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COUPA ANNOUNCES NEW PRODUCT INNOVATIONS FOR THE BUSINESS SPEND MANAGEMENT COMMUNITY TO SPEND SMARTER TOGETHER

Company continues to set the innovation agenda by harnessing the power of the community, enhancing the user experience, and extending its open platform vision

 

At its annual Inspire’19 conference in London, Coupa Software (NASDAQ: COUP), a leader in Business Spend Management (BSM), announced new product innovations that extend the capabilities of its cloud-based platform for businesses to manage all their spend in one place. Amid global economic uncertainty, Coupa’s latest innovations empower businesses with the visibility, control, and agility to spend smarter together.

 

“Now more than ever, businesses need a comprehensive platform to effectively manage all of their business spend so they can respond swiftly and smartly to any competitive or economic pressure,” said Raja Hammoud, executive vice president of products at Coupa. “The innovations that we announced today – conceived with and by the BSM community – are designed to help businesses learn, share, and collaborate, and get the spend control they need to thrive at all times.”

 

Harnessing ‘Community’ for Smarter Spending 

Since its beginning, Coupa uniquely recognized the power of ‘community’ to help companies uncover new ways to strategically manage their spend. Purpose-built, the Coupa BSM Platform brings together a global community of businesses to collaborate with one another, and to leverage prescriptive insights from more than $1.3 trillion in cumulative business spend.

 

  • Source Together, Coupa’s newest offering, delivers community-powered savings by connecting businesses with similar buying needs so they can source products and services as a group. Source Together, offered through the Coupa BSM Platform, brings companies together to leverage their collective buying power and help deliver greater savings from suppliers for commodities or services across geographies.

 

  • The latest innovation from Coupa Supplier Insights draws upon Coupa’s aggregated and anonymous spend data from a global community of businesses to automatically tag suppliers that meet diversity requirements, such as those that are women-, minority-, or veteran-owned within their Coupa experience. Supplier Insights helps relieve sourcing teams of the arduous task of manually identifying diverse suppliers to more quickly align to their broader corporate social responsibility goals.

 

Enhancing the User Experience in a Comprehensive Platform

The foundation of spending smarter is a comprehensive, user-centric platform that makes it easier for everyone in an organization to manage all aspects of business spend, from source to settle. This means delivering a unified, consumerlike experience across all areas of spend that enables employees to rapidly adopt and obtain value from new capabilities offered on the Coupa BSM Platform, such as advanced contract lifecycle management and payments, without the feeling of learning a new application.

 

  • Within six months of Coupa’s acquisition of contract lifecycle management solution Exari, the company has rapidly unified the technology – now called Coupa Contract Lifecycle Management Advanced – with its BSM platform. With CLM Advanced, businesses have a streamlined yet powerful way to manage the contract lifecycle and operationalize contracts against spend transactions at scale, to turn negotiations into real savings.

 

  • Coupa Pay for Expense Payments is the newest solution from the company’s payments offering. With Coupa Pay for Expense Payments, companies can reimburse employee expenses directly from within the Coupa BSM Platform. Focused on simplifying the fragmented payments space for businesses, Expense Payments creates a one-stop shop for businesses to manage the end-to-end expense process, reducing the complexity of managing multiple and manual systems while making the interface simpler for employees. Expense Payments is currently available in an early access program.

 

Extending its Open Platform Vision

With the breadth of processes and systems involved, ranging from multiple ERPs to risk data, and more, effectively managing spend requires an open platform that can quickly and easily connect to and unify these disparate systems into a streamlined spend management process. Coupa’s open platform makes it simpler, faster, and more agile to connect to an ecosystem of market-leading technology partners to give businesses a single, unified destination to comprehensively manage spend.

 

  • Following the launch of the Coupa App Directory in June, Coupa now allows companies to access third-party applications and data within the context of their BSM processes to empower businesses to make more informed spend decisions. The company’s newest alliances include Amadeus, which provides businesses and its travelers with an end-to-end travel booking experience via its flagship online booking tool, cytric Travel. With cytric Travel data embedded within the Coupa BSM Platform, travelers now have a single place to view and manage all of their business travel – from travel pre-approvals and bookings to expense reimbursements. In addition, EcoVadis provides supplier sustainability ratings, Mastercard Track provides supplier risk data, and BitSight provides supplier cybersecurity ratings.

