The Spend Matters team has descended on Orlando for the ISM 2017 conference. This year’s event is shaping up to be a great one. I got in Sunday but didn’t get a chance to attend a behind-the-scenes tour of Disney World, which looked fascinating. There’s a metaphor for supply management here, I think: “How is procurement able to generate 10X returns on investment in the function? It must be magic!” Well, like Disney, it’s a lot of hard work, customer focus, innovation, creativity and technology.
The Industry News Category
In a recent discussion I had with Basware, we talked about the firm’s recently announced partnership with Scanmarket. Although the provider’s comments referenced the customer benefits of its newly minted S2P capability, the people I spoke to never backed off talking about the firm’s ability to drive 100% spend coverage. It caught my attention, because in a S2P context it’s smart, especially when considering how ripe the savings opportunities are for spend categories that have never before been covered/managed/competitively sourced.
After months of debate, we are excited to reveal our 50 Providers to Know and 50 Providers to Watch for 2017. At Spend Matters, we routinely review the latest procurement technology and service offerings. This uniquely positions us to help you with your vendor selection process. The 50/50 lists are the result of intense debate, discussion and refinement among all of the Spend Matters analysts and reflect our unbiased, independent view of the organizations you should know and watch.
Improve Your Category Management Performance: Report and Webinar From Future Purchasing and Spend Matters
The Future Purchasing Category Management survey and report is now in its third edition, and has established itself as the definitive piece of research work in its field. Future Purchasing, as a consulting firm specializing in “CatMan,” bring its own insights to the results. That means the final report is far from just being a presentation of the data from the several hundred survey respondents, representing organizations from many different sectors and countries.
Today’s coverage of Coupa Inspire 2017 will go deeper than our first dispatch, as we we zero in on product. The biggest news to come out of Coupa’s customer conference Thursday was the general availability release of R18. Although “just a scheduled release” may seem boring, procurement transformations are inherently evolutionary, and the 50 major new features and capabilities were well received by the customers — and generally by us, too.
There’s more than just “evolution” to the product set in R18. In this PRO brief, we discuss the good as well as the gaps in Coupa’s latest release as we unpack the latest from the cloud spend management provider. We’ll also point to the future and explore some areas where Coupa may head later in 2017 and 2018 based on what we’ve heard from customer needs (external) and signposts around product innovation (internal), as well.
Technological innovation is the theme of Ardent Partners’ latest annual CPO Rising report, which the research and advisory firm recently released. Andrew Bartolini, Ardent Partners’ chief research officer (and a one-time Spend Matters contributor), has been writing and updating the report for 12 years. This year’s report shows shifts in CPOs’ priorities and strategies — with a clear consensus on the importance of technology adoption.
Pull the string and let him go. That’s pretty much all Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn had to do this morning. Following a fully scripted product marketing update (and its announcement of Release 18) delivered by Raja Hammoud, Coupa’s vice president of product management, Steve Wozniak sat down with Rob and off he went.
Spend Matters provided initial coverage Wednesday of the SAP Ariba and IBM Emptoris partnership. We also offered a personal essay, a eulogy to Emptoris. This Spend Matters PRO First Take provides an analysis and recommendations for IBM Emptoris customers, including how they should think about an overall migration to a third-party solution as well as the role of IBM and its professional services organization as an advisor in the transition.
This brief also provides insight into comparable SAP Ariba solutions to those that Emptoris delivers, as well as comprehensive shortlists of vendors in the spend analytics, sourcing, contract management and supplier management areas in a segmented frameworks for each, including SAP Ariba (e.g., suite based, best of breed, specialization, industry focus, etc.).
Finally, this PRO analysis offers insight into artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive applications that SAP Ariba and IBM Emptoris may develop together by combining the Leonardo (SAP) and Watson (IBM) AI engines, as well as Spend Matters insights and research into different AI use cases applied to different disciplines within procurement, including sourcing and contract management.
Walking the hallways and meeting with several of Coupa’s customers yesterday, it was hard not to notice a kind of positive speculation in the air. After many months of making data acquisition a priority, resulting in a cool trillion in spend data, Coupa is using this year’s customer conference to motivate specific discussion around using those data to “unleash value.”
Coupa Inspire 2017 kicked-off yesterday with CEO Rob Bernshteyn delivering the keynote. Rob’s speech was plain spoken and detailed in terms of Coupa’s product and market vision, as my colleague Pierre Mitchell wrote in an earlier dispatch. The tone of the room was reminiscent of a rock concert. Bottom line: folks were excited. The audience of more than 1,500 was engaged and Coupa’s CEO had command of the room.
CEO Rob Bernshteyn kicked off Coupa Inspire 2017 by, of course, highlighting Coupa’s traction: $360 billion spend under management, 535 customers, 3 million suppliers on the network, 150 countries, $1.36 trillion in spend analyzed (via Spend360) and 80 million API calls, to name a few metrics. More important, he used the letters in COUPA to highlight the firm’s focus going forward. Let’s spell this out.
When the dust settles from the death of Emptoris, many people will quickly forget the debt of gratitude we owe to its founders, managers, software developers and various owners over its many years. Perhaps more than any other company from the first generation of procurement technology firms, Emptoris had a greater impact on the sector than even, I would argue, FreeMarkets, my former employer, or Ariba, for that matter. While others on the Spend Matters team will no doubt have additional comments about Emptoris on a personal level, I wanted to be the first to put some words to paper this morning.