Making Cents

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CPO Rising: Roadshows and embedded procurement operatives key to fostering collaboration


The new CPO Rising report for 2014 is here! If you’re interested in the future of procure-to-pay, you’ll want to get your hands on this report, as it contains a wealth of insights based on a survey of 270 procurement professionals on what’s coming down the pipe and how you can prepare.


Collaboration is one of the top things procurement needs to be thinking about. That’s not new, but it’s always a challenge. In this interview, Andrew Bartolini, Managing Partner and Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners, and Publisher of, the first independent media site written for and about Chief Procurement Officers, shares some ideas for practical ways to foster collaboration.


Coupa: You call out collaboration as a key to future success, which is obviously not a new idea, but a lot of times people have trouble actually doing it. Can you put some detail around what people need to do now?


Andrew: Absolutely. I think you can enable collaboration to some degree by setting up situations where people are located together. There are CPOs who actually embed their staff within the business so that they can establish personal and professional relationships. Proximity and trust can create a lot of opportunities.


If you're a CPO and you have one of your people sitting in on the staff meetings of the different teams,


Integration is the key to widespread SaaS adoption


Today questions like “Why do we need a Cloud strategy? rajivRajiv RamachandranAnd, “Should we consider a SaaS solution?” are no longer being asked. The out of the box functionality that  SaaS solutions provide and, and the ease with which they can be configured, modified and upgraded, are all driving factors that are leading business leaders to embrace SaaS business models.


IT organizations have realized that to provide great service to their business clients, they need to adopt a hybrid strategy that combines buy/build and SaaS/On-premise application strategies. The focus now has shifted from “Should we go to the Cloud?” to “How do we make SaaS deployments successful in these hybrid environments?”


This requires both SaaS providers and customers to become true partners to ensure  successful SaaS adoption.


With any system, widespread user adoption is the key to success. Adoption happens


CPO Rising: Procurement innovation starts with conversation

The new CPO Rising report for 2014 is here! This report contains a wealth andrew bartolini   Andrew Bartoliniof insights and from 270 procurement executives that anyone involved in the procure-to-pay process will want to know about.


We spoke with report author Andrew Bartolini, Managing Partner and Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners, and Publisher of, the first independent media site written for and about Chief Procurement Officers, about some of the points that stood out about this year’s findings. Last week, Andrew talked about convergence and doing less with more as the new normal.


Agility, innovation and collaboration are the watchwords of the day. In this post, the second of a series, Andrew shares his thoughts on how procurement can innovate.


Coupa: When people are charged with innovating in a do-more-with-less culture, sometimes they get scared to raise their hand with a new idea because it gets added to


Is it time for a smartphone approach to spend optimization?


On Spend Matters blog last month, filed under “incendiary tidbits,” tony darugarTony DarugarPierre Mitchell asks, “Is it time to blow up T&E once and for all?”


His main point is that our current way thinking about expense management has run its course. We need to better identify the goals of our T&E policies and the best ways of ensuring that they are met. According to Mitchell, the way we think about expense management now—as a bunch of different categories lumped together under the T&E umbrella—is neither cohesive nor strategic. I wholeheartedly agree. 


I’ve been as guilty of this kind of myopia as the next person. When I founded Xpenser, I was just looking for an automated solution to one problem—dealing with my


Coupa Inspire '14 Day Two Recap and Wrap

Our six a.m. fun runners weren't looking quite as chipper, and our morning yogis were fewer on day two of Coupa Inspire '14, perhaps due to previous night's inspiring celebration. A fabulous breakfast got them revived and ready for the day's presentations.inspire day2 1


Coupa VP of Product Management Raja Hammoud lead off the morning with details of all the new features of Coupa 11, including inventory management. We also announced integrations with Box and DocuSign.

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Our keynote speaker, artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl gave an amazing performance, painting three canvases on stage while he talked about unleashing your creativity by "unthinking." We also heard from Spend Matters' Jason Busch on the future of procurement and from Armstrong Industries' Scott Cooper about lessons learned during the company's global Coupa deployment.

