Last spring, the SAP.iO Venture Studio welcomed a new employee-led venture to their portfolio: Source Agent by SAP. Time flies and with this big achievement just flying by, we wanted to talk to the growing team about their first year together and take a peek into its plans for the coming months.
The first 365 days
Starting a business is often a huge step. With just an idea and a vision starting to build from scratch requires great determination — but also handling a lot of uncertainty. However, it is an even greater feeling if one manages to build something that actually works. Transforming strategic sourcing for businesses into a web-based process that supports sourcing managers in their procurement strategy had been on Travis Mattern and Will Caseber’s mind for a while. It ultimately resulted in launching their journey as co-founders of their own venture, Source Agent by SAP, in 2021. They have since come a long way.
After participating in the six-month SAP.iO Intrapreneurship program, the two founders secured funding and started their branding process. Since then, the founding duo behind Source Agent by SAP hired their first employees, built a website and stepped up their social media presence, established a go-to-market approach, and built their concierge delivery model for opportunity assessments with help from the SAP.iO Venture Studio, SAP’s in-house incubator for employee-led ventures.
“Looking back, we did a lot in a short time with a small team. I think our biggest achievement was convincing customers to engage with us, to explore how they manage their sourcing function, and ultimately take a critical look at where they might have opportunities to save money for their organizations,” said Will, Head of Operations and Go To Market for Source Agent.
Challenges and learning along the way
Source Agent by SAP’s solution helps companies maximize the value of their eSourcing software investment and provides a holistic and personalized strategy to address spend intelligently and impress your stakeholders. The venture is currently on track to deliver a working version of their solution to help customers visualize their spend and strategically apply eSourcing in their business. But with so much work already done, what have been some of the challenges the team faced in the past year?
“With the current hot job market, hiring technical resources was — and is — very challenging,” said Travis, General Manager of Source Agent. “I did not anticipate it would take so long to find qualified resources.”
Hiring while working from home brings another challenge to the mix. However, as the old saying goes, good things take time and the team has since expanded from two co-founders to thirteen people today.
Even though Travis and Will knew the potential of their idea from day one, the true value of the approach became most apparent when talking with prospective customers.
“My greatest learning this year was the confirmation from prospects that we are bringing a new concept that is highly in demand by an underserved market.” Will said. “To give the best possible outcome, we use both the sourcing activity on the SAP Business Network and market data from our data partners. But this learning also increases the pressure for the team to move at pace.”
A peek into the future
With their first seven customers, the team is currently working hard on their solution and are eager to make moreprogress.
“We spent a lot of time in the first year establishing a brand, building a team, developing partnerships, and learning from customers via our concierge services,” Travis summarized. “We are now growing our development team to digitize our learnings and deliver on our vision of simplifying strategic sourcing.”
Thinking back about the first year of Source Agent by SAP, Travis recapped: “Our first year was stressful, yet very exciting.”
Well, we congratulate Source Agent by SAP to their first twelve months as an employee-led venture and are excited to hear about their next milestones and the ongoing partnership with the SAP.iO Venture Studio.
Happy first anniversary to Source Agent by SAP!
About Source Agent by SAP
Great sourcing shouldn’t be a secret. Source Agent by SAP gives you the insights and strategies to address spend intelligently and wow your stakeholders. Identify sourcing opportunities by aligning your spend to current market intelligence. Receive a targeted sourcing strategy and supplier recommendations based on your data and requirements for each spend category. Quickly convert strategies and plans into eSourcing event prep and execution. More on this venture on www.sourceagent.io/
About SAP.iO Venture Studio
SAP.iO Venture Studio drives a new era of organic growth at SAP. It invests in new ventures founded by small, entrepreneurial teams inside of SAP who are focused on building the future of enterprise business processes. SAP.iO Venture Studio provides design, development, and sales support to help these ventures launch. Founding teams join the SAP.iO Venture Studio primarily through the SAP.iO Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) programs. Find out more on www.sap.io/studio/