 

“We are pleased to partner with Coupa to provide companies a simpler way to manage their corporate travel and expenses,” said Vasken Tokatlian, head of partnerships and alliances, corporations, travel channels at Amadeus. “Our joint customers now have a streamlined, consumerlike experience to manage travel and expenses all in one platform, enabling them to maximize the value of every dollar spent. Amadeus is committed to power smarter business travel for corporations and travelers around the world and this partnership with Coupa is a testament to our vision.”

 

To learn more about these new capabilities, please visit https://www.coupa.com/.

 

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RISK AND INVESTMENT SPECIALIST, CARDANO, TAKES TO DOCUMENT AND EMAIL MANAGEMENT IN THE CLOUD WITH ASCERTUS AS IMPLEMENTATION PARTNER

Ascertus also providing document comparison tool, compareDocs 

 

Cardano, a privately-owned, purpose-built risk and investment specialist, has chosen Ascertus Limited as its implementation partner to deploy document and email management platform, iManage Cloud. Once implemented, iManage Cloud will securely centralise, store and structure over 10 years’ worth of documents in the firm’s corporate legal department, giving users including lawyers, the legal assistant and the compliance officer access to the content from anywhere and any device. The document comparison tool, compareDocs, will also be seamlessly integrated with the iManage solution. Ascertus provides tailored information and document lifecycle management solutions, on-premises and in the cloud, to professional services firms and corporate legal departments across the UK and Europe.

“In keeping with our business growth, including the assets under management, our legal team has expanded too, making document management essential for the legal department’s operation,” explains Miriam Lindsay, Senior Legal Counsel, Cardano. “Presently, we have a shared folder system for documents. Additionally, everyone uses their email inboxes to store information in a string of folders that potentially run into the 100s. It’s an inefficient way of keeping documents and requires a lot of time which could be better focused elsewhere.”

Cardano selected Ascertus as its implementation partner following recommendation. Ascertus is currently working closely with Cardano’s legal department to design and configure iManage Cloud so that the platform delivers efficiency and productivity gains to the users. For ease of information sharing, the folder structure in the iManage platform is being streamlined. Tags and metadata are being used to index content and facilitate search. The system will automatically assign numbers to documents in iManage Cloud for easy trackability.  iManage Cloud is being fully integrated with Microsoft Office 365, to enable users to save documents and emails directly from Outlook and Word into the document and email management platform. Users will have visibility of the documents and emails that have already been filed in the system, directly from their Outlook inboxes, saving them time and ensuring that there are no duplicate files residing in iManage Cloud.

“It’s clear to us that the Ascertus team has sound knowledge of iManage Cloud,” adds Lindsay. “They are working with us patiently and systematically to meet our system requirements. Their approach to working is very straightforward and professional – with a lot of emphasis on attention to detail.”

Ascertus is also providing Cardano with compareDocs, which seamlessly integrates with iManage Cloud. Users at Cardano will be able to compare any file type, review accept and reject changes in a live Word document and save it back to iManage Cloud.

“Due to the large volume of files that a corporate legal department has to deal with, the lack of document and email management capability can be hugely frustrating for lawyers,” comments Jon Wainwright, Sales and Marketing Director of Ascertus Limited. “Once deployed, iManage Cloud will deliver significant efficiency and productivity gains to the individuals as well as streamline the department’s operation to a large extent.”

 

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RISE IN E-COMMERCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IS A BIGGER RISK THAN JUST STOCK CONTROL

  • With consumer confidence in the high street at an all-time low, many SME shops and businesses have moved to online retail
  • Online retail sales rose by record 19.7% between April and May 2020
  • SMEs lack of IT knowledge, experience and skills could lead to potential online dangers from hackers obtaining personal data and fraudsters posing as you.

 

The high street, having already suffered a dramatic decrease in popularity, has struggled to return to pre-COVID sales figures, but is showing some signs of improvement. When non-essential shops were forced to close during lockdown, consumers were forced online.

