SAP & PrimeRevenue Partnership — Interview with PJ Bain, CEO of PrimeRevenue

Recently I had a chance to chat with PJ Bain, CEO of PrimeRevenue, and hear his thoughts around the firm's partnership with SAP. I always say there's one fact about a person that tells you a lot about him. PJ and I both enjoy sports, and I knew he played tight end on Georgia Tech’s football team. But I did not know he was a walk-on for those four years, which illustrates his passion for the game of football and his determination to be the best he can be. That passion carries over as CEO of a company he is taking to the next level with supply chain finance.

David: Why didn’t SAP decide to build supply chain functionality itself?

PJ: The fundamental question of whether you build or buy is interesting. If someone solves the problems, the product build part is the easier part, compared to building a business and having a successful track record. In our case we built the financial network — bank funding, capital markets piece with PrimeRevenue Capital Management. It takes time and expertise.

We are selling over $4 billion in invoice value every month on our platform, with $10 billion in payments in a given month. If you think about building that network, it is challenging. The SAP supplier network, with a concentration of assets including Ariba, Concur and  Fieldglass, sits nicely in that.

David: When you look at what others are trying to do with data, beyond approved invoice, do you see that data as something that you can leverage in the short term?

PJ: That is something we can grow into. As we are launching this partnership, I am very excited about the tone of conversations with SAP. We both agree that we will start by focusing on what we each do exceptionally well. We are looking at the joint customers we have right now — and there are a lot of them — and how can we more tightly integrate. The Ariba Network processes POs, invoices and remittance information to the communication platform, already integrated, and it is very easy for us to plug into that. I can see us integrating the SCiCustomer product, SCiMap analytics and even PrimeRevenue Capital.

David: Will the SAP Ariba partnership change the way you sell and pitch your offering to clients?

PJ: Definitely not. The cash trapped in the supply chain is still there, and we will continue to pursue those. SAP will be a reseller and we can sell jointly. We share a solutions focus with the client and what the value will be for the client. As market position changes, companies will need a more comprehensive view of how they manage all their working capital initiatives.

David: When you compare SAP and PrimeRevenue customers, every Fortune 500 non-financial company has been marketed supply chain finance or reverse factoring solutions for years. Where are the opportunities?

PJ: There are massive opportunities. Supply chain finance up until the last few years has not been a replacement market. We are seeing that now with banks. Banks are deciding to remove themselves from the market. Combine this with the fact that the Global 100 may have launched a program to address a region or currency, but they are now thinking more holistic. And with what we are doing with AIG, we can finance all suppliers, bank or non-bank funding, anywhere in the world.

David: Thanks, PJ. Sounds like some exciting times ahead for the firm!

(P.S. For those Notre Dame fans: PJ doesn’t mean to burst your bubble, but he claims Rudy was offside on his famous tackle back in 1975.)

Click here to read the press release on the partnership.

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