Purchase-to-Pay Processes to Get a Lot Smarter Says Coupa CEO
Earlier this month, we held a live “State of Coupa” webcast at our headquarters in San Mateo featuring CEO Rob Bernshteyn. We went over our most recent results and highlights from 2013 and then we turned it over to the audience to have Rob take a crack at their most pressing questions. Here is one.
Q: What do you see technology enabling in the next five years in the terms of purchase-to-pay processes?
Rob: A lot of systems, whether they be CRM (Customer Relationship Management), HCM (Human Capital Management) or in what we call the spend optimization or financial applications area, today are systems that take data in and pull data out. They take transactional data in and then show it with some analytics around it. That's really very interesting and it's part of the information revolution.
My view is in the next five years, we're going to be transitioning to more of a knowledge revolution. These systems are not just going to be pulling data and
showing analytics. They're going to be providing real decision support. They're going to be telling you "This is what you ought to focus on."
They're going to be highly mobile. They're going to be right there, wherever you are, telling you what you need to know and letting you query the system. In our industry that might look like this:
"Hey, this contract is about to expire."
"Well, why do I care?"
"There seems to be $50 million of spend going against that contract."
"Well, maybe we should run a sourcing event. Who are vendors?"
The system recommends three vendors and boom, you run the sourcing event and when that ends you then have that immediately go into a live contract. Then the next time somebody goes to requisition something, they're buying against that contract and the analytics light up right away.
These systems are going to get smarter and they're going to actually suggest insight that you can leverage. They're also going to include benchmarking—Coupa already does this.