Leaders in Tech and Ecommerce

Gabe Perez VP APAC at Coupa Software

June 16, 2020 Season 1 Episode 31
Leaders in Tech and Ecommerce
Gabe Perez VP APAC at Coupa Software
Show Notes Transcript

Gabe Perez is one of the first 30 Coupa employees and has worn multiple hats in various roles which include Presales, Implementations, Sales Management, and Marketing to name a few. Has been a key player in Coupa’s IPO team that helped make Coupa be a hit through increasing their share value by almost 10X ongoing. 

As the Vice President of Asia Pacific, he has led the team in growing the Asia business by 300%.   

Coupa Sofware a leader in cloud-based spend management, recently announced that its customers have connected and done business with more than five million unique suppliers through Coupa’s Open Business Network™. Coupa continues to have one of the largest business networks in the world, which encompasses customers and suppliers doing business in more than 100 countries.

Discover more details here.

Some of the highlights of the episode:

  • How Coupa provides a real-time control tower of all of your spending, risks, contracts, invoicing, and more.
  • Coupa’s motto: “We don’t really care about customer satisfaction. We only care about customer success.”
  • Why some customers had their results mentioned by CFOs on earnings calls.
  • PWC survey of 450 CFOs – the number one thing that was top of mind – implementing cost containment.
  • How one of the clients – an airport – cut out a million dollars in funding that allowed them to keep the business stable.
  • A German auto manufacturer ran $2 billion of the direct spend through Coupa sourcing optimization had $200 million savings in the first three months.
  •  The best piece of advice: “Never be satisfied!”

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Before we start just wanted to let you know, we are organizing one of the biggest online supply chain summit starting with the 16th of July. We are expecting over 25,000 participants, 50 plus speakers, 12 panels worldwide, then 20 plus hours of content. Feel free to check our website for registration information@elcaglobal.com.

Hello, and welcome to the leaders in tech and eCommerce podcast. I am your host, Andrew Palamara. And I am the APEC director for Elica global executive search. Our mission is to connect the tech and supply chain and e-commerce ecosystem in Asia and globally by bringing forward some of the most interesting stories about success and failure from leaders in the industry, a pleasure to have with us today.

Gape Paris is one of the first 30 coupon employees and has won multiple hats in his various role, which included. Pre-service implementations, sales, management, and marketing. Just to name a few, he has been a key player in Cooper's IPO team that helped me Cooper to be a hit through increasing their share value by almost 10 X ongoing as the vice president of Asia Pacific.

He has led the team in growing the Asia business by 300%. Hey Gabe, it's great to have you on the podcast today. Thanks for having me really appreciate it. So let's, let's start with a short introduction and I was going through your, your intro on, on LinkedIn and the baseball and the sports profile. There came out very clearly.

And I was curious how maybe you can start with an intro of how sports led to your current position with, with Cooper and how the career in Cooper evolved during this few. I mean, it's a lot of years, maybe you can tell us more. Yeah, no problem. So, yeah, I'm an avid baseball fan. And I think until I was about 22 years old, if you asked me what I was going to do for a living, it was play baseball, but you know, the older you get and the more injured you get to realize how good other people are.

They actually came to a point my senior year, while I was on a baseball scholarship at a school in the East coast, I took an operations class. And when I took it operations classes, when I started, I was taking a marketing degree, but that's what I started to learn about supply chain. So between the fact that I had the realization that I might not make it, and I didn't want to spend years in the minor leagues trying, you know, eating tune out of a can, I'd met my wife.

So I knew I knew who I was going to marry. And then I found something I was interested in. So I went and got my master's in. Supply chain management. And I've been on the solution side of supply chain management since then, and almost coming up on 10 years at Coupa in August. And, and that's very interesting.

I can relate to that. I was also trying hard to become a professional tennis player until my 18th birthday, but then something's happened then similar to you. I realize other people are much better, but coming back to Cooper in Cooper, you had a very interesting career. So you being part of, I think the team, the 51st people team of, of Coupa, and then part of the IPO and the last few years in APAC leading the team here, right?

