The Conferences Category

Why Procurement Must Prepare Today to Use Cognitive Software in 2050: Insights from LevaData’s 2018 Cognitive Sourcing Summit

digital

Just as it’s unlikely that most people will be regularly using self-driving cars any time before 30 years from now, procurement is probably not going to be widely using AI-based “cognitive” software within the next five or even 10 years. But that doesn’t mean organizations should sit around waiting for the technology to come to them. The talent, technology and operational strategies procurement leaders choose today will determine whether or not they are capable of using artificial intelligence-based software in the future. In fact, failing to prepare for the use of cognitive technology today could mean procurement is unable to use those tools even when they have become widely adopted, putting the business far behind its digitally mature competitors.

Forging a Cognitive Future for Procurement: LevaData Kicks Off Second Annual Cognitive Sourcing Summit

platform

Spend Matters is on the ground in Santa Clara, California, today for the 2018 Cognitive Sourcing Summit. Hosted by LevaData, an emerging provider of e-sourcing software, the event, now in its second year, brings together leading procurement professionals to examine trends in strategic sourcing, with an emphasis on how artificial intelligence and machine learning are changing the way organizations approach this foundational process. While LevaData plans to expand upon several of the themes it first explored at its inaugural Congnitive Sourcing Summit, in October 2017, we will also be looking to hear about the latest updates to the vendor’s platform, as well as the results of some relevant research about procurement’s readiness to effectively use AI-powered technology.

Why Mobile Matters to Procurement: Key Takeaways from Vroozi’s ‘High Performance Purchasing’ Event

Artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain have dominated the headlines as top technologies transforming businesses, but the essential component to enabling truly digital operations is likely in your pocket. Yes, smartphones are useful for far more than taking selfies and scrolling social media while your coffee brews. As Vroozi, a provider of procure-to-pay (P2P) software, explained Wednesday at its High Performance Purchasing event in Chicago, procurement should look to mobile technology as an enabler of digital transformation.

Tradeshift By the Numbers (1H 2018) and a New Bank Offering (The “Early Payments Wallet”) [PRO]

In New York City yesterday, following the announcement of a $250 million funding round, Tradeshift provided an update to analysts, customers and partners. We covered a couple of the general updates already, including the announcement of a new receivables-centric application and supplier network offering (see: Tradeshift’s “Sellers Club” Targets Bottomline and Accounts Receivable Technology With a Many-to-Many Offering) and parallels Tradeshift is drawing from others in developing its own strategy (see: Tradeshift Analyst Day Dispatch: “Do You Want Amazon to Own Your Supplier Relationships?).

In today’s Spend Matters PRO coverage, we turn our attention to other announcements from the event, including a general corporate update (i.e., Tradeshift by the numbers) and other product announcements. The emphasis is on Tradeshift’s new bank-centric offerings that support early payment programs, including bank and multi-bank funding options, along with KYC (Know Your Customer) and the other alphabet soup requirements that banks require from a supplier/customer onboarding standpoint. We’ll also share our observations coming out of the event. Let’s begin.

Tradeshift’s “Sellers Club” Targets Bottomline and Accounts Receivable Technology With a Many-to-Many Offering

Sarika Garg, Tradeshift’s chief strategy officer, took the podium for a few minutes at Tradeshift’s analyst day to introduce what the procurement/finance technology provider is calling its “Seller’s Club.” The concept is that the “Club” is a membership, not a subscription. While a supplier-paid offering, Garg made the point of noting that Tradeshift remains free for suppliers to transact. Our take is that the Club appears to be a new offering for suppliers that is taking aim at another class of solutions entirely compared with procurement, accounts payable automation and supplier network offerings aimed at the buyer — where Tradeshift started.

Tradeshift Analyst Day Dispatch: “Do You Want Amazon to Own Your Supplier Relationships?”

On a well-timed East Coast swing, Lisa Reisman (Azul Partners’ fearless CEO) and I dropped by New York City for Tradeshift’s analyst day, the Tradeshift Innovation Summit. Christian Lanng, Tradeshift’s founder and CEO, kicked off the afternoon with a history lesson, drawing the parallel between Salesforce and the path he suggests that Tradeshift is on. He began his talk by noting that in 1999, Oracle, Siebel and SAP were “fighting it out over CRM” when the market was “fragmented, verticalized and on-premise.” But Salesforce came along with a different vision, building “software for the end-user” with an emphasis on “cloud” and eventually its “app” platform.

