Conferences & Events Content

SAP Ariba Takes Aim at Procurement CoEs Services with A Targeted Shared Services Offering

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Procurement shared services teams — also known as centers of excellence (CoEs) — don’t get enough respect. In larger companies, they are often critical not only to bringing greater operating efficiency to AP and P2P transaction processing but are also increasingly involved in strategic areas including market intelligence, strategic sourcing and even sourcing optimization. Many of SAP Ariba’s customers have CoEs or are in the process of building of them. But as far as we know, no source-to-pay technology provider has come out with a specific module just for them. Until now.

The Ariba Network in 2018: Volume, Trending and Vision

So far today at SAP Ariba Live, The Ariba Supplier Network has been on full display. Barry Padgett, SAP Ariba’s recently appointed president, appears to be putting the network front and center in his organization’s overall strategy and vision. This marks a strategic evolution from Alex Atzberger’s focus on core SAP Ariba application enhancement as a primary objective, at least as Spend Matters sees it. At Live, Padgett is thinking big. He has talked in terms of “opening up” the network dramatically from API and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) perspectives, far beyond what SAP Ariba has done to date.

Ariba Live 2018 Kicks Off: “Very Nice”

Global Procurement Tech Summit

Three members of the Spend Matters analyst team (Pierre Mitchell, Xavier Olivera and Jason Busch) are attending SAP Ariba Live this year. By our count from the initial tech analyst session, more than 25 other analysts and influencers are attending, as well. We didn’t know we had so many peers who actually covered procurement technology! Perhaps this illustrates the rising interest in procurement solutions generally. We can almost hear Sacha Baron Cohen saying in his Borat voice, “Procurement Tech. Finally. Very Nice.”

Highlights from Across the Pond at Coupa Inspire 2017: A Fraud Detection Acquisition, Open Buy Launch and R19

Brexit

Coupa has acquired an AI fraud detection company and begun its official rollout of Open Buy with Amazon Business, our colleagues at Spend Matters UK/Europe reported from Coupa Inspire last week. The two announcements highlight Coupa’s recent push to integrate more advanced functionality into its spend management platform, from bringing sourcing optimization to a wider audience to enabling the elusive “guided buying” experience.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: Exploring Zycus’ Products and Modules Across Source-to-Pay

Earlier in the week on the mainstage at Zycus Horizon, Aatish Dedhia, Zycus’ founder and CEO, provided an overview of his firm’s current and emerging product footprint. The suite is “comprehensive,” to use a word Dedhia favors in describing it. To his credit, Zycus arguably offers one of the broadest suites available today, albeit with varying degrees of depth and comparative functionality. While our definition of what falls into a particular module or another may differ from how various providers define it, here’s how Zycus explains its footprint today.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: Blockchain, Robotic Process Automation and the Cloud

At Zycus Horizon, I participated in two panel discussions, one as a “pinch hitter” and the other with some up-front planning. One centered on the impact of robotic process automation (RPA) and artificial intelligence on the future of procurement technology and the procurement function, while also tying in cloud, blockchain, the internet of things (IoT) and other disruptive technology areas. The other panel touched on these topics but emphasized the future of the user experience in procurement technology.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: 5 Impressions From The Event So Far

Eved

Xavier Olivera and I have spent the past 24 hours at Zycus Horizon. We’ve been in and out of sessions, had conversations with customers and partners, and spent significant time talking to Zycus management. While we did not spend too much time in New Orleans digging into Zycus’ latest product releases, we’ve spent a dozen or so hours in the past quarter reviewing Zycus’ core procure-to-pay (P2P) and strategic procurement technology modules. Factoring these sessions into account and what we’ve learned at Horizon, we thought we’d do a “shoot from the hip” list of impressions from the event this year.

Zycus Horizon 2017 Dispatch: By the Numbers and Hinting at the Future

Xavier Olivera and I are on the ground in New Orleans (post “supply risk weather incident”) to attend the Zycus Horizon 2017 customer conference. Early in the afternoon, after a late start because of the hurricane — the storm, not the drink! — Aatish Dedhia, founder and CEO of Zycus, took the stage to provide an update and outlook on Zycus.

Upwork’s Work Without Limits Executive Summit: A Retrospective

Before the unofficial end of summer, I had the opportunity to attend Upwork’s first Work Without Limits Executive Summit in San Francisco. Upwork, the largest global online freelancer marketplace in terms of gross payment volume (effectively, spend), has earned a place on Spend Matters 50 to Watch list two years in a row, so many eyes are on the company. The focus of the summit was actually Upwork Enterprise, Upwork’s online freelancer sourcing and services solution for enterprise-scale organizations (from midsize to Fortune 500 firms).

Upwork Launches Talent Services Division to Enable Enterprise Use of Online Freelance Workforce

interview

Upwork announced Wednesday that it is launching a new functional organization it calls Talent Services. The company issued a press release titled “Upwork​ ​Creates​ ​World’s​ ​Largest​ ​On-Demand​ ​Talent​ ​Agency” at its Work Without Limits executive summit in San Francisco (read our kick-off coverage here). The new division combines consultative services with Upwork’s technology platform and online marketplace, enabling quick access for enterprise companies to the specific freelance talent they need, when they need it, according to the press release.

Upwork’s Work Without Limits Executive Summit: A Preview

Taulia Connect Cedric Bru

Online freelancing platform Upwork is kicking off its first executive summit Tuesday, and Spend Matters is on hand to cover the event. Upwork has described the Work Without Limits Summit as an “event [that] will bring together an intimate group of HR visionaries, the Fortune 500 C-suite and policy experts to understand how progressive organizations are embracing the new world of work will help forward-thinking executives prepare for the changing world of work.”

ISM 2017: Talent, Procurement Zen and a CPO’s Warning About Technology

I attended a Q&A session with a handful of the “30 under 30” winners in supply management at ISM 2017, and all I can say is that these young professionals from firms like GE, Johnson & Johnson and Coach are indeed impressive (see some of our interviews in the links below). The competition for the designation is increasing, and the winners are increasingly interested in supply management from the get-go. In the first year of the program, only 17% of the winners came into the industry proactively with a supply (chain) management degree, but 40% of winners this year (the third year) were supply management graduates and practitioners.