The Supply Chain Matters blog provides our readers an update on business spend management Cloud platform provider Coupa Software. Specifically, we sought to home in on a report of progress after Coupa’s acquisition of supply chain analytics technology provider Llamasoft in November of 2020.

This supply chain industry analyst had the recent opportunity to speak with Madhav Durbhav, Vice President Supply Chain Strategy at Coupa. My goal was to garner an update as to how Llamasoft’ s technology capabilities are being assimilated within Coupa from both a product strategy and go-to-market perspective.

For readers not familiar with Coupa Software, the company provides an extensive Cloud based multi-tenant business spend management platform that seeks to connect buyers to global based suppliers. Other business process support capabilities are in Treasury management, contract lifecycle management, supplier as well as inventory management.

This provider has garnered its most recognition as a market leader in a Cloud based procure-to-pay process support offering. The company’s rather sophisticated Coupa Sourcing Optimization (CSO) strategic sourcing technology support capabilities can support combinatorial sourcing events or managing bids relative to large combinations of items. In a nutshell, the technology leverages sophisticated optimization to support rather complex material sourcing auctions among a network buyers and suppliers.

Coupa has to date has garnered over 2000 customers, has been growing at a compound rate of 44 percent, and reported in excess of $541 million in revenues for the company’s fiscal year that ended in January of his year.

The Llamasoft Assimilation

It was clear from our briefing that Llamasoft’s capabilities are being channeled specifically to augment community intelligence for the BSM platform with supply chain network design and planning capabilities. Llamasoft’s Supply Chain Guru suite has been rebranded to Coupa Design to Procurement Bid and thus far some specific business process scenarios have been demonstrated that leverage network design and deployment with specific procurement spend management needs.

Some of the scenarios demonstrated tend to have value in terms of benefit but it was clear to this writer that the assimilation is still a work in process. The other aspect that we pointed out in our prior impressions of the acquisition was the existence of different targeted buyers for both technology stacks. From our lens, that remains a work in progress and will likely depend on the composition and structure of the sales and pre-sales teams from both organizations. Ongoing support for predominately supply chain focused customers is a further work-in-progress.

The other aspect is the collaboration and eventual integration among both company’s artificial intelligence development and services teams to be able to work on specific customer direct or indirect procurement process and transformational needs. There will likely be added opportunity in this dimension, provided that Llamasoft’s former AI developers can be retained. There is obviously an extremely hot market for skilled AI developers within the supply chain technology landscape.

With Coup’s premiere customers such as Airbus, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi and Walmart, among others, there is certainly opportunity for manifesting the integration of supply network risk and resilience among strategic sourcing and inventory management processes. Information regarding such efforts will likely not be shared for obvious customer sensitivity reasons.

Suffice to note at this point that within our first 2021 prediction, we outlined consideration of new thinking in bringing together multi-tiered supply network visibility with continuous detailed supplier risk information. Today, these two aspects of visibility reside in different application systems.

It is clear to this writer that Coupa has indeed grasped this need.  The open question is the timetable of the integration and which particular companies are the first to benefit.

 

Bob Ferrari

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