CPO Rising’s Technology Round-Up returns today with another assortment of supply management technology news and updates from the past month to share with our community. If you are a sourcing, procurement, or spend management solution provider and you have news to share with us, please drop us a note at editor at cporising dot com. Thanks, and enjoy!

Coupa Acquires AI Startup, Deep Relevance, to Help Detect Fraud

At Coupa Inspire in London this week, San Francisco-based  Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP), announced that it has acquired Silicon Valley-based, artificial intelligence (AI) startup, Deep Relevancein an effort to bolster enterprise fraud detection capabilities. Deep Relevance leverages AI-based behavior and relationship analytics to examine user behaviors and determine their level of risk for engaging in fraudulent or collusive behaviors. Its algorithms analyze structured and unstructured data from expense reports, requisitions, invoices, and even photographs, to think outside the box of typical rule-based reporting and uncover potentially fraudulent or collusive behaviors that warrant further examination. It looks for sham/shell corporations, personal expenses, over-expenses, double-billing, conflicts of interest, and other miss use of funds when analyzing user behavior.

In other news from Inspire, Coupa announced Release 19 of its spend management platform, which is said to provide greater visibility into community-wide business travel and expenses, greater operational risk management, and greater sourcing optimization. Lastly, Coupa announced the general availability in the US and pilot launching in the UK of Coupa’s Open Buy Initiative with Amazon, which is to increase the number of goods and products that enterprise procurement teams can access beyond traditional supplier catalogs.

Transparency-One Announces Blockchain Partnership with Microsoft

Last week, Transparency-One, a Boston- and Paris-based provider of supply chain intelligence and risk management solutions, announced that it has partnered with Microsoft in an effort to incorporate Microsoft’s Azure blockchain into Transparency-One’s platform. The idea is for Transparency-One customers to load all of their supply chain information – down to raw materials – onto the blochchain in order to create a permanent, immutable, and transparent record of all supply chain information, allowing organizations to ensure the integrity and security of that data. It allows trading partners to share provenance (point of origin), product/material integrity, and chain of custody, and supplier compliance information with each other. SGS, a data validation service, validates all of the data placed on the blockchain suppliers and prevents them after a certain amount of time from changing information. Thereafter, suppliers have to enter updates as new entries to the blockchain to show the chronology and ensure data validity.

Sweetbridge Acquires Aperio, a Blockchain Supply Chain Solutions Provider

In more blockchain news, Phoenix-based supply chain blockchain alliance, Sweetbridge, announced that it has acquired Aperio in an effort to expand is supply chain blockchain solutions and bolster product identity lifecycle management within global supply chains. As part of the deal, Sweetbridge will absorb Aperio’s brand and employees, and will incorporate the latter’s data management and process workflows to increase visibility into product lifecycles from source to production. In doing so, users ought to be able to collaborate more directly and effectively with suppliers, who will also use the blockchain to share product and materials data for a more transparent and efficient sourcing tool. The new blockchain solution will also issue smart contracts between interested trading partners, and serve as an automated sourcing and contract management tool.

Camelot ITLab Joins SAP’s Blockchain-IoT Co-Innovation Project

And in a final bit of blockchain news, Camelot ITLab, a Germany-based IT innovations consultancy that specializes in SAP solutions, announced that it has joined SAP’s blockchain-IoT Co-Innovation project (click to read Ardent’s prior coverage). Camelot ITLab will support the project by contributing its Digital Experience2, its product and services portfolio for digital transformation. It will also provide best practices and lessons learned for blockchain adoption and application integration, allowing project newcomers to quickly get up to speed on blockchain and climb the learning curve faster and with less resistance.

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