Gabe Perez, General Manager of Power Applications at Coupa Software, discussed machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and peer data and how they can drive community intelligence during his presentation to Argyle’s CFO membership at the 2018 Financial Leadership Forum in San Francisco on February 14. In his presentation, “The Next Generation of Intelligent Spend Management,” Perez explored the impact of analytics to optimize spend management.
According to Perez, technology is a difference-maker for CFOs at companies of all sizes and industries. Many technologies are available to help CFOs streamline their day-to-day operations. Plus, technologies help CFOs maintain regulatory compliance, minimize risk and promote data security.
“Technology can be a huge, beneficial area for the CFO, particularly in terms of risk and fraud,” Perez said.
Meanwhile, technology drives connectivity in both the consumer and business worlds.
Consumers and business professionals can access data on any device, at any time. Yet many CFOs fail to prioritize data sharing, despite the fact that technologies are available that make it easy to foster data sharing and collaboration.
“Everything is hyper-connected at our fingertips,” Perez stated. “We have to cater to the workforce, because the workforce has everything it needs, right at its fingertips.”
Technology alone is insufficient for CFOs. Conversely, CFOs must allocate time and resources to determine which technologies can help them deploy a data-driven approach to their day-to-day operations.
“Don’t implement technology just for technology’s sake. You need to be very pragmatic about it,” Perez indicated. “Think about how technology can help you reach your [desired] outcome.”
With the right data collection technologies in place, CFOs can collect information across a community of internal and external stakeholders.
“Data is going to be the most valuable commodity in the next frontier, and understanding your data is just the beginning,” Perez said. “It’s not just about understanding your data, but it’s also about understanding the community’s data.”
To highlight the value of data sharing, Perez discussed Waze, a free community-based GPS, maps and traffic navigation app.
“Now, you can use community intelligence to make proactive changes and ensure your organization is not stuck in a high-risk situation.”
Waze enables drivers to quickly and effortlessly share real-time traffic data with one another. As such, Waze helps drivers avoid traffic and save time during their commutes.
Furthermore, Waze leverages a community of drivers to make it simple for commuters to get where they need to go. The app ensures drivers can instantly update one another about traffic, road construction, accidents and other problems. Also, Waze uses machine learning to offer personalized recommendations to drivers.
“Waze does everything for me, and it uses the power of the community,” Perez noted. “Waze crowdsources tons of historical community data and uses machine learning … because people are opting-in to share data.”
Ultimately, Waze illustrates the value of community intelligence for business professionals across all sectors – including finance.
CFOs often are concerned about information security and privacy. Fortunately, cloud technologies offer the ideal combination of security and convenience. As a result, CFOs can use cloud technologies to eliminate data silos without putting an organization’s sensitive information in danger.
“[Information sharing] can give you real-time information about where you can take action,” Perez said.
The value of sharing data with employees drives real-time and informed decision-making. CFOs can make this information readily available to workers across multiple departments. Then, thanks to state-of-the-art technologies, CFOs can use push notifications to provide regular updates to employees to help these workers accomplish their day-to-day goals.
“Don’t implement technology just for technology’s sake. You need to be very pragmatic about it.”
Moreover, CFOs who encourage departments to share data with one another can create a valuable community-based data resource. These professionals can maximize the value of all of an organization’s data and help departments identify and address potential problems.
“There is huge value to sharing my data,” Perez stated. “You have to contribute data to get value … and if you break down the silos across a community, you can proactively get answers to the questions you have.”
Community intelligence could have far-flung effects on businesses around the globe.
If CFOs implement cloud technologies and other community intelligence tools, they could help their organizations get the most out of analytics. CFOs can use community intelligence to detect risk and resolve dangers faster than ever before. Best of all, CFOs can leverage community intelligence to help employees take a proactive approach to decision-making – something that may lead to data-based decisions across a company.
“Too much of the analytics that is available today is getting this information and figuring out what to do with it,” Perez noted. “Now, you can use community intelligence to make proactive changes and ensure your organization is not stuck in a high-risk situation.”
As General Manager of Power Applications, Gabe Perez has global responsibilities for go-to- market strategies across Coupa’s Power Applications (Sourcing, Sourcing Optimization [Formerly known as Trade Extensions], Supplier Information Management, Contract Lifecycle Management, Inventory, Analytics, AI Classify [Formerly known as Spend360] and Coupa Risk Aware).
Gabe helps people see the bigger picture of how Value-as-a-Service is changing the way companies do business and how Coupa leads the market in that area. It is not simply a replacement for current software. Like many software upstarts, it helps companies address areas of inefficiency that legacy software has left untouched.
Gabe has deep knowledge of Coupa’s products and the customer consideration process, and he combines the two to speak directly, authentically and compellingly to their needs and concerns as they make what for many is a bold decision—purchasing cloud software from a relative newcomer to the enterprise space. He is a futuristic thinker willing to challenge the status quo, and skilled at emboldening others to do the same. He is good at rooting out the hidden assumptions and unstated fears that prevent organizations from moving forward with positive change.
Gabe is positioned to help people see the bigger picture of how Saas changinges the way companies do business. It is not simply a replacement for current software. Like many software upstarts, it helps companies address areas of inefficiency that legacy software has left untouched.
Gabe has been at Coupa for more than 6 years. He has held a many roles, from being a project manager to running our presales team globally, prior to that he worked at Ariba where he participated in many global rollouts of their software.