Working in procurement today means constantly dealing with terms that are amorphous enough to be very hard goals to strive for. We create ‘value’, we look for opportunities to ‘collaborate’ and we aim for spend ‘optimization’. This can be a challenge for a group of professionals that likely found their calling in procurement because of an affinity for the concrete: objectives that center around cost, savings, and spend.
One organization that has been investigating this intersection of amorphous and concrete is Coupa, a cloud-based procurement solution provider focused on delivering tangible results in the cloud. In modern procurement, there is no escaping the contrast. We have to go above and beyond what is easy to accomplish and measure, as anything in this category is increasingly considered tactical by the larger organization. The good news is, if we can find a way to embrace it, and connect fuzzy logic with measurable performance, there is no limit to what we can accomplish.
In this week’s Procurement on YouTube post, we'll see Jamie Clarke: a Canadian adventurer, author, filmmaker, entrepreneur, and inspirational speaker who has summited Mt. Everest twice in four attempts. At first pass, you might not think that being able to climb Mount Everest would qualify him to work with procurement professionals, but in April of this year he will do just that – at Coupa’s INSPIRE event in San Francisco. I wanted to learn a little more about him, so I looked for and found a clip that shares a bit of his perspective on overcoming adversity, and, as you are about to hear, he understands the kind of challenges we face better than you would think.
For invoicing or other areas of Coupa’s modules during the configuration process, users can opt to apply rules to specific vendors or specific types of steps. For example, Coupa shared sample rules for invoices for MRO or office product vendors (based, perhaps, on SKU changes or substitution) as well as other example rules for check requests, large purchases and specific services type purchases and invoices. Obviously the sky is the limit with these types of configurations, but the combined simplicity, depth and ability for a truly non-technical user to create rules during an implementation process (or on the fly) is what makes Coupa stand out.
Over at Spend Matters US, there have been a number of recent posts around the perennial topic of the Ariba Supplier Network and the charging mechanisms. It was triggered by this piece from Jason Busch, following a meeting he had:
“You can always count on the young (and hyper competitive) Christian Lanng (Tradeshift’s CEO and co-founder) for a good one-liner on the competition. Earlier this week, I met Christian for a quick coffee in San Francisco to hear his perspective on the latest happenings in the US supplier network and e-invoicing market. About halfway through the conversation, he sprung the one-liner on me: “Ariba doesn’t have customers, it has prisoners.”
Before delving into Coupa's approach to invoice management software, it's worth doing a quick double-click on where procure to pay software priorities stand in their overall roadmap. While a major priority for development at the end of 2012, Coupa's electronic invoicing capabilities continue to get significant product investment in 2013, even though the product is now quite close in competitive parity with specialists. In addition to key enhancements in e-invoicing, 2013 priorities for Coupa's cloud platform include a range of new product offerings including social/community-oriented capabilities that are rumored to be announced at their upcoming Inspire conference.
In only a few years time, Coupa has gone from a purchase-to-pay (P2P) upstart to the fastest growing eProcurement provider, besting the growth of companies many times its size in new customer wins, adoption levels and percentage revenue increases, among other metrics. In a recent press release, Coupa shared some figures around this growth, including an increase of over 100% in annual revenue and a tripling of spend going through its platform. These numbers are significant considering that all of this is organic (i.e., not through acquisition).
The Economic Development Authority of Nevada announced a new company is coming to Reno and that means much needed jobs for our area.
Coupa is a Bay Area-based company that helps large companies spend their money in smart and efficient ways.
Coupa opened a new office here in Reno that will handle accounting and financial operations.
The company is hiring for some positions immediately but that's just the beginning.
"We think there's a great opportunity for us to continue to build our company and hire talented people wherever we find them," said Mark Verbeck, the CFO of Coupa Software. So, in today's globally connected world, we can hire people where we find the best people."
Northern Nevada’s financial and accounting sector welcomed another addition to its ranks with the entry of a cloud-based software company into the area.
San Mateo, Calif.-based Coupa Software is bringing its accounting and financial operations to Reno, creating an estimated 25 to 50 jobs within five years. Coupa employs more than 120 people throughout the company.
We're big believers that 2013 is going to be the year that procurement technology adoption takes off in the SMB procurement market. But which technologies across the source-to-pay continuum are most suited to small and middle market environments? Hint: it's only a handful. Granted, there are opportunities for the full suite of capabilities (including strategic sourcing, eProcurement, e-invoicing, contract management, supplier management and related areas) from Ariba, SAP, Oracle, SciQuest and others that sell end-to-end capabilities (typically to much larger companies). Yet we believe that smaller and middle market companies are going to prioritize just a handful of areas for investment.
As the year draws to a close, the question is – did 2012 deliver? Of course, as with many things, the answer depends a lot on who’s asking – and perhaps predictably the ultimate answer can only be one of yes...and no. Take the cloud for example. At the start of the year there was a lot of optimism around how the cloud was going to revolutionise B2B communications, and although to some extent it has, overall the uptake has been slower than predicted - mostly because of confusion over its application and concern over pricing structure and security.