Yeah. Yeah. So I was at Cooper when I joined Kupa somewhere around 20 or 30 people. And I was already at a different software provider in the, in the supply chain space. When I joined my wife was pregnant with our first kid and the recruiting video had Nerf guns of people shooting them on it. And she goes, what are you doing?

We're about to have our first kid. And I said, you know, this, this company is not to do something special. So at the time we joined and it was just about how to make buying easier. And, you know, since then we've had a. Pretty significant growth trajectory. I've had many different roles. And about two years ago, after our IPO, the management team asked me to move out to Asia.

As you know, we were experiencing high year over year, year, over year growth in most of the world in Asia was an area where we saw an opportunity. So me and my family, me and my wife and my three boys have been in Asia for the last two years. Looking after both Asia and the Australia New Zealand region.

Excellent. And I think that part with the nerve guns connects with the country, but we'll talk about that later. Let's talk about coupon and I was reading somewhere that you have more than 500 customers. I don't know if it's outdated information, you can confirm on that. So 500 customers and a hundred countries worldwide using your solution.

I was wondering from your personal perspective, what excites you about Kupa and about the solution? Yeah. So, yeah, we're actually over 1300 customers now, but it is a hard number to keep up with visit changes every single quarter. Actually, a lot of people ask me, you know, why are you still at Cooper 10 years?

You've been through an IPO. You've had many different roles and you know what excites me is. The level of value that we're driving for our customers. So what going public did was just give us a level of credibility with the larger organizations where we could drive even more value and bigger, larger, more conservative risk averse organizations.

Then when we were a private company and, you know, It sounds pretty bad, but you know, many software solutions don't actually deliver what they're selling. And I so believe in what I'm selling. I, you know, I'll tell you a story. I, you know, Cooper helps companies manage their spend, right? No matter what type of spend it is direct and indirect expenses, invoices, procurement sourcing, but the stories go way deeper than that.

When I was moving to Singapore, I first got my employment pass. And when I got my employment pass, I went to go open up a DBS bank account, chose DBS because they're very large customer of ours in the region. And the woman looks at me and she says, you work for Cooper. And I didn't know what to expect next, because you know, you never know someone loves you, someone doesn't like you.

And she just looks at me in front of my wife and says, You have made my job so much easier. I just want to thank you. Life is so much easier using your solution and this wasn't a procurement professional. This was somebody just working at a branch and you know, so, and we've driven a lot more value for them as a customer in measurable ways in the procurement side.

But the solution is, is driving a huge impact, driving a lot of value for customers and is actually lagged by everybody who uses it, which very few software providers can say. And talking about a lot of value. How is coupon different? Because of course that's a big part of the pitch. When, when talking with any clients, how would you make a clear distinction between Kupa and everything else on the market?

Yeah. And, and so, you know, when I look at the market right now and look at, you know, our biggest competitor is ourselves, because really this is about how we execute because we're going places that people haven't gone before in the business and management space. And I think, you know, there's many, many things I could tell you about how the technology is different, but probably a lot of vendors done that.

Cause we, you know, a lot of people are copying each other and trying to, to sound more meats too. But you know what? We. We're born out of was a completely different way about going after this business. What we call a value as a service approach. So what we were sick of was people buying software and not achieving the ROI they were getting.

I mean, obviously in procurement and supply chain, the ROI can be extremely large and it's not soft. It's measurable. No, one's going to argue, you know, it's not like an HR solution or a CRM solution. We're talking about hard dollars savings. So the value as a service approach has led us really take an outcome driven approach where we start with the outcomes that a customer wants to achieve.

And we base our whole engagement with that customer from the presales and sales cycle to the implementation to the post-implementation is all about. Can you, are you hitting the outcomes, the measurable objectives that you've tried to achieve and what that has done with our relationships with our customers and in the market has brought a level of accountability that quite frankly hasn't been seen before in enterprise software.

