The business community, including the analysts and commentators, have for a long time been obsessed with two things about e-procurement solution vendors, both of which are irrelevant. The first is functionality – the second is share price.
No wonder e-procurement doesn’t work.
Q. There’s a significant amount of “noise” about Coupa at the moment. Why do you think that is?
A. I think there’s been a sea change in how the whole P2P process can be run, a re-thinking of how it can be supported through IT. The way that the tools can now be adapted to optimise spend via the cloud has not really been seen before. And I think the reason why there’s the “buzz” around Coupa is that quite simply, we do it better. Ultimately it’s the customer who decides an organisation’s success or otherwise, and if you can provide them with a means to do things better and more easily, then those customers are going to keep coming back.
Like many CFOs, Kevin Gordon is preoccupied with risk. The finance chief of Quintiles, a company that provides services to pharmaceutical and medical-device companies, says risk management is on his mind “every minute of the day.”
Gordon is particularly concerned about emerging risks — the kind that materialize rapidly, seemingly out of nowhere, and wreak havoc. Accordingly, he monitors economic developments and regulatory activities in the 60 countries where his company does business. When the European debt crisis took shape last year, he pored over the company’s cash holdings in overseas financial institutions and examined those banks’ stability.
When one thinks of wealth creation in the US over the past fifteen years, one immediately thinks of the companies that have emerged from the technology industry. Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook, DropBox, etc, were started with an idea from a young buck, and have morphed into companies that have actually changed our behavior, and they have done so through sustainability. So, what gives Silicon Valley its hyper growth edge?
Rob Bernshteyn, CEO of Coupa, has been through this cycle before and shared his insights with me. Early in his career, Rob had been at Accenture, McKinsey, and Goldman Sachs so he is well aware of how traditional, successful, blue-chip companies are managed. Later in his career, he became a VP of a cloud-based talent and employee services firm, and had a bird’s eye view into many industries. Rob’s contention is: Silicon Valley embraces a different, non-traditional management style that creates environments that foster growth, creativity, innovation and employee retention.
The more I look at the proposed acquisition of Ariba by SAP, the less sense it makes. SAP didn’t need the functionality. They didn’t need the brand. The Ariba shareholders will clearly be pleased to see this deal go through but what, I wonder, would an SAP sales guy be thinking and what would Ariba’s competitors be making of it all?
Over the last few days, I’ve been receiving various communications, and reading public messages from competitors of SAP and Ariba, wishing them well and offering them sincere congratulations and good wishes for the future following the announcement of the SAP acquisition.
Rewind… Not quite!
Rather, we’re seeing the early stages of what is going to be a scramble as firms position, or in some cases re-position themselves, for the post-SAriba landscape. And the knives are coming out – here’s Rob Bernshtyn of Coupa (my italics).
I’ve been enjoying reading the Coupa blog recently and especially since SAP’s intention to buy Ariba was announced. It’s been an excuse for Coupa to really blow its trumpet about cloud and the importance of usability. Coupa’s message is very current although we have heard it before.
What must-bring gear should you pack on your next business trip? We asked a few hard-working road warriors that very question. Here's a look inside their travel bags.
What must-bring gear should you pack on your next business trip? We wanted to find out, so we asked a few hard-working road warriors to snap a photo of what's inside their travel bags. Click on to see what they won't leave home without.
This week’s featured event was hosted by Coupa and Forrester Research with an appearance by Coupa customer Adidas Latin America. The main topic was deciding when it makes sense to purchase a specialized/dedicated solution v. leveraging the ‘free’ capabilities of an in-place ERP system.
Rob Bernshteyn, the CEO of e-procurement company Coupa, carries a MacBook Pro at all times when hitting the road. On the right, that's an original T-Mobile Droid phone and a Plantronics headset for Skype calls; on the left, an Itronics adapter for international power outlets, along with a USB drive. He also carries cans of Red Bull, packs of seaweed, and a boatload of business cards.