Coupa Inspire EMEA — Announcements and Customer Comments

In part two of our review (see part 1 here) of last week's Coupa Inspire event, we look at the important messages …

In true Coupa style, they made the most of the opportunity to coincide their first EMEA user conference with some big announcements, sending the press releases out that morning.

Firstly: Coupa EMEA posts record growth as global enterprises and partners embrace the Coupa Cloud Suite. EMEA is Coupa’s fastest-growing region with 250% YOY revenue growth, 9 new partners in one quarter, a worldwide customer support centre in Dublin to support EMEA operations and regional expansion in Paris and Frankfurt. Recent wins include: Swiss Re, Liberty Global, Colas, Cofely, Royal Ahold, and Aggregate Industries. The press release is here.

Secondly: Coupa’s new release expands open business network to drive global savings and control.  Version 12 is said to disrupt traditional supplier business network concepts to further consumerise B2B transactions. Basically, suppliers can now make use of a piece of, actually quite revolutionary, functionality called Supplier Actionable Notifications. Buyers and suppliers can transact directly via email (including sending invoices) without sign up, registration, passwords or fees. You can read more about the added enhancements here.

Thirdly: Coupa and NetSuite partner to transform procurement and expense management, driving customer savings. Rob Bernshteyn, Coupa CEO said: “Coupa and NetSuite share a common goal of making customers successful by leveraging the data across both of our cloud platforms. We are excited to continue to enhance their experience by creating an even tighter integration between our products and our companies.” You can read more here. And I’m sure Spend Matters might have a few comments to make about the relationship in due course.

A packed house

Overall, the conference, its presentations and breakout sessions, were a great success. Not one seat was left available in the stunning Rosewood Hotel ballroom. (And the food was amazing.) With 250 attendees (can’t honestly say how many were Coupa employees – but still a magnificent turnout) you would think it would be quite chaotic – but it ran like clockwork, with plenty of time for socialising and networking. Looking down from the balcony at everyone exchanging comments I wondered how so many people could know each other – and then I found out.

Coupa regularly holds customer ‘get-togethers’ where ideas can be shared and help exploited. There was genuine engagement. Alex Kleiner, GM EMEA, explained to me: “We are a forward-thinking company and so are our customers, from a wide variety of sectors. With early adopters you get vision; the input from our customers is critical so we maintain consistent dialogue and that influences our decisions.”  And for those delegates who were “prospective” customers the Coupa staff did a great job of making sure everyone was included and introduced.

I also managed to speak to a couple of customers who told me why they had come today. International company Digital Reality is one of Coupa’s few standalone users (i.e. they are not using it alongside an ERP system). They told me that after using Coupa for 2 years they are realising some real cost and time savings, through automated approvals, eliminating phone calls and instant visibility. They came to find out what was coming next and to talk to other users.

Then at the other end of the spectrum, I talked to eircom’s, (largest integrated telecommunications operator in Ireland) head of procurement, Aidan O’Dea, who told me how totally integrated the software is for them. The most important aspect is adoption rate, which translates into increased compliance. The people doing the ordering are also raising the requisitions because it’s easy to do, and the better the adoption rate, the more control procurement has over the whole process. He was there to find out about new implementations with other customers and their roadmaps. After investing in the software he wanted to know that Coupa’s strategic direction would be in line with his own, and he was happy to say that it was.

I asked Alex how he knows he is moving in the right strategic direction for his customers: He said: “We have many proofs of concept, from all sizes of organisation. We like to feel we are transforming an industry, and providing regular opportunities for customers to have sincere personal engagement gives us the right steer.”

So, a highly successful day for Coupa, and more for us to discuss at a later date.

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