Coupa Content

Great acquisitions — and how technology helps us avoid bad buying

bad buying

Anyone who reads Spend Matters knows that technology makes a vital contribution to effective procurement these days. Not using it properly can also lead to problems, and in my new book, "Bad Buying — How Organisations Waste Billions Through Failures, Frauds, and F*ck-ups," I talk about some issues where technology can undoubtedly help us avoid problems.

Coupa Continues to Add Customers, Reports Strong Q3


Coupa did it again. The provider set new records in the third quarter for overall company revenue and customer subscription revenue growth, according to the latest quarterly results. As a cloud company with recurring revenues that is also adding new customers faster than any other e-procurement-centric vendor we’re aware of, perhaps this news is not a surprise. Coupa now has more than 500 customers processing more than $120 billion through its solutions.

Coupa Reports Best Quarter Ever – No Surprises Here


Coupa recently announced its Q2 2015 financial report, which shows the provider is still on the path of gaining market share and had its 26th consecutive quarter of subscription revenue growth. Its customers also continue to experience positive results – as of June, the provider’s customer base had accumulated $5 billion in calculated savings. We can’t say we’re surprised by these positive Q2 financial results – Coupa has been very clever in delivering the message of “savings,” which remains the most wanted word in procurement, at least from a business requirement perspective. Yes, procurement needs to deliver value beyond cost savings, but for Coupa installed base customers who are slightly earlier in their spend management journey compared with the typical Fortune 500 firm, cost savings is usually king.

Still, while it is certainly one thing to promise savings, it’s quite another entirely to deliver it both for procurement organizations and for solution providers, and Coupa is smart to align its strategy to that of its customers. Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn said in the company’s press release on the report: “We are committed to revolutionizing the spend management space by bringing to market solutions that employees and suppliers actually use, which is the only proven way for our enterprise customers to bring previously unmanaged spend under control and achieve millions of dollars in savings.”

Coupa’s Rob Bernshteyn on How to Spend $80M+ and Our Questions Ahead of Coupa Inspire [Plus+]

Yesterday, I had the chance to catch up briefly with Coupa’s President and CEO Rob Bernshteyn about the provider’s recent $80 million funding round, which valued the company in excess of $1 billion. The discussion was actually quite boring, but not in a bad way – Rob is anything but dull. However, there seems to be little change in direction – or even an evolution – of Coupa’s strategy. Rather, it is more of the “high-growth same” if you will – an emphasis on customers, markets (e.g., geographic) and continued suite innovation, in Rob’s words. In this Spend Matters Plus analysis, we share some of the notes from our discussion with Rob as well as our outlook for Coupa Inspire this week and questions that we hope to get answered from attending.

Open the Supplier Floodgates: A Counterintuitive Approach to Getting Spend Under Management

Here is a best practice that also sounds counterintuitive at first: giving all your employees access to all the suppliers you’ve done business with in the last 18 months. This goes against one of the textbook strategies for optimizing spend, which is limiting the number of suppliers that can be used for purchases of goods and services. When procurement professionals first hear this idea, their immediate response is, “What? There is no way I’m going to allow all my employees access to every supplier!” They imagine chaos, with employees creating orders all over the place and procurement losing control. But the exact opposite happens.

Why Using OCR For Invoice Management is Like Hitching a Horse to Your Buggy

OCR only works well for the roughly 30 percent of your supply base you do business with all the time. For the long tail of your transactions, the one-offs and suppliers you do business with infrequently, it’s not very accurate. Sure, it can be made to be more accurate, but it would be more labor-intensive to get invoices set up and suppliers enabled at an acceptable level of accuracy than it is to process the invoice manually.

Is It Time to Have a Spend Optimization Quota?

There are only two ways a company can increase profitability—make more money or save more, and the two are equally important. However, most companies focus more on the revenue side of the equation. They have salespeople, whose sole job is to go out and bring in money. They forecast, they measure, and salespeople get paid partly based on their revenue contribution. They have a quota to meet—a big fat KPI staring them in the face on the first of every month, and it’s not too difficult to measure their performance against that.

Coupa 10: Sourcing Product Review and Customer/Partner/Competitor Recommendations [PRO]

Every procurement organization should pay attention to Coupa Sourcing. We gave some reasons in our previous post, Coupa 10: Sourcing Product Review and Analysis, including the ability for procurement to deliver a sourcing tool that’s completely integrated to transactional purchasing environments (P2P). This approach can enable front-line spenders – not necessarily procurement team members – to engage in sourcing activities, driving out additional cost even before a requisition goes to purchasing for approval. As our review of Coupa Sourcing’s tool continues, we’ll explore some of the functional capabilities and provide customer, partner, and competitive guidance.

Coupa 10: Sourcing Product Review and Analysis [PRO]

Earlier this summer, Coupa launched its latest release with what can only be described as a boatload of enhancements and new capabilities. The release focused on a general functional and modular build-out to expand the appeal of the Coupa suite in new areas. It’s also important to note that in our opinion, Coupa is expanding the value proposition for the 90% or so of organizations that are capable of using a standardized P2P platform without the need for advanced capability in specialized areas (e.g., focusing on the challenges integrating specialized catalog management tools, scaling workflow in highly complex and decentralized environments, linking the buy/sell sides together). Still, Coupa 10 further solidifies their lead over Ariba/SAP and Oracle except in Fortune 200/250 company transactional buying needs (a wide open market where Coupa is just one of several viable competitors depending on procurement environment considerations). Click through for further PRO-level analysis and insight into Coupa's new release.

Learning From T&E: Coupa, Xpenser, and Expense Submission Serendipity [PRO]

Stand-alone Travel and Expense (T&E) - minus travel booking - is a somewhat quirky stepchild in the world of corporate spend buying, tracking, and compliance. In general, the experience of T&E tools has improved dramatically for typical frontline users in the past decade. Anyone who was forced to use an earlier version of Concur, Ariba, or others in the earlier procurement days will testify to the fact the applications were disenchanting (to put it mildly) for users – they made compliance time-consuming. The tools were as onerous, mean, and cumbersome as the surly folks behind the procurement scenes tasked with T&E policy and approvals. Both were, well, mean.