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We'd be remiss if we held a conference in San Francsico and didn't show you all a little food porn, from the lunch sponsored by Coupa partner The Shelby Group:

 inspire lunch

 After the afternoon's breakout sessions, we called it a wrap for 2014. We had a fabulous time learning and sharing and celebrating with the people who inspire us the most: you.

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Y'all come back now, hear?

Coupa Inspire '14 Day One Recap

Coupa Inspire opened last night at the Marriot Marquis, with a welcome reception that was a feast for the eye and palate. Coupa employees and partners welcomed customers and prospects with an evening of networking and socializing that set the tone for the event. There was lots of opportunity for networking and socializing, accompanied by assorted sliders and jicama-citrus salad shooters.inspire day1replace inspire day2


Day one started early with morning yoga and a fun run through the streets of San Francisco and of course breakfast featuring the best congee ever, canadian bacon and french toast strips.  


inspire day1

Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn kicked off the morning talking about the vision for optimizing spend that we share with our customers and partners, and shared major news about partnerships with Alibaba and Keboola as well as announcing SAP NetWeaver Certification for the Coupa suite. Rob was followed by a CIO panel discussion on cloud computing, and afternoon breakouts for every industry and interest:

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inspire breakout tweets

We ended the day with a party at The Mezzanine:

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inspire party2

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The spend optimization revolution will not be televised . . . But it will be live-streamed!


We’re fired up and ready for Coupa Inspire in San coupa inspire sold out Francisco this week. We begin Tuesday, with three fast-paced days of fun, networking, new product announcements, and of course lots of ideas and inspiration for improving your business.


We’re thrilled to report that this year’s event, our second annual, is sold out.  If you’re one of the 700+ people joining us, we are looking forward to seeing you! If not, no worries—we’ll be live-streaming all the of keynotes and speakers from the main stage. Register here to get set up. It’ll be the next best thing to being there.


You’ll hear from top executives at customer companies on how


To win sales, go where competitors fear to tread: Security


Incidents like the recent Target credit card data breach sanket naikSanket Naikheighten awareness of the need for better security, but they don’t really drive change. Awareness is usually short-lived (anyone remember the T. J. Maxx security breach of 2007?) and everyone goes back to business as usual unless there is some kind of legal requirement to change.


This creates an opportunity for vendors who can proactively address security to create a strategic advantage for themselves during the sales cycle and beyond.


I was recently involved in a sale where the prospect sent the vendor a 1,300-question security survey. The vendor actually answered every question and got it


CPO Rising: Emergence, convergence and the new normal

The new CPO Rising report for 2014 is here, and it’s chock full of insights from 270 procurement professionals andrew bartoliniAndrew Bartolinithat will be of interest to anyone involved in the procure-to-pay process.


We spoke about this year’s findings with report author Andrew Bartolini, Managing Partner and Chief Research Officer at Ardent Partners, and Publisher of, as well as Bryce Berg, VP of Corporate Administration at Molina Healthcare, in a recent webcast.


We also caught up with Andrew to chat about some of the points that stood out about this year’s findings and we’ll be sharing his comments in a series of interviews. Since the subtitle of this year’s report is “Convergence” we thought we’d start there.


Coupa: One of the main themes of your report this year is convergence. Not is only doing more with less the new normal, procurement is emerging as


The high cost of paper processing

We've been talking a lot about e-invoicing on Making Cents lately. Terry Kohn from Hackett Group shared his insights on how to develop an e-invoicing strategy and also his prediction how the cloud will transform the value proposition from e-invoicing in the near future.


Coupa's J.R. Robertson weighed in on why just processing paper better is not the answer in his post, "Why using OCR for electronic invoice processing is like hitching a buggy to your horse." And, Henry Ijams of Paystream commented on the findings from his annual state of e-invoicing report, "Electronic Invoice Management: A Move to the Middle." According to Henry's report, while large enterprises are leading the pack, new


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