For some SMEs this was devastating for their retail outlets and businesses. However keen entrepreneurs were driven to adjust their businesses to survive this crisis and technology became their saviour. According to the ONS Monthly Business Survey for May 2020[1], online retail for all sectors rose by 19.7% in May compared to April 2020, for many reaching this market was the only way to save their businesses. A staggering 85,000 stores appearing online in the three months to July 2020. However, business owners are being urged to review their online presence considering security issues posed with ecommerce trading.

ILUX, a leading IT systems, support and service company has been looking at the potential implications of inexperienced company owners launching their online presence. James Tilbury, managing director comments: “The pandemic and the lockdown has been the biggest pressure any company owner is likely to ever face. Even with the government support available, many would not have survived this time without shifting focus and identifying what can be done to save their business. Ecommerce offers endless opportunities, nationally and even internationally, to grow your business from a small shop or two, to a profitable and effective online store. But it does not come without risks.”

Worryingly, 32% of SMEs have been the target of cyber scams or malware with half of 5,000 SMEs surveyed by Sage[i], worried about their business being at a bigger risk since going online. However, only 6% would be investing in additional security.

ILUX, after reading these statistics, have realised some small business need some IT education. The company has produced some top tips to improve online security – for some immediate peace of mind. As a small business, the reputational and financial impact of a situation like a data breach will be destructive for a business, no matter how stable you think you are.

 

UNDERSTANDING DATA THAT SHOULD NOT BE SHARED

As a smaller business you may be working with just a few members of staff, but it is essential that they know what data is sensitive and what should not be shared. Training your staff could prevent internal data breaches, especially when it comes to GDPR (UK-GDPR from 2021). If your ecommerce site is hosted on Shopify, this data would be protected and should not be downloaded or shared.

 

SECURITY PROTECTION AND UPDATES ON LOCAL COMPUTERS

Although this is common sense, it is disturbing how many companies have out-of-date and even obsolete security software on their local computers. All anti-virus and malware software should be updated regularly. If a company has multiple devices in various locations, owners should set a reminder to ensure staff are checking for updates and make sure all software, when installed, is set to perform them automatically. Invest in trusted and quality products, you will get what you pay for, using a free platform when you are handling personal data is not recommended.

 

ENCRYPTION

Encrypt all your sensitive data at rest and in transit. Use of encryption allows only those with access to decrypt the contents of the file that has been converted using a special “key”. This means that even emails which are sent to other parties with personal data in them, or when you are uploading shipping address details to couriers, they are safe from anyone trying to intercept the data.

 

CYBER ESSENTIALS

Cyber Essentials is a simple but effective, Government backed scheme that will help you to protect your organisation, whatever its size, against a whole range of the most common cyber-attacks. Certification gives you peace of mind that your defences will protect against most common cyber-attacks – simply because these attacks are looking for targets without Cyber Essentials technical controls in place.

 

HOUSEKEEPING

As mentioned above, updates are essential for all software. Consider two-step verification too – to provide that extra layer of security. Encourage your staff to update localised passwords frequently – monthly is acceptable. Educate staff on identifying harmful emails – do not follow links or enter account information on anything received in an email. Ensure all networked passwords are secure and impossible to predict – change them regularly and only allow single person access per machine. Audit your systems regularly, and where you can, use external sources to review and monitor the company systems – the extra set of eyes can make all the difference.

James continues: “Online security should be risk assessed at the earliest convenience. If a small business owner has rushed to complete their transition to online, now is the time to sit back and analyse how robust those systems are. It is not as simple as logging into a Shopify account for instance – careful consideration is essential for all devices – whether that is PCs, laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones that handle any data. A customer data breach could be a costly exercise for the business – not just the financial implications, but this could become legal and involve larges fines for the business. Either way it will be detrimental to the business’ reputation. I would advise that all SMEs who are now selling online to bring in an external, professional and specialist set of eyes to overhaul your systems and protect you for the future.”

Businesses who have delved into ecommerce – and are concerned about the systems that have in place – are welcome to contact ILUX – they will be able to discuss the minimum requirements and offer some insight and support.

 

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