Coupa: Spend Management Software Leader or Challenger?

Coupa was born more than six years ago out of the need to provide cloud procurement software that was affordable and easy to install and use. Today, Coupa enables organizations to harness every online transaction to optimize spend—providing a true cloud SaaS application that offers rapid deployment and reduced IT burden. Get the details on Coupa in part 1 of a two-part vendor feature from TEC’s own P.J. Jakovljevic.

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It is interesting to note that game-changing enterprise software vendors such as salesforce.com or NetSuite have entered into the second decade of existence (both vendors still use the Oracle database in their respective cloud infrastructures, with recently even more expanded contracts to use Oracle technology), and Ariba, the formerly independent spend management leader prior its by acquisition by SAP in 2012, stems from the client-server era of the mid-1990s (although with a cloud rewrite in the mid-2000s). But Coupa is a different type of company. Coupa is an example of a younger, Generation Y–type of software company with a consumer-oriented flair (written in Ryby on Rails technology), much like that enjoyed by Twitter and Facebook

Back in 2006, the two ex-Oracle executives that founded Coupa, Rob Bernshteyn and Noah Eisner, thought that enterprise software was suffering from a real lack of innovation—it was expensive, difficult to install, and required extensive training (see figure 1). The founders of Coupa saw that people were already easily shopping and banking online from home, but at work they were still saddled with systems that they hated (or at least did not enjoy using). And that was the start of Coupa—cloud procurement software made with a sole focus: the end user.

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