Back to Hub

Coupa Inspire 2023: Increasing value throughout economic uncertainty drives new product announcements

Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn presented at Coupa Inspire Americas 2023 yesterday, April 12, in Las Vegas — the company’s tenth annual Inspire conference. Almost 3,000 attendees were present for his opening speech of the day, which touched on economic instability and the need for organizations to emphasize value in such times.

Bernshteyn’s speech also emphasized community, which was the primary theme from his 2022 Inspire speech, in conjunction with the changes to Coupa and its customers in the 10 years since the inaugural Inspire conference. For example, in 2013, the provider had $49 billion in spend under management but now is at over $4 trillion conducted with 9.5 million unique suppliers.

coupa inspireThe need to emphasize value during a period of economic uncertainty has permeated the broader procurement and supply chain software market, and Bernshteyn accordingly highlighted the value that Coupa provides. Each day, Coupa processes 36 million API calls. It manages $43 billion in diverse spend annually, delivers over $38 billion in bottom-line impact and automates over 800 million process steps.

New features announced at Coupa Inspire

Raja Hammoud, Coupa EVP Product, also announced an array of new features (350 of them in the last year according to Hammoud) to help customers manage risk, supply chain, ESG factors, payments as well as extensions of its to provide additional market insights based on anonymized Coupa customers’ data. Coupa has bucketed its functionality into three main pillars: “Capture” (of spend and processes and performance), “Optimize” (i.e., improving broader process performance and capabilities beyond initial process automation) and “Amplify” (using community data and AI to generate in-context actionable prescriptions).

Regarding the last pillar, the announced updates include support for Scope 3 travel emissions insights with benchmarking against peers. Coupa already supported Scope 3 emissions tracking for products (announced May 2022) through dashboards, but customers can now compare their Scope 3 travel-specific emissions to others by category, industry, per dollar and over configurable ranges. The Coupa customer community hopes that the ability to benchmark products and travel Scope 3 emissions will encourage everybody to reduce their emissions over time.

Another announcement is the addition of item pricing intelligence. Now, over 10,000 items are supported for pricing intelligence so users can access pricing trends and information when making purchasing decisions. This also extends to intelligence on ocean freight pricing (announced May 2022) and Full Truck Load (FTL) pricing intelligence (launched yesterday).

Further, Coupa’s supply chain prescriptions use AI, customer/community data and price intelligence for logistics. The solution can formulate different recommendations, including node skipping, mode switching and volume consolidation. It integrates with supply chain modeling to analyze opportunities in terms of network design.

Coupa also announced its plans for future additions. For example, the provider is currently developing what it calls “next generation spend planning,” which will allow customers to access dashboards with community spend data for comparison purposes and to receive recommendations on category strategies and automated category plan creation and tracking. Users may be able to compare total spend (both managed and non-managed) against peers, over time, against categories and more. The solution will also have a focus on stakeholder management. Coupa expects this solution to launch “within the next year.”

Another roadmap item is the ability for users to ask natural language questions to a private instance chatbot powered by and “generative AI” (which we’ve not yet evaluated). The interface will use insights to provide customers with more specific and usable insights that broader generative AI tools cannot offer due to the lack of protected and anonymized customer data sets. Coupa expects to train the private instance generative AI with Coupa data sets ( data).

Beyond these enhancements and future developments, Coupa also announced:

  • Guided intake and workflow capabilities (e.g., supporting some broader user-interactive intake management capabilities beyond basic smart forms and other similar functionality).
  • A supply chain collaboration module for direct spend (PO collaboration at line items and scheduling agreements) is now available to all customers, after one year of use, instead of select customers in an early-access program; more to come in future releases for forecast collaboration, inventory collaboration [VMI] and quality collaboration.
  • An expansion of Coupa Pay through a collaboration with Goldman Sachs Transaction Banking to launch a streamlined payments solution that will allow customers to make payments in 24 currencies across 167 countries.
  • A “tap-to-pay” mobile card experience (in development) leveraging the Coupa virtual card program that has been available since 2018.
  • Community supplier profiles (essentially, the supplier information management aspect of a supplier network) with payment, diversity, and other ESG data.
  • New risk scores embedded throughout the platform and workflows (P2P, sourcing, CLM, etc.) that can determine risk scores and also drive subsequent workflow steps.
  • Treasury cash forecasting capabilities and dashboards that automatically calculate the cash forecast using procurement, invoice and bank account data and that can show the cash impact on ‘spend planning.’

As Bernshteyn noted, Coupa is focused on providing value to its customers and prospective customers during what could become a bleak economic period, which is, of course, the inherent counter-cyclical value proposition of buy-side solutions. But, by leveraging its own customers’ data, Coupa is providing differentiated value beyond feature-function capabilities, which we’ve covered extensively for years (see here as an example Spend Matters PRO deep dive into the topic). Moreover, Coupa’s advancements have reflected recent market trends, such as the increase in Scope 3 emissions tracking and the importance of risk management, but with a focus on making the insights actionable within the applications. Hammoud indicated that Coupa now has more than 100 configurations available across the platform for customers to use to impact their ESG goals.

Stay tuned for more coverage from Coupa Inspire 2023, both on our main site news page and on Spend Matters PRO for deeper product analysis.