Coupa’s Customer Conference and Earnings Continue to ‘Inspire’ — But a New Competitive Battle is Looming [PRO]

A few weeks back we attended Coupa Inspire 2018. The event left us with a perspective that Coupa is not only doing some things extremely well but also that it would do well not to make the same mistakes of those that came before it with a similar rise to fame (i.e., a healthier dose of competitive paranoia is always more effective than getting punch-drunk on the fame of continued growth and capital market success).

In this Spend Matters PRO research brief, we provide a summary of a number of key announcements made during Coupa Inspire 2018 and over the past 18 months at Coupa. In addition, we’ll trace the history of Coupa’s product launches and introductions to provide context on how new offerings may evolve.

We’ll also offer perspective and opinions on the trajectory Coupa has been on — including whether it is sustainable — and conclude with comments on what has become arguably the most important procure-to-pay (P2P) battleground on which Coupa is positioning itself against competitors: how to enable as close to 100% of spend under management as possible with a P2P solution at the core. Incidentally, this is a topic that Oracle and SAP (inclusive of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and Concur) also have been doing quite a bit of thinking on of late — not to mention Coupa’s partner, customer and frenemy Amazon Business.

As a follow-on to this research brief, we will later share our thoughts on Coupa’s Q1 2019 earnings report from earlier in June, including how traction (and competition) in the market is translating both to wins and losses depending on customer requirements, channel/partner influence and competitive price pressure in select circumstances. Yet it would not be the Spend Matters way unless we wrapped this commentary around five reasons to bet for or against Coupa to maintain a “top three” position in the market.

For those wanting a primer on Coupa, we encourage you to check out our Vendor Snapshot on the provider (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) as well Coupa’s latest Q1 2018 SolutionMap performance in the e-procurement, invoice-to-pay, procure-to-pay and sourcing areas.

Top Providers to Know and Watch, Conference Mania and More: May Highlights on Spend Matters

There is perhaps not a busier month in the world of procurement than May. With the annual ISM conference and a host of other events taking place during the fifth month of the year, practitioners have come to expect a deluge of new developments. (Remember the sunsetting of IBM Emptoris last May, anyone?) Here at Spend Matters, we hope to help practitioners make sense of it all, as well as shine a light on the key trends we see as the procurement space continues to evolve. With that in mind, here are some highlights from our most-read articles in May.

Procurement Findings from ISM2018: The Path Ahead

Eved

Spend Matters welcomes this guest column from Naseem Malik and Nick Lazzara of MRA Global Sourcing.

Having attended several ISM annual conferences as both a participant and the past few years as a CLC member, I’m always struck by the energy, enthusiasm and growing excellence when it comes to this evolving function. As the quality of the conference has improved via content and companies represented, it has steadily bolstered the number of attendees every year, culminating to their highest turnout to date this year. 

Ivalua Now Dispatch: Proving You Don’t Need to be a Megacorp to Succeed

One of the most curious points featured in each of the opening keynotes at Ivalua Now was that while technology providers have to grow to succeed in today's world, they don't have to become part of “Global Megacorp” — my words, not Ivalua’s— or acquire their way to global megacorp status to be a smashing success in the source-to-pay space. The private equity irony was not lost on us if we compare which companies KKR has invested in (Ivalua) versus Accel-KKR (Jaggaer). Queue Whiz Kalifa in that latter case.

‘Collabs’: What Procurement, the Billboard Chart and Supreme Have in Common

Michael Lamoureux, Xavier Olivera and I are in New York City today at Ivalua Now, the procurement technology provider’s customer event. Alex Saric, Ivalua’s CMO, kicked off the morning’s festivities with a quick introductory presentation highlighting parallels between music and procurement. One of these, which I think is ingenious, is the notion of “collaborations” in the recording industry. Saric extended the concept to procurement partnering with the business.

How Current and Future Leaders are Managing a Changing Procurement Function: ISM 2018 Roundup

digital business transformation

The future of procurement will be agile, digital and strategically focused. Regular readers of Spend Matters are familiar with these trends, of course, but how exactly organizations will realize those projections is often less clear. Clarifying this path forward was a top focus for attendees at ISM 2018 last week in Nashville, particularly for procurement’s current and future leaders. During a series of roundtable talks on the second day of the conference, CPOs from household-name companies and winners of the ISM/Thomas 30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Star awards convened to discuss how they’re approaching digital strategy, the increasing trend toward externalization and ways they’re preparing for risks both in the near term and on the horizon.