So, you know, I can tell you a million different things. You can look at the Gardner reports about how we're different, but I'd say the number one way that we're different is the amount of referenceable customers who are not only referenceable saying they like the solution, but can stand up and say, I saved $60 million or can stand up and say, I, you know, I've.

Cut my processing time by 80%. So, you know, we we've actually had customers have the outcomes of their projects be mentioned by CFOs on earnings calls, which shows you that they feel it's important enough for their shareholders to know. So I think the biggest difference, right. And this is even quite frankly, bigger than procurement and businessmen management is just the way that we've set up an approach that really has a lot of skin in the game.

It's a renewals based business, where if you achieve your outcomes, you stay with us to grow and you're happy and you tell people about it. But we really, you know, our CEO has had a saying, since I've been here, we're not here to satisfy you. We don't really care about customer satisfaction. We only care about customer success.

And the way that we do that is through measurable outcomes. I don't think now that I'm listening. It's the first time I hear it like this in the success versus satisfaction. I think that's a, that's a clear distinction and it makes sense. I wanted to go into what's happening, you know, everybody's talking about it and how the new normal is coming and so on and how this crisis has impacted business decision and livelihoods worldwide.

I would be curious to find out from your interactions with your clients and potential customers as well, have you seen any trends that are impacted by the crisis, in their mindset in the way they approach their business strategy connected to, to spending and procurement. Yeah, we're definitely seen a lot and it is a sensitive topic.

Different people react different ways. I think everybody in the world paused for a moment, quite frankly, when this happened. But, you know, the reality is after the initial shock of what was happening, if you look at what, you know, there's, there's many studies out there, I'll give you an example. PWC did a, did a snapshot survey of like 450 seat CFOs in March.

And when you looked at the results of that survey, the number one thing that was top of mind to a CFO was implementing cost containment. In the top six areas, things like adjusting guidance to fraying or canceling payments, changing financing plans, you know, they're all reactionary, negative things, but cost containment is a very strategic driver.

And what we've seen is since the last recession, a lot of companies have been focused on top line growth. Right. And they really haven't. Look at their bottom line, but what Kobe has done is forced because it's to quickly change, to focus on their bottom line to ensure that businesses are going to be in place and be what we call resilient and, you know, McKinsey did another study.

That's great because they've been studying businesses since 2007, when the bubble burst in 2008. And what they've found is the most resilient businesses move the quickest to optimize their income costs, but they also invest in the down chart. So we're actually, you know, considering that, you know, Kupa really provides this real time control tower of all of your spend and your risks, your contracts, your invoicing, your sourcing event.

No, not that you want to look at the positive side of Kobe, but the reality is what we are a key part of people's business continuity planning, because now you have to stretch every dollar further. You've got to optimize every dollar further. And just to give you, you know, I'll give you a quote we had from a customer customer, North Queensland airports in Australia, which you can imagine an airport getting really hurt by the situation.

And they talked about that they needed, they were told by their management to look at goods and services that potentially may not be required for the next three months. And with Kupa, because they'd been live for about 12 months in less than four weeks, they were able to look at all of their spend differ or, you know, cut out another million dollars in funding that allowed them to focus on keeping the business stable and focused on their people and their suppliers and their customers.

So we actually have a lot of customers that are coming to us and saying, I don't know what I would've done if I didn't have this in place. Cause it's one thing to have the tools. But the thing that our customers have is they have the data and the visibility because we have such high levels of user and supplier adoption.

That you know, they can make decisions. They can see where they're forced measure contracts that are affected by that clause are they can see what is potentially about to be committed for spend, but hasn't been committed. So, you know, we see a lot of impact with our customers and we're also seeing different types of impacts of prospects actually, where this is becoming.

It's climbing the ladder of importance. We're seeing it projects get cut, but this is an area where, you know, we, we got a prospect the other day that just signed and they said they were asked to produce a report for the CFO and he goes, how do you want me to produce that report? I don't my system. Isn't good.

