“We have this long-term strategy of building a very big company with a fantastic product that we can offer to the market. And this is our vision,”
Ivalua CEO David Khuat-Duy on Tuesday kicked off Ivalua NOW 2019 Chicago, at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel and welcomed hundreds of customers, prospects and partners. The event was themed on “The Art of Procurement” relating to how the further procurement leaders mature in their transformations, the more their approach shifts from science to art.
This sums up the DNA of Ivalua – not showy, not in a hurry. Just building great Procurement solutions that customers clearly love (in 2018 once again maintaining the industry’s highest retention rate, over 98%). David is focusing his company on its customers, on keeping them happy and on developing the platform alongside these customers as Ivalua has done from day 1. Our first customer is still with is nearly 20 years on.
He also discussed Ivalua’s nearly 20-year effort to build a unified suite on a single code base and he highlighted the latest development from our updated offering, Release 162.
A recent Spend Matters SolutionMap analysis said that Ivalua “has not gotten the attention its capabilities would suggest it deserves on the global stage.” With the huge growth and expansion this company is experiencing including a move into Australia, this is going to change.
It was quite a coup to get Futurist Nancy Giordano (check out her Tedx) at the event, and she presented on “Navigating the big shift” No-one will deny that we are entering an age when who knows what will happen, and we need to think and act differently on every level. Retail is expected to change more in the next 5 years that over the past 30. Society will change more in the next 50 years than over the past 300. I am not going to do justice to this presentation, in the way that Philip Idesons’ Art of Procurement’s blog “Resisting The Pull Of Incremental Thought” does. So read that one and come back to me! To quote Philip “Nancy’s speech was absolutely about imagining the art of the possible. The frantic pace of change we face today does not require that we be frantic in return.” Take note!
Another stand out presentation came from Duncan Jones of Forrester who presented findings from a new study “Executing a Successful Procurement Transformation”, commissioned by Ivalua and published for download shortly after his presentation. The most eye-catching statistic of the event came from Duncan regarding procurement’s self-assessed v. actual maturity. 65% of practitioners believe they are advanced, creating a competitive advantage for their organizations, yet Forrester’s own assessments based on their inputs found only 16% to actually be advanced. 60% are still at a very early stage of the journey towards their Procurement masterpiece still crafting initial sketches or waiting for the paint to dry.
Duncan also highlighted the broad challenges organizations face with their technology choices and how the challenges vary with maturity. A key lesson being that leaders must carefully evaluate technology based on not just current requirements, but also those as they advance in their transformation journeys. Otherwise, technology that works today may very well end up being a roadblock tomorrow.
Duncan also highlighted his vision for the future technology landscape, with organizations leveraging a set of intelligence platforms for specific business purposes (procurement, finance, customers, etc.) rather than the omniscience promised by ERPs, which has failed. He will be presenting the results again in a webcast on May 29 for those that were unable to attend.
The remainder of the agenda was dominated by customer stories, in keeping with Ivalua using its events as a platform for its customers. Over 20 customers presented their stories during the overall event. Day 1 highlights included:
- Maxim Healthcare’s presentation on rapidly deploying P2P, which showcased the difference from one technology to another. After a 7 year struggle with one P2P solution, they switched to Ivalua and deployed P2P successfully in 8 weeks
- Dole International’s keynote on how to build momentum for procurement transformation, balancing quick wins (in their case with sourcing) with a long term vision
- A panel discussion moderated by KPMG (top sponsor at the event) featuring leaders from Honeywell and Meritor on the future pf procurement, where innovation and ways to best collaborate with supply chains was one of many points made
Ivalua also highlighted new innovations including its new integrated virtual assistant (naturally named IVA) and Direct Materials collaboration capabilities.
Overall, the first day provided great insights into the potential of procurement, balanced with a reality of how much work most still have to do and many insights into how to best accelerate the journeys, to create a true masterpiece and real competitive advantage.