Business Spend Management and Beyond: Coupa Inspire 2018

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Business spend management and beyond: Coupa Inspire 2018

Last week, we completed our biggest and best Coupa Inspire yet, convening more than 1,800 at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco for three days of learning, networking, and sharing best practices. Thank you to all of you who joined us, bringing the enthusiasm, energy, and ideas that made it a great event.

We honored annual Inspire traditions such as the early morning fun run, our Coupa dance video, the much anticipated 3rd installment of “Group Therapy,” a humorous take on accounting department issues, and of course, our spectacular closing party.

In his opening keynote, CEO Rob Bernshteyn unveiled a report written by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by Coupa. Their research found that more than 60 percent of 507 CFOs surveyed globally lack complete visibility into spending across their organizations. He followed that statistic with a challenge: Use Business Spend Management (BSM) technology to break down silos between spending that is invoiced, expensed or done through the official procurement process, and gain a single, comprehensive view of all spend across your organization.

On Day Two, CMO Chandar Pattabhiram talked about the power of exponential impact using examples throughout history and across the Coupa community as he announced the winners of our new  BSM Impact Awards: Donna Trowbridge, DBS Bank; Dave Myerson, Nike; and JR Miller, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. 

Coupa Cares, our corporate social responsibility program, came to Inspire for the first time. Conference attendees filled 100 backpacks full of personal care items for Project Open Hand, and inscribed inspirational messages inside 500 children’s books that will be donated to Project Night Night.

We were also inspired and entertained by best-selling author, adventurer, and mountaineer Alison Levine; entrepreneur Keith Krach, who co-founded Ariba and is currently chairman of DocuSign, and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who joined live via satellite for a Q&A with Rob.

Of course, there was plenty of news on the product front, which SVP of Products Raja Hammoud shared in her keynote. Coupa’s latest innovations are focused on business fraud, category spend, and employee responsiveness to help customers make accelerated, data-driven decisions using prescriptive community intelligence.

Highlights include Spend Guard, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze employee spend transactions to help detect potential fraud and Commodity Insights, which helps businesses optimize category spend with benchmarks and recommendations to maximize spend value.

Partner-led main stage sessions with Deloitte, (featuring Caterpillar), and Accenture (featuring Airbus) highlighted the growing impact customers are achieving with the Coupa BSM platform.

Other key programs included 40 breakout sessions with 90+ guest speakers; a new Executive Track with Forrester Research, Game On Communications, KPMG, and a customer C-level panel; an analyst round table attended by 15 of our top industry analysts, and more than 350+ customers in customer training on day 3.

If you couldn’t make it, or missed a session, we are busy working on a library of session materials, including blog posts, recordings, and webinars to bring the most important learnings from Inspire to you.

Stay tuned, and mark your calendar for next year, and remember to wear your Coupa socks.