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Coupa Inspire 2016 Reflections

by | October 14, 2016

London’s Coupa Inspire 2016  was incredible as was seeing how much the event has grown over the last 3 years. The take up was huge, with a really good mix of both prospects and existing Coupa customers. For us it was a great opportunity to catch up with so many Xoomworks customers, be introduced to plenty of prospective ones and to find out what is in store for the coming months from Coupa. Key note speaker Rob Bernshteyn’s got the event off to a phenomenal start, speaking for an hour unscripted and word perfect, covering off various aspects including IPO and then the new procurement product developments that are coming through. Shardul Oza, Vice President and Ewelina Mazurkiewicz, Director of Aon took to the stage for a conversation about their success with e-invoicing, it was interesting to hear how they had gone about the implementation and how quickly they had been able to start using it. It really demonstrates what the capabilities of the Coupa platform are. Raja Hammoud brought us the product presentation, highlighting some really innovative ideas and announcing the R16 latest release, including of particular interest to us; invoice smash, which is a facility to change text based pdf, build invoices, extract the data and then build the invoices within Coupa. This facility release means the days of OCR are really numbered, because what is the justification for suppliers not being able to send out invoices as pdfs. The future will be no touch invoice processing. This will be of real advantage to middle range suppliers, who are too small for custom integration but too big for PO flip. We think we will see this making a dramatic difference in supplier on boarding and how people process electronic invoicing. There was also the announcement of contract lifecycle management. There is currently pretty low adoption of CLM products and a lot of people still process their contracts manually using word. What Coupa is offering is a much better approach to doing this. Xoomworks feel this is something that will get a lot of traction as well in our market place. Raja also covered some of the futures products that Coupa is looking at, trying to move away from having a screen based interface, so that everything will be done by voice, developed automation as much as possible. It is great to see how relentlessly Coupa is at trying to improve their products moving forward and we don’t think anyone else is coming close to matching them. Duncan Jones from Forrester, gave us the opportunity to see from his perspective what true SaaS looks like.  There are other solutions out there presenting themselves as SaaS, when really it means they are accessed via a browser. There are other elements of SaaS which are very important and Duncan Jones went through an interesting piece of analysis by Forrester, showing how strong Coupa is.  Michael Boyle, Head of Procurement at BAE systems, on optimising source to pay processing and how that gives strategic value, it highlighted to us that Xoomworks are doing implementation and Boyle’s piece was an interesting insight into how the process of Coupa implementation and how Source to Pay systems can be optimised, given Coupa’s focus on delivering value. Thomas Lang, ISO programme leader, Sanofi-Aventis Deutschland GmbH, spoke about their implementation. Xoomwork’s is currently helping Sanofi, so it was encouraging to see Sanofi talk about the approach they had taken, how they are rolling Coupa out and their ERP integration. The day was rounded up with a session for the Coupa users, which was an in depth review of what’s new in Coupa release 2016, highlighting some great product enhancers, illustrating Coupa’s principle of marrying up business processes with their suite, synergy. Everything they do across systems and projects uses the same approach, which makes it much easier to work across the product. This year’s event really went off with a bang and the buzz throughout the whole event resonated, it is clear that a lot of clients are getting benefits out of their systems. It is unusual to see existing customers talking to prospects about using a system, but this really reflects how confident they are in Coupa’s systems  and how well Xoomworks implements it. Apologies to those who came to our stand and who we didn’t get to talk to. We would have liked to have spoken to more of you, however if you do any questions following the event, please contact us.