That's why we're not looking for a new system. I need to get the system up and running. So. Although they weren't in the auto industry and they weren't in the financing industry. Still car loans, weren't being paid. Dealerships were being closed after everything was cut. This project was actually moved to a higher priority and funded and they just kicked off their implementation because when we're used to implementing a remote way anyway, so it's been really interesting, but you have to be very empathetic because you.

It's also a sensitive time, right? People's priorities are changing. Their jobs are changing. Some people's jobs are not there, but we're finding that this is actually heightening the awareness of the needs folks on the bottom line of business, spend management. These two examples are great, especially the airport one.

When, when you think about longterm and strategy, and then of course, if you have a tour that it's like a control tower, it's so much easier to make a decision. I was wondering maybe to go into some other examples, that follow step by step the implementation and the resorts of Copa, because I think it's, it's a solution that takes time in order to see some results, or maybe it doesn't mean you, you can shed some light on that.

Are there specific numbers that, that you could share? So let's imagine before implementing Coupa and then after the implementation, and we can see the, we see the return on investments is there example and an example we could talk about. Yeah, there's, there's multiple examples. I mean, if you just go to our website, kupa.com/results, the thing you'll see about our case studies is our customers are holding up numbers, actual people with actual numbers of money they've saved.

Right. And that's not something if you've been in procurement most CPOs. Don't flaunt, what they've saved because they, they they're very conservative on it and they don't want to get a bigger target. But I think the more, you know, sh I'll give you a couple of examples, but I think if I take it a step back, the more important part to me is the beginning of your question in terms of how do they save money and how fast they can, um, time to value is a big differentiator for us in terms of, you know, we had a customer in the Philippines.

That two weeks after signature ran their first strategic source of single beds, just in two weeks, we had another customer in the U S and healthcare that saved one point $7 million from effective sourcing within two weeks of signature. You know, we have some customers that have cut out $70 million out of the business in one year using the procure to pay platform.

But the reality is it goes back to the value as a service methodology. One thing that's very different about the way that our sales teams gage is where we're focused on the outcome you're trying to achieve. And then we align the applications that you need to achieve. Those. It's not about jamming software down people's throats.

They may not need it's about okay. If your goals are. To re you know, to set up a new set of contracts or to run risk on suppliers for COVID or to reduce cycle time by, you know, two weeks, whatever those goals are, then we figure out what applications you may need and how to implement them. So we actually had a German auto manufacturer that ran $2 billion of direct spend through Coupa sourcing optimization.

So they only started by doing their sourcing optimization. Which is around logistics and direct materials. And they say $200 million in the first three months. Now they're going on the full source to pay platform, which is probably going to be a six to eight month implementation. But for them, that was a bigger priority to the outcome they were trying to achieve.

We have some customers who have, you know, duty in China, went live with 10 weeks with our PDP platform. So really, it really depends on what we do is do we align the applications? To the customers outcomes. And that goes for how we sell them and how we implement them. Right? Many of our customers will say, look, you need six modules, but you only need three now.

So we have a lot of customers that'll buy three and then they'll buy the rest later, which most people look at me as a sales guy and say, That's not what you're supposed to be doing. They're not used to hearing a sales guy say, don't buy that module now you may not need it. Right. And I think locally, DBS has 92% of the spend.

They got through Kupa, digitized touchless, once sourcing negotiates it, somebody asks for what they need. It's on contract it's within budget. A PO goes out to a supplier. A supplier creates the invoice. And it matches, and there's no exception. That's 92% of the spend that DBS is running to the system. And then they've decreased their cycle times by 70%.

One of the big things that DBS is employee experience, and they want people spending less time on this process. And now they're moving on to things like sustainability and some other goals after they've hit their first set of goals. I wanted to ask you about the challenges in implementing a solution like Cooper.

But then again, I think the question is connected to each case, case by case because everybody has their own reality. What I am curious is during this crisis, and I think we, you touched upon it. There's a lot of clients who want to have a better visibility and clarity on their spending. They want to make sure they're they're cost efficient.

