COUP anecdote

I met a sourcing executive from a medium sized (900 employee) private biotech company today. She shared that they had implemented Coupa and they loved it. Key takeaways:

  • Its all about the workflow and customization
  • Ease of use
  • Doesn’t require a DBA or software engineer to customize
  • Backend integrates with pretty much any ERP (Sap, Oracle, netsuite, etc)
  • Easy to set up approval matrix for different procurements
  • Can blacklist bad vendors or prioritize good ones easily
  • really nice to be able to approve or reject purchases on iPhone or Android
  • Cheap (400 per license per year)
  • Expense reporting easy
  • Not good at managing inventory (not an ERP)

Key competitor is Ariba (owned by SAP). Ariba harder to use, and lacking mobile integration, according to this person.

The conversation bolstered my view that I should more strongly consider COUP.



Maybe to add another piece of anecdotal evidence: we (Swiss (but worldwide active) insurance company) just switched from Ariba to Coupa for expense reporting. For me as a use it’s an improvement, especially the mobile integration (taking a pic from the expense slips as opposed to separatly scanning and uploading them).
I am as far as it gets from the IT department, but I assume in a company with 55k employees decissions like these are probably not implemented lightly and only if the one offering really is superior over the other.
Apart from that we also use OKTA for single sign on…



I will confess to having recently had a change of heart over Coupa too.

Previously I have expressed disdain for this class of products, largely driven by my experiences working with Ariba - which is a complete pain to use for both Purchasers and Vendors, and has potentially predatory pricing for Vendors.

Recently, it became apparent that one of my larger customers has switched to using Coupa - a much more straightforward experience from the Vendor point-of-view.

I now expect that Coupa will eat Ariba’s lunch. The only speed bump may be legacy integration with other SAP modules, but that has not stopped me taking a position.