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Is your company ready for the cloud: a 12-point checklist

 

As cloud computing crosses the chasm from “pi in the sky” to mass adoption, ravi thakur  Ravi Thakurcompanies are beginning to approach technology purchases with a cloud first or why not cloud strategy. But is your company ready for the cloud? Here are some practical considerations:

  1. Do you have enough internet capacity to all the locations where you want to use a cloud solution?
  2. Do you have an integration strategy for getting cloud solutions talking to each other, and to on-premise solutions?
  3. Is the business ready to own an application? Do they have the right resources in place to configure and manage the solution?
  4. Does IT have the right mix of people and skills to evaluate and manage the unique requirements of cloud solutions, such as understanding capacity, uptime and security and handling frequent updates?
  5. Do you have strategic thinkers in IT who can see across the whole software and data landscape and help the business leverage the solutions in place, identify gaps and fill them appropriately?
  6. Does IT have a strong collaborative relationship with the business? For maximum success, cloud solutions should be co-owned by IT and business units. Each plays an important role.
  7. Are you locked in to current processes or open to different ways jump to the cloudThe cloud is here to stay. Is your company ready to make the leap?of solving business problems? Cloud software is built around best practices in the area of the application, with some opportunities for custom configuration. If you want to institutionalize your processes through customization, you may not be ready for the cloud.
  8. Are you ready for a more transparent, partnership approach to vendor relationships? I’m VP of Customer Success at Coupa, and it seems like every decent-sized cloud company has that same title. What that office typically does is build relationships in which both parties understand each other’s business and work together to achieve an agreed upon outcome. “I am the customer, you are the vendor and you must do everything I say” doesn’t work so well in the cloud.
  9. Do you suffer from being terminally unique? This goes back to being open to different ways of solving business problems. If you’re thinking along the lines of,  “we need this widget to be blue and do exactly this one thing and it must turn yellow at midnight,” you may not be ready for the cloud.
  10. How up to date is your technology stack? Every once in a while we run across companies that are running on Internet Explorer 6 or similarly outdated technologies. Even with cloud solutions, there’s a limit to backwards integrations.
  11. Can your legal team evaluate cloud contracts? I’ve seen many an MSA that’s geared more to on-premise or custom development, sometimes causing negotiations to come to a screeching halt. The considerations are different.
  12. Does the core strength of the cloud solution match the core business requirement? I see a lot of customers who identify one or two specific business needs.. They then start an evaluation process where other stakeholders start piling on requirements and then all of a sudden they’re trying to shoehorn it all into one solution that does everything, but none of it well. You need to be able to run a decision making process that is focused on no more than three well-defined success criteria, and have the internal discipline to tamp down feature pile-ons.

The cloud can offer tremendous opportunities for strategic efficiencies, cost savings and enhanced decision-making capabilities for companies who are poised to take advantage of it. If you’re not ready now, use these 12 points as a framework for getting there.

 

Ravi Thakur is Vice President, Customer Success for Coupa.

 

 

 

Mobile invoice approvals free up time for nerf gun battles

 

 

 

 


We’ve all got a lot on our plates at work—such as ping-pong tournaments, yoga, epic nerf gun battles and hanging out with Suzie the Snake.

 

That’s why Coupa mobile is bringing invoice approval to your cell phone. You’ll see all of the key invoice details right on your screen, so you can approve invoices that are ready to pay, reject any invoices that have issues, and leave comments to let everyone in the approval chain know why. When it’s this easy you don’t have to worry about interruptions to your other responsibilities.

 

Check it out in this 45-second video starring our mulit-talented dev team, Martijn (Invoice PM), Chris Yin (Mobile PM), Sal and Jeff (iOS Devs), Pallavi, Rofaida and Suzie, who's helping us put a stranglehold on our competition when she's not making videos. Props to Adhitya (our film intern), for recording and editing!

 

If you don't have it already - download the app here: Coupa Mobile iOS App. Can't see the video? Click here.

 

 

 

IT needs to be strategic to get benefit of cloud computing

 

Over the past couple of years, we’ve all heard plenty of buzz about the ravi thakurRavi Thakurcloud computing transformation. Many companies grasped the cloud vision early and are now several years into their cloud journey. Many more that have been sitting on the sidelines are beginning to adopt a “Why not cloud” or “Cloud first” strategy.

 

Now that the hype is settling down, let’s take a look at what it takes to be ready to benefit from the cloud, and the real transformation it brings.

 

Aside from the obvious, such as having enough internet capacity to all the locations where you want to use a cloud solution, and having an integration strategy to bring your solutions together, there’s something less technical and more fundamental companies need to be ready for the cloud: collaboration between IT and

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Inventory application development team's got talent!