I imagine that the number of requests and reaching out to your solution are high. How, how do you manage this kind of funnel during this period? I imagine you have to either have salespeople who work nonstop or build up a very big strong sales team. How do you do that? Well, you know, we're very pragmatic in how we grow.

We grow very carefully and very, in a very calculated way. Now, the team has grown drastically since I came here in 2018, we had an office of four or five people when I started. And I think we're now up to between 15 and 20 with some new hires that have come in last couple of weeks, but it's not just hiring right.

One of the things with is we're a cloud company through and through meaning we were our software's cloud. We run on cloud and you know, we have this thing, right. If we're five, when we, so I've been here since it was about 28 30 people, when we were 50 people, it was how 50 people operate like 500. We are 500 people.

It's how does 500 people operate like we're 5,000? And because we were born in the cloud and because we're so outcome focused and because the tool is really a great platform, right? Cooper VSM platform is, is a really configurable, easy to use, easier to implement than most tools. We are able to do things quicker without the same kind of overhead.

And I'll give you some analogies that we see in our daily life. A Tesla and a petrol. Why hasn't the petrol car caught up to the Tesla? It's because the Tesla was born from a different cloth. It never had to deal with the legacy needs of, we used to be this type of company, and now we're becoming a SAS company, or we used to be this type of product.

And now we're becoming a cloud product since we were born in the cloud. And every, because the software is a service. A lot of people mistake that as a hosting mechanism, it's really an opera way that you run your business. Almost 90% of our revenue comes from software only about 10% from services. So what happens is our business is very, very focused on driving and making a customer successful.

And it's been like that since day one. So we're able to operate in, you know, the other thing is, is the way we qualify customers because if a customer comes to us, And we had this recently in Thailand, a customer came to us and said, here's, I'm using this system. I don't like it. I want you to replace it.

And then they gave us the same process flow they do in their system. And when we said we're more than happy to replace that system, we do it all the time, but we're not going to do that same process flow. And it actually caused a lot of friction. We ended up winning the deal, but it took an executive that understood that the, what the change could bring to win that deal, because we're not just going to come and say yes, you know, an old process in an expensive system is a new, expensive, old process.

It doesn't fix the problem. So we challenge them. We qualify if somebody is not focused and all they care about is features and functions and price. We're probably not the best partner for them. If they can't say here are the five things I'm trying to accomplish in Arizona and measure them, we might not even engage.

So I think you're right. There is a lot of demand. And I think to the root of your question, the big, the hardest part of any of these projects has changed. And Cooper probably causes the most change of anybody in the market because we take a very, very different approach. It's a very different way of looking.

Get things. So it's not a legacy, you know, what's, you're subscribing to, as a set of best practices instead of technology, a set of people, a community of customers. And we know we have one point $7 trillion of big data in our application. So what Cooper has become because we're cloud only is like waves Waz, the traffic app, where we could say your company is achieving X.

Everybody else in your industry is at Google. Why? And then the machine learning can stay. Here's the directions and changes you need to make to try to achieve Y so that's the direction we're going. And that's a very big change, especially in the region of APAC for people. Sometimes it's too disruptive of a change for them.

I mean, they have to continue to learn the hard way for a little bit longer before we will end up being customers to them. That's an interesting point right there on the country named BEC because I'm, I hear this a lot. If you don't have a strong partner ecosystem or a channel focus and you'll go to market in APEC, people will be reluctant to trust you or to accept your way of doing things or that the change management they have to do.

Do you see this in your interactions with, with, or your experience in apex so far? And if so, what are some ways to overcome this? Yeah, it's interesting. It's been a very, and you probably being an expert. You've probably seen some of these things as well. When I came over here, it's a us thing, you know, but you know, I was sort of like a bull in a China shop.

I knew a lot of people expanded to Singapore, but now that I've been here, I understand why. And I think, you know, the challenge that I had is having the combination of sort of newness and empathy at the same time, you still have to be assertive, but you have to understand. Why the culture is certain way, and this actually changes depending on the country you're in.

