Lao fakaangaanga – Procurement Bill

Government has announced, and published through their website the following:

Lao fakaangaanga – Procurement Bill
Policy Decision for the Draft Public Procurement Bill
Purpose: The purpose of this Bill: – legislation and regulation governing the Government Procurement process 


Interestingly enough, this has a partial IT solution (or at least the mechanisms of IT assist in providing efficient solutions.) Obviously. Which brings me to some other IT news I’d read through the ether.

Talking eProcurement with Dave Stephens

Some weeks back I ran across an interesting open source company while I was surfing through various IT related blogs. I’ll typically stumble across or hear about at least one or two new open source efforts per week just during the course of reading, surfing/browsing, talking to others involved with the IT industry. However, when I happened upon Coupa, for the first time in a while I couldn’t name one other open source participant in their market (eProcurement). With my curiosity piqued, I contacted the Coupa team and set up an [email] interview with the company’s President & Co-Founder, Dave Stephens. Despite his hectic schedule, Dave was kind enough to provide me with a group of high-quality, information packed answers. Read the entire interview below:

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?

I worked at Oracle in the Procurement Applications group for just under 10 years. I joined as an Engineer in February of 1996. By 2002 I was running the organization as Vice President. Within 3 years, despite the .com bust, we were growing the business 7 times faster than the market. It was a blast.
Prior to Oracle I worked at a small engineering consultancy, implementing quality and process control systems for manufacturers. I hold a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley. On a personal note, aside from a 4-year stint in Houston, I am a California guy.

Q: How did the idea for Coupa form, and when did you decide to form a company around the original idea?

After Oracle’s acquisition of Peoplesoft I was asked to lead Oracle’s CRM Applications group. This was pre-Siebel of course. In that role I studied companies like Salesforce and Sugar. And Sugar’s business model really got me thinking about the potential of open source to break into enterprise applications.
Meanwhile I was growing pretty frustrated with the pace of innovation and progress at Oracle. I caught the start-up bug and left in November of 2005 without a very clear idea of what I would do. I knew I wanted to build an ERP software business that would delight its customers and innovate quickly – and that was about it.
Naturally, Procurement was the area within ERP I had the most depth of experience in and passion for. Plus, I thought it was being underserved. Most best-of-breed vendors were still “hunting elephants” and relying on business plans that called for $1MM average deal sizes. They weren’t better-faster-cheaper plays – they were advanced functionality, niche plays. And it wasn’t working.
So I started working on a business plan for a Procurement play where we’d not only have a highly differentiated product but we’d also provide the lowest TCO. And open source was integral in making the whole thing work.

By February of 2006 we were ready to found Coupa and be off to the races. And the rest is history.