At our Inspire conference earlier this year, we introduced Coupa Inventory. In a recent review, industry analyst Jason Busch of Spend Matters had this to say about it: 

 

"We applaud Coupa for keeping inventory management simple – and creating what is a logical value proposition and upsell that should complement its core P2P vision for helping companies truly capture and manage more spend while driving better outcomes and savings wherever possible."
 
Inventory Product Manager Chris Yin led a very talented team that brought the Inventory application to market in just 9 months. Turns out the team, including Kira Letskina, Brent Wooden, Chris Fung, Brian Farr and Mikhail Knyazev is multi-talented. They also made and starred in this video about the effort. We think you'll agree, this team's got talent!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spend analytics helps avoid awkward moments with suppliers

 

Working with organizations in various sourcing and dipan karumsi  Dipan Karumsiprocurement roles over the past 17 years, one of the common challenges I see is not having access to information on a timely basis. The good news is, real-time, or near real-time spend analytics is within reach for companies willing to undertake a process of continual improvement, and there is a definite competitive edge to be gained by doing so.

 

Based on what I have seen, a three-month lag from the time of spend to availability of reporting is common, and many organizations cannot get access to data about spend that took place as long as six months ago. Real-time data is almost out of the question for most organizations, because by the time they run the reports, check for data integrity and test to make sure

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The one question not to ask your startup SaaS provider

 

There’s a certain amount of risk involved for customersrob-blue-shirtRob Bernshsteyn of startup SaaS vendor. There’s also a benefit—when you’re customer number ten, you are going to get a lot of attention and resources.

As the startup grows, customers and prospects begin to ask what they believe to be the key question, "Will we get all the attention we need?”

 

I firmly believe that this is not the question to be asking.

 

At first blush, that question sounds fair. With the current industry focus on customer success, existing customers want to know that they will continue to be special. Prospects want to know if as the company grows, there will be enough bandwidth to focus on them.

 

This is natural enough. If you’re at a busy hotel and they only have one

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6 procurement leaders to follow on Twitter

Think procurement people aren't on Twitter? Think again. If you follow this blog, you know Procurement is undergoing a transformatiion, with new platforms and tools and a new attitude about becoming more strategic and influential. There's no better place to stay up to the minute with the latest news and trends affecting procurement professionals than Twitter. Here are six people to follow for some of the smartest conversation around procurement today: 

 

Spend Matters - @spendmatters


spendmattersnew@spendmatters publishes daily news from the world of procurement and supply chain management, as well as analysis of how global events impact these functions.

 

They follow all the major vendors in the space, providing updates on all the latest features and functionality.

 

They publish in-depth reports on a wide variety of procurement and supply chain related topics. We like them for their tongue-in-cheek humor and bold and bold and fearless predictions.

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The lure of the logo: What is the best startup strategy ?

 

Back in 2009, when I just raised my first round of venturerob-blue-shirt   Rob Bernshteyn capital for Coupa Software, sales got a big logo on the hook—a huge company whose cash in our coffers and logo on our website could have given our fledgling enterprise a big boost. They were looking for a multilingual, multicurrency global deployment that was right in our sweet spot--and a lot of other work that was not so much so.

 

While visions of huge commission checks danced in the heads of our sales team, an internal debate took place among company management.

 

One side said that we could get paid handsomely and leverage this logo to bring in other big logos in the same industry.

 

The other side conceded that this was probably true, but there would be a lot of custom development required to support the customer’s many unique business processes.

 

They were willing to pay over $100K a month to do co-development,

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Procurement can change the world: Educating the business to see procurement's value proposition

 

Procurement Leaders Magazine is celebrating it's 50th issue. As part of that celebration, Editor Steve Hall has written a series of articles on how procurement can change the world. In this piece, he takes a look at the impact procurement has had, and can have on business. We have to say, we like his thinking . . .

 

Anyone who’s been in procurement for a while can tell you how much it’s changed in a short space of time – looking back at old issues of Procurement Leaders Magazine, some of the topics and trends seem light years away from what’s happening today. Put yourself in the shoes of someone looking in at the function from the outside and you get a sense of why there’s such a gap between

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Winning the hearts and minds of the 99 percenters of B2B: end users

 

I walked into a 50,000-person company not too long agogabe perezGabe Perez to talk to them about some software for a business process transformation. When I started talking about software usability and end users, as I always do, and their feedback--straight up--was "We don't care about the end user."

 

Most companies aren’t that blatant about it, but that’s really where their heads are. Sadly, this is true of buyers and vendors alike. Software is usually bought to accomplish a specific goal. Salesforce is so sales management can understand their pipeline and their deals. SuccessFactors is for HR executives to run their business.

 

But no matter what it’s for, with almost any type of software you can think of, end users make up ninety-nine percent of the user base. Yet most vendors architect enterprise applications for the 1 percent of people in the company who are trained specialists, not the other ninety-nine percent who will have to transact in the system. End users are the 99 percenters of

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