Coupa Inspire was held last week May 16-18 in San Franciso. Ardent Partners analysts were in attendance. During the conference, Coupa Software made many announcements. Today’s Technology Round-up is dedicated to several made at the conference.
As he does each year, Coupa’s CEO, Rob Bernshteyn welcomed the crowd with an impassioned keynote address designed more to define and share Coupa’s values than anything else. Coupa’s concept of “know once, know everywhere” defines its concept of the Coupa platform. In year’s past, Rob frequently used everyday challenges to serve as analogies for the problems faced by procurement professionals (which could addressed by Coupa, of course). This year, Rob used the letters that spell Coupa to define it.
Since its IPO last year, Coupa has made several strategic acquisitions to expand the coverage of its solution footprint beyond its core procurement, invoicing, and expense management solutions, including spend analysis with Spend360 (click to read our analysis of this acquisition) and sourcing optimization with Trade Extensions. But Coupa is not interested getting into a feature/functionality war with any rival. Their focus in expanding the offering is to deliver “value as a service.” (Click here to read our interview with Rob focused on the concept of value-as-a-service).
O – Open
Rob says Coupa strives to be open and transparent, offering the proof point of being a very straightforward company in terms of its partnerships and customer contract negotiations. Rob also noted that in its pursuit for innovation, Coupa is very open to new ideas and has three main sources: (1) pure innovation (2) market analysis and (3) customer input.
U – User Centric
Coupa’s focus and one of the primary drivers of its growth has been the ability to deliver usable solutions that its customers adopt. But with the rise of mobility, Rob sees this changing because “the best UI is no UI.”
P – Prescriptive
Coupa’s concept of big data is utilizing the billions in transactions and the millions of users to develop and enhance the “community intelligence.” With the idea that “no one is as smart as everyone,” Rob sees Coupa starting to deliver valuable information generated by the collective usage of the platform that can and will benefit all participants.
A – Accelerated
Rob says that delivering value-as-a-service is important but that the speed in which value is delivered is an important consideration to customers and prospects. Rob noted that Coupa had 169 go-lives in 2016 and that these customers averaged four months until they reached value.
SCI Corp Transforms Operations with KPMG-led Coupa Implementation
The next session at the conference featured a success story by one of Coupa’s enterprise customers, Service Corporation International (SCI), North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services. Rone Luczynski, Senior Managing Director of Supply Chain Management at SCI, joined John Troxel, Director of Procurement and Operations Advisory at KPMG, one of the largest technology implementation specialists in the market, on stage to co-present their 10-year transformation and implementation journey. For context, SCI’s procurement and supply chain operations were decentralized, largely manual, and lacked automation. Its procurement organization’s master data management capabilities were light, and its objectives were not aligned with its internal stakeholders.
Starting in 2009, SCI has undertaken procurement transformation with a three-phase Coupa implementation road map, beginning with baseline scoping, capabilities and service-level assessments, and defining a vision for the future of its procurement and supply chain organizations. In 2011, SCI formally selected Coupa P2P for Phase 1 — to transform its people, processes, and technologies. After they developed a business case and won stakeholder alignment / buy-in, they kicked off Phase 1. In 2012, SCI awarded Coupa a second RFP. Two years later, SCI acquired its biggest competitor and began working with KPMG on a follow-on, three-year implementation road map for Phase 2, including optimizing to achieve its procurement maturity assessment goal. They also set out to form a three-year road map for Phase 3 in which they will strive to implement mobile technologies and advanced procurement technologies. Phase 3 is to kick off in 2019.
In year one, alone, SCI (with the help of Coupa and KPMG) optimized its P2P and supplier enablement processes by implementing best-in-class processes and tracking and measuring key performance indicators. They identified and implemented 40-plus field improvements, placed 88,000 suppliers into prioritized waves, identified and simplified six buying channels, implemented a five-tier supplier communication strategy, and produced eight supplier training videos. As a result, SCI has pulled $139 million in addressable spend across 18 different commodities and has achieved $7.7 million in annual savings (exceeding their original goal of $5.9 million), which is 5.5% of its addressable spend. They also addressed the talent side of the equation by having 42 of their employees participate in their talent development work stream, conducting skills assessments (by employers and employees), and conducting a 50 question procurement and supply chain knowledge check. SCI and KPMG then used the results to establish areas of focus for developing SCI’s own Supply Chain Management Education Academy and training plan.
SCI has already kicked off Phase 2 of their procurement transformation journey, and together with the help of Coupa and KPMG, looks to continue their journey into the next decade.
Coupa Announces New Cloud Platform with Coupa Release 18 Update
Coupa also made a number of announcements at Inspire, including a major cloud platform update with their new Coupa Release 18 (R18) that will give customers 50+ updates to their existing platform applications. All of the updates have been designed to increase Coupa’s spend management processes and provide even more value to their customers. R18 expands global regulatory compliance, enhances administrator control, and provides new features and capabilities throughout Coupa’s entire platform. This includes travel and expense management, e-Invoicing and Inventory, with additional new applications still to be announced. The platform update, which comes just four months after the R17 release, utilized customer feedback through the Coupa Community. The release also has new brand control capability that will let customers personalize their own experience within the Coupa network.
Coupa Modernizes Procurement of Complex Services with New Application
Coupa also announced a new application, Services Maestro, which will help organizations manage their spend associated with complex services. The application will include automated contract compliance, improved supplier experiences, and total visibility into spend, which includes both goods and complex services, all on one platform. Coupa says that organizations will be able to negotiate service rate cards, define deliverables, and come to an agreement on terms and conditions with suppliers. Services Maestro will be able to track if the supplier is meeting service level agreements and also be able to determine if timesheets and the invoices related to them match the agreed upon rates. There will first be an early access program, where a small group of Coupa customers will be able to use Services Maestro first in order to provide feedback to Coupa before the general release.
Coupa Acquires Supplier Risk Analytics Platform, Riskopy Inc.
Coupa also announced that it has acquired the assets to Riskopy, Inc., the San Francisco based supplier risk analytics firm that utilizes analytics to create a view into supplier risk. Coupa stated that this acquisition will help aggregate the Coupa platform and 3rd party supplier risk data into a profile score. This data and the profile score will then be incorporated into Coupa’s community intelligence innovation. Riskopy uses financial and event data to identify risk and help companies uncover new financial opportunities. The financial terms of the acquisition were not immediately disclosed.
Coupa Launches Automated Global Supplier Payment Solution
Coupa also announced that they will launch Coupa Payments, which will digitize supplier payments and automate related payment processes through a cloud-based e-payables solution. Electronic payments should enable suppliers of any size or location to receive funds faster. It will also allow customers to enjoy discounted payment amounts. The solution provides visibility across the entire payment lifecycle through a standardized payments workflow process. In May 2016, Coupa announced a new certification program (CoupaLink) that would provide their customers a larger set of software partners that would be able to connect third-party applications to the Coupa platform faster. The Coupa Payments solution will leverage the CoupaLink app from Nvoicepay, the accounts payable automation software company headquartered in Portland, Oregon, to make supplier invoices through the same process flow.