Coupa helps organizations gain greater visibility and control over how they spend money. Their cloud-based suite of business spend management applications provides a rich set of software for automating the workflows guiding procurement, expenses and accounts payable tasks.
To be most effective, Coupa needs to connect with key data about employees, suppliers, accounts and vendors. Large companies and corporations typically must build a number of interfaces into their other systems (especially ERP) to get the right data into and out of Coupa. Designing and building these integrations can consume time and budget — and introduce risk from untested connections.
But help is now available. KPMG and Boomi are helping to make Coupa integrations easier, faster, and more reliable with the CoupaLink-Certified KPMG Cloud Integration Framework.
Based on the Boomi integration platform, KPMG’s Cloud Integration Framework streamlines development tasks for a variety of key cloud migration scenarios.
The efficiencies provided by KPMG’s Cloud Integration Framework are becoming increasingly critical for speeding cloud adoption. By moving to the cloud to support key functions like human resources, finance and procurement, organizations can take advantage of next-generation capabilities which may provide advantages over legacy systems.
We recently sat down with Annie McMillan, managing director of KPMG’s product operations and procurement advisory practice, and Brian LaHiff, director of KPMG’s digital enablement advisory practice. We spoke with them about how KPMG’s Boomi-powered Cloud Integration Framework is making it even easier for corporations to improve their expenditure management with Coupa.
What inspired the creation of KPMG’s Cloud Integration Framework for Coupa?
McMillan: We’ve been one of Coupa’s go-to implementation partners for about the last six years. Primarily, we focus on complex mid-market and Fortune 500 accounts — global, multi-region Coupa projects which can include numerous SAP ERP integrations.
Many of these customers have grown through mergers and acquisitions, which adds to the complexities of implementing a comprehensive spend management system like Coupa across an entire organization.
As one of Coupa’s go-to implementation partners, what is your approach to successful integration projects?
McMillan: KPMG has built the capability to rapidly design, configure, test and roll out Coupa applications into complex environments using our Powered Procurement approach which brings pre-configurations and integration data mappings to our clients to speed implementation efforts.
And it’s a business-led approach. We think about what the business process should be to drive the highest compliance to contract, the best visibility to spend, and the proper level of controls across the various spend categories. We design the process and enable the technology to execute that process.
“The KPMG Cloud Integration Framework and our partnership with Boomi is our way of helping IT move at the speed of business. We can deliver integration solutions in step with the timeframe that business needs.”
— Brian LaHiff, Director, KPMG’s Digital Enablement Advisory Practice
We also provide services focused on training and change management to support successful technology implementations. It is important to train employees and partners about when and how to use their new system so that they can fully reap the benefits of their investment.
What is the importance of integration for Coupa implementations?
McMillan: Coupa provides the ability to easily procure and pay for goods and services across the organization. This is accomplished by allowing the appropriate access to the system in compliance with company policy and using pre-defined approval rules to make the process go as expeditiously as possible. This may include purchasing from catalogs, based on contracts, or executing a sourcing event with suppliers to find the desired good or service at an acceptable price.
To do all of this effectively and efficiently, Coupa needs data such as user or supplier information from other source systems. And, in turn, it feeds data to these systems. And that’s where the integration effort comes in to play.
How does KPMG’s Cloud Integration Framework help companies with cloud migration?
LaHiff: The Cloud Integration Framework is built on the Boomi integration platform as its foundation. We’ve brought in our integration experience and knowledge of cloud migration to further enhance the platform to the needs of our customers.
The KPMG Cloud Integration Framework aims to decrease the design, development, deployment and overall delivery time by providing an asset library of pre-built integrations for the leading enterprise applications. The framework is a jumpstart for projects.
One of the core components of the framework was building our capabilities around Coupa. Within our asset library, we have numerous Coupa integration use cases to reference. It includes everything from master data all the way through transactional data. And this provides a path to make the integration of Coupa faster and easier.
What is CoupaLink and why is it important for Coupa integration?
LaHiff: CoupaLink is a program that helps technology partners and independent software vendors develop one integration solution that’s certified by Coupa and works for all Coupa customers.
When implementing Coupa, companies typically need to build a number of integrations with their SAP ERP system to extract supplier, account and vendor information. The integration consumes time and budget — and involves risk from new and untested connections.
“With Boomi and our Cloud Integration Framework, we’re starting the conversation with the integration flow significantly pre-configured. We can then tweak it to meet specific business requirements without starting from scratch.”
— Brian LaHiff, Director, KPMG’s Digital Enablement Advisory Practice
KPMG makes integrations simpler, faster and more reliable with its CoupaLink-certified Cloud Integration Framework — complete with data mapping, error handling, and process management. With KPMG’s pre-packaged iPaaS integration solution, you can quickly transform, validate and integrate data into Coupa without impacting your SAP ERP application or end users.
We worked with Coupa to validate our library of pre-built Coupa integrations. We made some adjustments to align with their requirements. And they certified the KPMG Cloud Integration Framework as a CoupaLink-certified solution. We received certification in May of 2017.
McMillan: We can offer this option to our clients to more quickly and effectively create and manage integrations in their environments.
