we need clear and transparent rules, a predictable environment and balanced rights and obligations.”

Google spokesman Al Verney said in a statement that “our online tools have been a lifeline to many people and businesses through the lockdown, and Google is committed to continuing to innovate and build services that can contribute to Europe’s economic recovery post-COVID.”

SAP hosts Spend Matters’ analyst to discuss procurement trends

In a discussion aired this week, Spend Matters’ lead analyst Magnus Bergfors and the SAP Procurement Solutions group focused on the most notable procurement trends in the market today. Bergfors was joined by SAP’s SVP and Head of Procurement product strategy, Baber Farooq.

Bergfors talked about the many procurement challenges of this past year, and how some companies are overcoming them. He said there is increasing importance in risk management, collaboration capabilities, visibility of analytics, and he said that robust supplier networks are “critical.”

Farooq spoke to the ever-important role of digitization, automation and data in procurement today. Farooq advocates autonomous procurement that increases productivity and efficiency that provide proactive insights. He also said it’s becoming so much more important for procurement to consider many aspects of its role in an organization, not just how much money it can save. It’s about building resiliency within a supply chain and an organization.

“Procurement has the ability to make a difference. We call this idea procuring with purpose,” Farooq said. “It’s largely been treated as a CSR initiative, I think that’s a bit silly. Your everyday spend can make an impact in terms of your local communities and the local suppliers within your communities. We think we can make that a central point for procurement departments by building some very basic capabilities in your product.”

Those interested can view the whole recording on LinkedIn to learn more insights into the key trends in procurement today.

Spend Matters' analysts look at Trakti, AnyData, Parley Pro, and procurement's role beyond spend influence

This week, Spend Matters PRO analysts assessed solutions from two contract lifecycle management solutions, Trakti and Parley Pro. Analysts also assessed the spend analytics function of AnyData. Finally, analysts also delved into spend under management and how procurement can do even more to help their businesses. Our PRO subscribers can read the full articles, but all readers can see the lengthy intros that frame the issues being discussed. This week:

Read more about a PRO membership.

In case you missed it, Spend Matters released its list of "Future 5" start-ups to watch: Trakti, Utmost, Prewave, graphiteConnect and Teampay.

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