Coupa's BSM toolkit helps 'democratize the ability to do good'

Coupa’s BSM toolkit helps ‘democratize the ability to do good’

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Having accurate spend data at one’s fingertips is crucial for better decision-making about environmental, social, and governance goals.

Despite businesses intending to do good, 99% of them agree that the lack of open and instantaneous ESG supplier data has been a huge stumbling block. Coupa Software Inc. has filled this void through its sustainable business spend management toolkit by delivering more than 80 different features that have enabled the realization of ESG goals over the past three years, according to Donna Wilczek (pictured), senior vice president of product strategy and innovation at Coupa.

“When I joined about 11 years ago, the vision was always a data-centric model where we could apply AI to that data and create intelligence,” Wilczek explained. “When you are working in a supply chain, you need to know who your suppliers are … this is everything from anti-bribery, anti-corruption, InfoSec to GDPR and so many different government regulations. Coupa solves that problem of collecting that data from your third parties and then continually monitoring it and passing it into the different systems within your spend processes.”

Wilczek spoke with theCUBE industry analyst Lisa Martin during the Coupa Inspire event, an exclusive broadcast on theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. They discussed how Coupa uses artificial intelligence and data to accelerate the ESG objectives and revolutionize spend. (* Disclosure below.)

Solving the data problem holistically

If the data is bad, Wilczek believes the reporting will be terrible. Therefore, Coupa solves this problem by pulling, normalizing, aggregating and anonymizing the data to create powerful insights.  

“How are we going to comply with Scope 3 emissions?” she asked. “At first, on the surface, it looks like a reporting problem, but the real problem is data related.”

With $3.3 trillion in cumulative spend under management across more than 8 million suppliers and 2,500 global customers, Coupa is helping organizations realize ESG objectives, according to Wilczek.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is democratize the ability to do good,” she stated. “Smaller and smaller organizations are expected to comply with government regulations. They can do it with technology like Coupa.” 

With Coupa’s philosophy being “none of us is as smart as all of us,” Wilczek believes this has enabled collaboration in the digital world.

“Last year alone, we probably met over 400 customers; over 90% of the features we delivered had customer input into those features,” she pointed out. “The model continues around our customers, collaborating with us via the digital channels and our product owners really working with them as a co-innovation team.”

Given that collaboration is key, getting rid of silos has become a necessity.

“These silos that are happening in business prevent the risk from properly being operationalized,” Wilczek explained. “For example, the risk team may be aware that there is a supplier that has now gone into a government watch list, but the payments team is not aware. Coupa brings those silos together and says, ‘Instead, we’re going to employ what we call suite synergy.’”

By gathering data across the customer community, Coupa is developing insightful metrics, as captured in the company’s new ocean freight pricing index.

“We’ve collected all of the data from our customers that are sourcing ocean freight, and we’re taking that data and creating a market index for the pricing of ocean freight,” Wilczek explained. “So now, within Coupa, you can actually see what’s happening with the price of ocean freight.”

Here’s the complete video interview, part of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage of the Coupa Inspire event.

(* Disclosure: TheCUBE is a paid media partner for the Coupa Inspire event. Neither Coupa Software Inc., the sponsor for theCUBE’s event coverage, nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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