And you have to, you know, a lot of the culture here is driven off of a compliance based culture. Like the way they run tenders here is so that nobody can come back to them and say that you cheated, or you didn't follow the rules. And a lot of the negotiations here are not about just negotiating on things like price.

They're trying to find a way to get you into terms so they don't get. Excuse me, my French. So they don't get screwed again because they've had so many poor software implementations where a slick sales guy came in and said one thing, and then it didn't do what that person said. So a lot of the negotiations in tenders here are around how do we try to reduce risk by putting all of the liability on the supplier, which quite frankly is not a good way to have a partnership, but I understand now being out here why it's like that.

So I think, you know, Partners are definitely really important. We're very, you heard the 90 10 number I gave you earlier. We're a very partner-driven culture. You know, the likes of Deloitte and Accenture and kPag, and we have local partners as well, all over the world. We have a partner first implementation strategy, but we have a really strenuous way of certifying them.

And Kupa is always on the project because we want to ensure that our experts are there to make the customer successful because we own. The three or five year contract with that customer. And after the implementation, you know, we're the ones that are supporting them. But that being said, I found that, you know, I heard a lot of different pieces of advice because gay marriage, you have to get into this network.

You have to get into that network. You have to do this. The reality is no matter where you are in the world, you're still dealing with people. So where I found success is one. Trying to understand the people I was dealing with and why they were coming out of the way they were coming at it and to hiring right.

Hiring was so critical for me because I came in as somebody who really understood business, spend management really understood Coupa, but did not understand this market as well. So I treat every one of my reps. As the CEO of their business and I empower them and I need to trust them to be able to make the call that I might not have the experience to make, because I've only been here for a couple of years and they may have been selling into the market for 15.

So I've found those two as the most important things, because if your software is good and your service is good and it drives results, you will start winning business. You know, once you get those first few wins, you'll start winning a lot of business, but you really have to understand. You know, for me, the hardest part was really trying to cultivate and understand where people were coming from and try to meet in the middle.

You touched on hiring and I wanted to talk about that. Gave it a, it's an interesting subject for us. It's it's pretty much our bread and butter. What were some of the lessons? This is part one. I think you've touched on a few and part two is how do you identify the best fit? And there's a lot of talk about culture fit and values.

I'm curious, what's your take on that? Yeah, I've hired a combination of, of locals and people from different countries. No, no real one profile has, I don't have an answer saying this is the type of person that's worked for me in the region, but I think, you know, the reality of it is there's the, obviously the sales one Oh one things that you have to look for.

But once somebody passes that test, which usually by the time I've started talking to them, they've been screened by the people at my organization. I really want to know culturally, do they fit. One of the things, you know, our CEO has done a lot of brilliant things at this company. I really believe in him and trust him.

But I think the hardest thing that he has done is kept the culture with the fast growth rate we've had, you know, with the international locations, with the acquisitions, we've done, kept the culture and, you know, The a hundred, all hands we've had or something, since I've been here, every all hands starts off at the same thing, right?

Ensure customer success, focus on results and strive for excellence. And there's this thing about Kupa where we, we call it the coop of village. It's we? Anybody helps anybody, no matter what their role is, no matter if they get paid on the dealer, if they don't get paid on a deal, it's this culture. That we all win.

We win together. We lose together, right? We do fight the fight together. So I'm always looking for is this person. And, you know, quite frankly, the culture is not a traditional Asian business culture, even Australian business culture. So I need to know, are they going to fit in this culture? So I look for a level of autonomy, but also somebody that is going to.

You know, put their pride behind them and it's not just coming in to hit their number. Of course, a sales rep needs to hit their number, but wants to be part of something bigger that understands that, you know, cause I have some pretty experienced reps on my team, you know, and all of them I've had multiple times where we're at has said that rep is struggling.

