Executive Interview: Cyril Pourrat, BT Chief Procurement Officer

As part of the Making Finance Brilliant Programme, BT has implemented SAP S/4Hana for finance, providing a digital core to streamline procurement. The company has also migrated suppliers to his SAP Ariba procurement platform and implemented SAP Concur to manage costs.

BT Sourced, another procurement business within a telecom company, recently deployed Globality’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Smart Sourcing platform to transform the way employees source and procure services.

BT Chief Procurement Officer Cyril Pourrat describes BT Sourced’s role as ‘buying the right things at the right prices’.

This is an important consideration for companies. spend billions of dollars a year about buying things. “We have been totally focused on the cost base for all our stakeholders and shareholders,” he says.

For Pourrat, a procurement system needs to do more than track purchase orders and compare goods and services side-by-side. The ability to pull historical data from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and track purchasing across the BT Group is key to understanding spending trends and making more informed negotiations with suppliers.

Sourcing with a difference

Dublin-based BT Sourced was formed in 2021 to bring digital transformation to the company’s entire procurement function.

As with any telecom operator, procurement spending accounts for a significant portion of the company’s annual revenue. But rival companies also have other procurement operations, and Pourrat wants his BT Sourced to be different.

“We want to fully leverage AI, machine learning and the digital ecosystem to stand out from other sourcing companies,” he says. “We truly believe digital is the way to go. This is how technology is changing procurement.”

“We truly believe digital is the way to go. This is how technology is changing procurement.”

Cyril Pourrat, BT Sourced

he says even those who don’t Procurement expert You can use the Globality platform. For Pourrat, enterprise software should be “consumer grade.” This means users don’t need training to understand it. “Everything he wants to do in two clicks, ideally just by speaking,” he says.

In fact, Pourrat sees the use of natural language queries in enterprise software like this as a way to make things easier. While there is a lot of debate about ChatGPT and how it will replace roles in certain industries, Pourrat doesn’t believe the role of procurement teams will go away.

The team will focus on more strategic areas of procurement, he said. For example, increased visibility through digitization enables predictive procurement.

“We have a lot of ideas,” he says, but due to the workload of the system and the procurement team, they are not being implemented.

Promise for Pura Natural language query processing It greatly simplifies the way users interact with the business software that drives the procurement process.

For example, users only need to answer a series of questions, he says. “They just type their answers in natural language and the tool can create a statement of work and send it to their preferred suppliers,” he says.

Once received, suppliers can respond directly using BT’s procurement platform and users can track their progress.

Analyze activity to inform behavior

While there is a trend toward streamlining workflows so that users don’t have to be procurement experts to use the system, Pourrat believes the role of the procurement team will become more analytical. The amount of data he can collect and the ability to perform in-depth analysis will give you a better understanding of your suppliers and aid in your decision-making process.

he said: what is the result? In the past, people involved in procurement needed a lot of domain knowledge to make such decisions, he says.

Pourrat has a team of six data scientists working on what the company calls “negotiation and analysis.” The idea is to go beyond just displaying information on the dashboard. Instead, our goal is to use all the data we collect to consider how we can improve the way BT negotiates with our suppliers.

“We know the buying patterns and can look at the last three years of purchase orders,” he says. With this information, Pourrat said, procurement teams can exchange ideas with purchasing managers in his BT business units.

The level of detail provided by procurement data allows you to understand how much money is being spent on a particular supplier each month. This is a stepping stone to predictive procurement.

https://www.computerweekly.com/news/365531598/Executive-interview-BT-chief-procurement-officer-Cyril-Pourrat Executive Interview: Cyril Pourrat, BT Chief Procurement Officer

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