I only attended part of the first day of the Global Procurement Tech Summit, but in that time, I made several observations not included in my first two posts on the Summit which you can find here and here.

  1. Procurement technology is a great topic for a conference. It saves procurement organizations time going from vendor to vendor and vice versa.  It should be a big success.  Congrats to Spend Matters and ISM.
  2. There were several new e-procurement vendors at the conference promising an “Amazon-like” shopping experience. I’m not sure the world needs any more e-procurement vendors, but I wish them well—especially with Amazon themselves getting in the game.  (By the way, who is funding these new players?)
  3. You cannot present at a tech conference these days if you cannot throw around the terms “machine learning” and “artificial intelligence” with abandon.
  4. Coupa built its own “Google Docs” for buyers and suppliers to collaborate on negotiating contracts privately. I wondered when someone would do that.
  5. If I hear another supply chain risk presentation using a disruption caused by weather as an example I think I might lose it.
  6. When will supply chain finance stop being the next big thing and actually arrive? It is the hoverboard of procurement.
  7. At the same time that I was at GPTS, AribaLive was going on in Vegas. From what I can tell, they announced more interesting new network-related functionality than they have in the last five years.
  8. Also around the same time, Tradeshift seems to have raised another $20 million in an uncharacteristically under-publicized round. The press release also says they are seeking another $45 million.
  9. Anne Rung, the United States’ Chief Procurement Officer spoke at the conference.  As taxpayers, we could not be luckier to have someone like her working on our behalf.  If you see her, thank her for her service, just as you would a veteran!

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