I'm going to give them one of my accounts. And most reps would be like, why would you do that? It's because I don't want to see them fail or I'm going to help this person. And I'm going to fly out to that deal because they can't make it, even though I'm not going to get paid on that. So that culture of togetherness, right.

And then that culture of putting the customer first and being successful. At all costs, you know, whether it's before you sell the deal, whether it should be after you sell the deal. So it's really, really important that that person is a cultural fit because we've got something really special here. We've been able to cultivate it to the growth that we've had.

And it's actually one of the reasons a lot of people ended up buying from us. Yeah. We have a really good product, but they want to do business with us because we know that their success and their results come first and we will do whatever it takes. We will always do the right thing to go from there.

That's excellent to hear me, man. And there's not a lot of, especially in sales priority count, like comes from the numbers and hitting your quota and not necessarily by being a nice guy. And it's refreshing to hear your perspective on it. I was curious as we get closer to the, um, the fewer last questions.

What is next for Cooper? And I I'm asking this question also from APEC perspective, but globally, what are the milestones? What are the big, hairy, audacious goals that you have for the organization? Yeah, it's an interesting question. And it's one actually that our CEO always gets asked about this on earnings calls and, and our answer is actually not the sexiest or most exciting answer, but it's just, we're going to keep doing what we're doing and we're going to keep executing and we're going to keep growing because I think the thing that's unique about where we're at is the total addressable market is massive, you know?

Been slice and dice many different ways, but you can argue it's over a $50 billion market we're going after. We're also going after a critical business process. That is, you know, COVID is just maybe been put a magnifying glass on you can't argue the ROI. So I'm not trying to sell you a social tool or a chat tool or something you may need.

This has been mentioned critical to running a business and, you know, with 1300 customers and a $50 billion addressable market, we've got a lot more work to do. There's a lot, you know, we're really in the early stages here, even though we've been very successful after 10 years, there's a lot more companies we can help.

So I think from a growth perspective, you know, the growth is going to stay the same, the growth, you know, which our executives have talked about in their earnings calls. But our focus, like I said before, our only competitors ourselves, because this is about execution. If we execute, we're going to help more customers, we're going to continue to grow.

So, you know, there are some cool things from a product perspective that we are doing and have done that. Haven't been done before I talked about community intelligence, the more data that comes into our app, the more we can surface intelligence because AI and big data are all AI, big data machine learning, all buzz words.

The reason AI machine learning hasn't worked too much is because it's dependent on the data. We spent 10 years of successively focusing on how do I get suppliers and users to use the system, because if they use it appropriately, The data will come and it will be clean, good data. So now that we have this community that's growing and thriving and hundreds of go lives a year of big customers with billions of dollars in spend a year coming to the system, we now can get really smart.

So whether it's what we do with community intelligence about fraud, we can understand fraudulent and suspicious behavior based on how you're spending versus other people in the Coupa community. We can understand. How your KPIs hit to people in your vertical and then machine learning can prescriptively tell you we can bring this community intelligence to risk to tell you how your rating a supplier, but also how the risk and performance that's a flyer compares to how they're serving the Cooper community.

And this just keeps coming out every release. And the next thing, which is, which is really just starting to come into Asia, but globally is we're really, really early stages in his payments. And the reason that's important is because there's a lot of payments companies out there. But we own the dollar from the idea at the sourcing event and the planning.

All the way through to the invoice. And now we're adding organic lead develop payment capabilities into Kupa. So instead of just having a payment tool, what our customers were telling us is you give us what's called an okay to pay file. And then our ERP pays it, but it's really not okay to pay. We have a million other steps we have to do.

So now when you add in this payments capability on virtual cards, invoices, expense reports, supply chain financing. It's not that those features aren't out there. It's that we're the only player that really. Understands business spend management from the time someone even thinks about spending money to the time someone receives it in their bank account.

So those are two of the product things that we've talked about, that we're really in the early stages, but it's really just about continue to grow. There are a lot more companies that need help. What what'd I take from, from this, it stands out the 10 years of obsessing going on, getting the supplies and user on the platform data, and then the payment system.

