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Ivalua NOW Americas 2023: Breaking new ground

05/09/2023 By

Last week, Spend Matters analysts attended Ivalua’s annual Americas conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Located at the historic Country Music Hall of Fame, the two-day event featured keynotes, breakout sessions, solution demonstrations, partner/sponsor booths, and more.

The first Ivalua NOW conference in 2023 took place in Paris in late March. Both conferences were titled “Breaking new ground” and focused on how businesses must adapt to economic and geopolitical trends.

Overview of Ivalua NOW Americas 2023

The event followed a similar structure to that of EMEA Ivalua NOW, which we covered here. Ivalua again supported a hybrid model, meaning that certain aspects (such as the keynotes and breakout sessions) were broadcasted live for those interested but unable to attend in person.

David Khuat-Duy, Ivalua’s CEO and founder, opened Thursday morning with a company update and general overview of the market. He presented on the “age of uncertainty” and argued that people and technology are now inseparable, resulting in a procurement need for new supplier strategies, information requirements and methods of engaging stakeholders. Khuat-Duy revealed that Ivalua has been most focused on environmental impact management, invoice management and continuous transaction control, community management and user adoption.

As we mentioned in our EMEA coverage of Ivalua NOW, the company now has 900 employees, over $153 million in annual revenue (25% growth), approximately 1,500 certified consultants from parent organizations (32% year-over-year increase) and a customer retention rate consistently between 95% and 99% for over 20 years.

Three Ivalua customers then took the stage to share insights from their procurement transformation journeys. The first was Desjardins, a Canadian financial cooperative with over $407 billion in assets. Desjardin’s VP of Procurement and Administrative Services, Nadia Malek, discussed the lack of data visibility in organizations and how many are unaware of how much spend they have with their suppliers.

Malek advocated for the use of analytics to existing company data to unlock further insights. Likening data to “the new crown jewel” of the company as opposed to money, she stressed the importance of data security, using a vault as a metaphor. Through a past data breach, Desjardins learned the importance of structured, accessible data (especially contract data) for risk management and how questionnaire-based, third-party risk management can help keep data secure.

The next customer to present was Teledyne Technologies, an industrial conglomerate that makes sensors and transmitting devices that registered about $5.5 billion in revenue in 2022. Paul DeLaRosa, Corporate Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer, spoke about procurement’s evolving focus.

DeLaRosa noted relentless cost pressures, technological advancements, supplier relationships, managing risk and reevaluating the people strategy (in that data will require new roles to support procurement functions) as key trends of procurement’s evolution. Teledyne had uncoordinated, ERP-based procurement prior to 2019 that included siloed, individual facilities/plants with no visibility.

Teledyne’s procurement transformation centered around a value creation model, operating model, technology architecture and initiatives planning. Now, the organization has improved its margins, operating model, supplier relationships, overall capabilities and technology/tools.

The final Ivalua customer keynote was Applied Materials, a semiconductor and display equipment manufacturer with over $25 billion in revenue in 2022. Archie Mekonnen, Vice President of Global Information Services, presented alongside Brent Graves, Director, Global Supply Chain.

Prior to beginning its procurement transformation journey, Applied Materials had very limited supply chain visibility, both for tier 1 and beyond. Mekonnen and Graves wanted its supply chain to become “boring” (predictable, scalable) and thus used Ivalua to increase supplier collaboration capabilities, single sign-on, regional language support, mass collaboration, and more. The business is now working on advanced planning (forecasting), design for supply chain and further scalability.

Beyond customer stories, Ivalua also delivered product roadmap updates with Pascal Bensoussan, Chief Product Officer, as well as Vishal Patel, Vice President, Product Marketing and several members of Ivalua’s research and development and product marketing teams. In addition to highlights overviewed in our EMEA coverage, Ivalua featured recent enhancements, including some forthcoming capabilities to be released in V178 (July 2023), including:

  • Supplier onboarding, risk and compliance (e.g., supplier segmentation, actionable supplier risk and performance insights, automated risk scores refresh).
  • Direct sourcing (e.g., reporting and monitoring).
  • AI-powered collaborative CLM (e.g., native authoring for templates, obligation extraction and search, AI-based contract classification, guided contract creation).
  • Smart buying experience (e.g., item-level carbon footprint, automated spot bid and smart forms, payment terms flow, inventory management, stock transfers).
  • Invoice compliance (e.g., country packages for global compliance, Arabic language support, upgraded AI-OCR engine, advanced invoice reconciliation, tax engine integration).
  • Payment automation (e.g., bank integrations, payment automation engine, V-Cards generation-payment-reporting, automated PO matching, dynamic discounting integration).
  • Environmental impact center (e.g., supplier data collection and scoring, carbon analytics, green procurement).
  • Actionable analytics (e.g., enhanced widgets, CO2 emission dashboards, CLM dashboards).
  • Platform (e.g., easier configuration, workflow, navigation, templates, new message center).

Use our PRO subscription Vendor Analysis series for an in-depth look at Ivalua’s functionality, SWOT analysis, and competitive landscape and at its ESG and risk capabilities.