LaHiff: That’s right. It really reduces integration deployment time. Because of our design, build and testing assets, it decreases the cost of integration compared with traditional methods — as well as enabling greater reliability because it’s all pre-tested.
Plus, the solution has real-time error validation and error handling built in, so it simplifies the complexity often associated with integrating SaaS applications and enterprise platforms.
In what key ways are you helping Fortune 500 companies integrate Coupa across their organizations?
LaHiff: First, Coupa has a strong library of RESTful APIs that makes integration reasonably straightforward.
Nevertheless, when you’re thinking about integration with Coupa, that’s usually not the most complex side. The challenging part is connecting to what Coupa needs to talk to. There’s usually an SAP ERP or an HR system on the other end, and that’s where the complexity comes in.
So, Boomi has a Coupa connector, right out of the box. On top of that, we’ve added data mapping. We’ve included error handling, data validation and orchestration. Combining that with what Boomi brings to the table gives you the complete, wide-ranging integration solution that customers are looking for when integrating Coupa.
The KPMG Cloud Integration Framework is an accelerator. This gives Coupa project architects and managers a big jump start. For example, most SAP ERPs, especially on-premise, are at least a little bit customized. So, there’s always some tweaking that needs to happen before we can deploy. We sit down with our Coupa team that’s helping us deliver the project and we’ll adjust our integration framework to align it with our customer’s unique environment.
How did you select the Boomi integration platform as the technology foundation for the KPMG Cloud Integration Framework?
LaHiff: Although we just made our partner alliance official in the last few months, we’ve been working with Boomi for a couple of years. And whether it’s Coupa or any other SaaS application, each software platform needs integration to help realize their full value.
So, for us with Boomi, it really came down to speed to market, time to value and ease of use. We know that when business units go out and buy a new SaaS application, they want it up and running in weeks. This can create benefits both for KPMG and our clients.
For our clients it’s everything that Boomi brings to the table. No custom coding, ease-of-use, automated maintenance, pay-as-you-go subscription, development speed, and centralized anytime/anywhere management.
The Boomi dashboard provides visibility and transparency into what’s happening across an entire enterprise. That’s why we like working with Boomi, and that’s what resonates with our clients on both the business and the IT side of their organization.
“So, for us with Boomi it really came down to speed to market, time to value and ease of use. We know that when business units go out and buy a new SaaS application, they want it up and running in weeks.”
— Brian LaHiff, Director, KPMG’s Digital Enablement Advisory Practice
What we’re seeing today is that once you get into integration design, data quality is one of the key components. And, a lot of clients are pushing for API-enabled landscapes.
So, Boomi MDM and API management fit right in. That lets us take our integration framework and expand beyond just integration to do master data management, API management, and workflow, all with one tool.
We took Boomi as the core, added our integration framework on top to further speed up the implementation timeline. For those who have done integrations before, they know that mapping data and designing business rules are usually the most complex parts.
With Boomi and our Cloud Integration Framework, we’re starting the conversation with the integration flow significantly pre-configured. We can then tweak it to meet specific business requirements without starting from scratch.
How is Coupa involved with integration projects for its customers?
McMillan: Coupa relies on their partner eco-system for a significant portion of implementation services. That said, they are involved throughout the engagement at some level, but in every deployment there are a couple of key points where Coupa Professional Services is involved.
Coupa has an Architectural Review Board that does a “sanity check” for each of our project designs, including the integration requirements. That is the primary point for validation and review. And they do that for every implementation. If we’re using a CoupaLink Certified Dell Boomi integration design, it reduces the complexity of the review and may also shorten it.
How does the KPMG Cloud Integration Framework help speed project timelines for deploying Coupa?
LaHiff: The KPMG solution takes integration off the critical path. We are fitting into the business timeline rather than IT driving the timeline because integration used to take so long.
McMillan: The other key is that integration is not only accelerated and completed, but it’s completed well. When we can’t use the framework and we’re relying on a client’s technology team that’s never done this before, it can take multiple attempts and more testing to get it right. All of which could be avoided using the KPMG Cloud Integration Framework and Boomi. Also, if integrations are designed and built using a standard approach with Boomi, it can make it easier to make adjustments in the future, if needed.
The advantage is that Coupa has reviewed and certified the KPMG Cloud Integration Framework. They’ve said, “This is an integration solution that works with our software.”
What’s the biggest value of the integration framework and Boomi for a typical Coupa customer?
LaHiff: It’s not necessarily Coupa-specific. It’s that integrations traditionally have just taken too long and cost too much. And with business moving so fast today, IT couldn’t keep up.
The KPMG Cloud Integration Framework and our partnership with Boomi is our way of helping IT move at the speed of business. We can deliver integration solutions in step with the timeframe that business needs.
So all combined the KPMG Cloud Integration Framework helps speed Coupa integration projects while lowering costs. And by being a CoupaLink-certified solution, we further reduce risks and integration complexities for large, global corporations.
Dell Boomi has a strategic alliance with KPMG LLP (KPMG), the U.S. tax, audit and advisory firm. Together, we are helping organizations around the world harness modern, low-code integration to drive digital transformation and build connected businesses.
Please contact our integration experts today to find out how Boomi and KPMG can help your company modernize its technology infrastructure.
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