The procure-to-pay space is going through huge technology adoption, and AI is making its mark on it as well. This interview explores the nuances of the sector.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself as well as Transcepta to our audience.
Shan Haq: I run Corporate Strategy and Development for Transcepta. My background is mostly in product management and marketing. I have previous experience with Microsoft, Deloitte, and Boeing. I started with Transcepta just a couple of months after it was founded before there was a product or customer. The company was actually founded in December of 2005. I started shortly after that.
We’re a platform that enables procurement and accounts payable professionals to communicate more effectively and connect electronically with each other as well as with their supply chain. The goal is to provide them with applications that we deliver on top of our supplier network to help them achieve greater profitability.
We do that through a number of different work loads. Some of those are specifically in electronic invoicing, dynamic discounting, and managing supplier information. It’s focused on the procure-to-pay space and delivering value through our supplier network.
Sramana Mitra: What is the customer base? Is it an enterprise customer base that you work with?
Shan Haq: Our target space is typically enterprise-level customers. We do have some customers that drop below this threshold, but, generally, it’s customers that are at about a billion dollars in revenue and above all the way up to the largest Global 50 companies. We are connecting their suppliers.
On the supplier side, there’s the full range of company size: everybody from the largest companies in the world all the way down to the mom and pop shops. As all of our customers are doing business with customers of all sizes and sophistication level, so we need to be able to interface with them as well.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s now focus on the AI angle of your work. Talk to me about what it is you’re doing with AI?
Shan Haq: If you think about some of the things we do, we’re in a good spot to leverage AI both internally and externally. From an internal perspective, we’re using AI technology to do things like monitor server health. This is done to set alerts for our team when there are anomalies and to provide a feedback mechanism so we can learn from that and understand as we go forward whether that anomaly is appropriate or inappropriate.
From a customer perspective, we use the term AI somewhat broadly. There’re different components of it. There are things like machine learning and predictive analytics. There are a couple of use cases there. When we connect the supplier on behalf of our customer, we need to be able to do things like receive an invoice electronically from a number of different systems in a number of different formats.
We’re able to leverage AI and machine learning to help with the construction of the business rules that we build around various invoices for that. An invoice would come from a supplier and we’re able to get better and better over time leveraging that type of technology. That helps us bring suppliers onto the network much more efficiently and effectively. The next step would be to be able to classify them by image and put them into appropriate subgroups.