It sounds like a great, I mean, it's just a natural flow, the end to end solution that you provide. It's very interesting. Now, Gabe, as the last question, You can, you can answer it as you will. We always ask this about the best piece of advice that you've have been given and, or you could give to somebody either at the beginning of their career and wanting to have a great career or at the crossroad where they want to change it, their career, what is some of, or what would you say a good North star should be for somebody in that case?

Yeah. You know, I've, I've gotten a lot of good advice over my career. I think, you know, one of the things is it's gotten to me to where I am, as you know, and I had this written under my baseball hat when I used to play, it said never be satisfied just because somebody says, this is where you're supposed to be, or this is, you know, you're doing good for your age.

Are you doing good for your role? Cause I think one of the things that I, and I try to mentor people were in this position when you're in your twenties, You're automatically pigeonholed as somebody that doesn't have enough experience or hasn't done this, or hasn't done that. And that just wasn't okay with me when I was younger, actually the reason I came to Coupa was not because they paid me more money to come to Cooper.

It was because they offered me more opportunity than the company that was offering more money. Where I was currently at was giving me because that was more of your traditional, I'm going to be a. A manager and then a senior manager, then a director, then a senior director. And you know, so for me, it's really about if you can perform and you can drive the outcomes in your career, the opportunity will present itself, but don't just, you know, if your role is a, and you have an idea that speed go do it.

Go do it and get some outcomes for your company, get some outcomes and you'll keep expanding yourself. So it's this drive to never be satisfied and always be looking for more. And it's not just a monetary thing more, but it's more of an impact, right? Because we're all driven by the impact we have on an organization, you know, and I think, you know, one of the other things is really, so one of the comments I said, I remember my father telling me, you know, it was negotiating and it might've been with Coupa, you know, and it was like, you know, five or $10,000 a year.

And he said, That's nothing. And I'm a young kid. I'm like, that's a lot of money. And he said, okay, it's not about the money. That is nothing over the speck of time. It's about the opportunity. It's about your, your, you know, are you getting to be part of the company? Is there equity? Do you love what you do?

Are you going to be able to grow? Cause he said, you know, you can take. More money somewhere else, but you know, 10 to $20,000 a year is really nothing in the spec of your life. And that was something that really sort of rocked my boat at that time. Cause you know, you're always worried about title and money when you're younger and all those things, you have to be worried about things like money, obviously in some ways, but you know, the not be worried about title and not be worried about money were things that I had to overcome earlier in my career.

That have really, really helped me get to where I'm at, because it's now about the impact I could have, not what my CV or my LinkedIn or my business card says, right. It's about, you know, do I feel at Cooper? I still feel like I impact the share price. I impact the shareholder value by driving value for my customers.

And because of that, I haven't. No desire to leave. I wouldn't want to be in another place. I'm having an impact from selling something I believe in. So really I think those would be the pieces of advice is, you know, don't let someone tell you, you can't never be satisfied if you want to go further. And when you're younger, especially, you know, title and money are important, but they're not everything because those things will come if you're a successful person, but really it's about that opportunity to grow, you know, because a couple of the positions I had at Cooper were positions that were created for me.

They weren't things that were job posted on the job board. They were like, okay, what's the next thing that you're going to do to have an impact because I've earned that right. To have that conversation. So I think those would be the things that really helped me earlier in my career. That's great. Thank you for sharing.

That's a great perspective, especially under the baseball hat. It was great to hear you and to hear your take on things, we will, we will end it here, but I wish you all the best in your next steps. And I wish Cooper in APAC and globally are the best. I think you're an author, right? Trajectory. It's only going up from here and yeah, I hope we can also have a beer soon.

I mean, who knows what's going to happen? Yeah. Who knows, who knows what will happen with the circuit breaker? And I appreciate the talk, hopefully that was good for you. Hopefully you can work with the content we're given. Thank you. Thank you for listening to our podcast for all the show notes, any information discussed in the episode, please follow ELCA global.com/podcast.

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