R20 utilises Artificial Intelligence to reduce global supply chain riskand provides new capabilities to control spending for business services
Coupa Software (NASDAQ:COUP), a leader in business spend management (BSM), today announced its first major cloud platform update of the year. Coupa’s Release 20 (R20) helps customers spend smarter by providing additional visibility and control of spending for business services and with the expanded use of community intelligence for supplier insights.
“Coupa’s significant investment in new R&D is certainly paying off with new approaches to decades old spend management problems,” said Jimmy LeFever, director, research and consulting at PayStream Advisors. “Adding services spend coverage and giving customers new and actionable data insights are key market differentiators.”
As with past Coupa platform updates, R20 was designed through a collaborative approach that involves extensive customer input. “Airbus worked in close partnership with Coupa as part of the Services Maestro product advisory board to design a unified complex services solution from start to finish, which has successfully met the criteria of the business users,” said Werner Miehle, head of Airbus group commodities related processes.
Key elements of R20 include:
Reduced Supply Chain Risk (Community Intelligence)
Many businesses struggle to determine the best suppliers for them due to a lack of reliable information at their disposal. Internet searches yield limited information often containing a significant amount of marketing prose published by the supplier. To address the problem, Coupa expands its use of Community Intelligence to help customers improve supplier results, reduce supply chain risk, and make faster data-driven decisions.
For the first time, real-time transactional spend usage across Coupa’s customer base of more than $570 billion in cumulative spend under management will be leveraged to yield global supplier insights. Accessible throughout platform applications such as Coupa Sourcing and Procurement, the new supplier insights capability delivers a new level of prescriptive intelligence for Coupa customers.
Control and Visibility of Business Services Spend (Services Maestro)
Services Maestro is a new platform application that helps organisations manage the spend associated with complex services. Customers benefit through automated contract compliance, improved supplier experiences, and greater visibility into spend – both goods and complex services – on one unified spend management platform.
“Despite the high (and increasing!) levels of enterprise spend on complex services, the extent of procurement solutions in this area has been conspicuously limited. Coupa’s Services Maestro solution strategy suggests how the complex services category can be attacked from the solid vantage point of eProcurement and unified indirect spend. Where that can go, it’s too early to say. But there’s no question: it’s a big, untamed jungle out there and a green-field opportunity for solution providers like Coupa,” said Andrew Karpie, lead analyst, Spend Matters.
Complex services, such as consultants and fixed-price deliverables, is often a large category of spend in many organisations. These organisations may negotiate service rate cards, define deliverables, and come to agreement on terms and conditions with their suppliers. However, once work starts, there is often no easy way to track if a supplier is, for example, meeting service level agreements (SLAs) or determine if the timesheets and related invoices conform to negotiated rates. Services Maestro was created to help eliminate these challenges.
Coupa works very closely with customers to deliver more value and solve real world business problems. For early payment discounts, customers often wanted to offer discounts but had limited success when implementing these discount programs. Often the reasons cited for lack of success were lack of supplier adoption and the effort to get suppliers to accept the program.
Coupa Accelerate is an innovative new platform application that allows customers to quickly achieve a return on their payables by accepting invoice discounts in return for paying suppliers earlier. The application leverages the power of the community to drive better results for each customer using the program. Suppliers do business with many of their customers using the same Coupa platform. These suppliers can set up their Coupa preferences (e.g., SMS alerts) that are applied to all their customers
With Coupa Accelerate, suppliers can update their early payment discount preferences as well so discount preferences can be automatically applied to any customer using Coupa Accelerate. Suppliers are in full control and able to set preferences any time needed.
Additional Platform Features
R20 also adds more than 50 new features across the platform and cover areas such as e-invoicing compliance capabilities in Mexico, expense management pre-trip approvals, contract request pre-approvals, and the ability to screen suppliers against government restricted lists. Coupa extends support for regulatory compliance with the ability to manage anti-corruption regulations by screening suppliers against restricted lists provided by government entities such as the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In addition, customers now have the ability to calibrate supplier risk scoring to match their risk management priorities.
“Starting the year with this extensive platform release, on the heels of our sizable September 2017 update, clearly demonstrates our clear focus on rapid innovation,” said Raja Hammoud, senior vice president of products at Coupa. “We are thankful to all the customers and partners that have shared their knowledge and time to help prioritise new capabilities with an eye to delivered value. It’s certainly a special relationship we have created, and we look forward to many new innovations in the coming year.”