The gravity of Dreamforce is undeniable for sales, service, and tech innovators.  Keynotes, breakout sessions, and philanthropy at a rock star level were invigorating. For Procurement pros, it’s four days to color our innovation calendars. Let’s revel and relive a few of the things that we learned:  

DocuSign Advisory Councils or AdCo’s: These are Work Sessions We Only Wish Were at School. With digital business experts at the helm, each AdCo is a play off each other’s experiences. It’s the ultimate classroom where we network sharp thinking and push each other’s buttons. The end result is always a ruckus amount of personal and professional growth.

Procurement’s Eco-System is Ripe for Picking: Salesforce’s core product and new features make connectedness, mobility, increasingly more relevant to the buy-side.

The procurement eco-system is ready for all kinds of partnerships and tool automation that power how we deliver results. I walked through the tech pavilion where the possibilities of convergence with CRM, P2P, CLM, and DTM shined into the realm of very interesting. 

Together there’s a full view of the procurement operation. Comprehensive dashboards are readily available for open projects, RFPs, RFIs and RFQs and every slice of the supply network: by category, region, location, and team member. There’s greater insights with our top and most critical suppliers. There are more interesting and effective ways to manage risk. There were unique ways for Sourcing to deliver greater bang for the procurement buck. All are little slices of heaven for the curious Procurement wonk.

“Above the Line” & Cloud Bound: Dreamforce gives not only inspiration with keynotes and access to leaders, but it also inspired me to imagine how I could help our 4-person Procurement team at DocuSign develop into a globally relevant operation. Ideas emerge for how to leap frog from traditionally manual practices (like category management through Excel) and create more time for confident engagements with stakeholders and our business community.

Most of all I’m witnessing procurement become more than a typical “below the line” investment. I see it elevating into an “above the line innovation.”  This is both exciting and strange. But procurement is undoubtedly being transformed for the better.

Procurement Wonks – Chime in: Do you think these shifts to the Cloud supercharging procurement? The comments section is open for your thoughts.