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Evolution from All-In-One Suites to Hybrid – Melissa Drew from IBM

Welcome back to The Procuretech Podcast!

We’re continuing our mini series where we ask influencers and industry experts for their thoughts on everything that’s happening in the digital procurement world.

Evolution from All-In-One Suites to Hybrid – Melissa Drew from IBM

Back in episode 20, Melissa Drew from IBM gave us a masterclass in AI and machine learning. So we were really pleased when she agreed to come back on and take part in another episode.

For anyone that didn’t listen to the original episode, Melissa has 28 years of industry and consulting procurement experience. She’s currently a keynote speaker, board member for a nonprofit, and soon to be a published author.


We open up our discussion with a quick catch-up on Melissa’s background: A history with procurement that goes all the way back to 1996.


What are Melissa’s memories of some key milestones in tech over the years? How has tech impacted her career?

From cloud technology to AI, we take a tour of all the biggest tech developments from Melissa’s perspective. 


Are best of breeds coming to replace full-suite solutions? How much did COVID impact the procurement tech landscape? 

Melissa explains some of the most important recent innovations in procurement tech.



Will agile startups ever displace the Big Five, or should we expect to see more hybrid approaches in the future? 



Melissa shares a very relevant story about working with chemical experts from her time in procurement.

From there, we talk about talent, strategic sourcing, direct category management, and the importance of leadership.

“If you have a leader that’s doing nothing or saying nothing, they’re really saying a lot.”



We talk about the underlying root cause of personnel problems: Talent attrition. 

The current management trend of rotating talent across categories means that in-depth experience is becoming rarer. 

Can AI compensate for dwindling human expertise?



We talk about Melissa’s upcoming book: An unfiltered, honest look at how to develop a solid foundation for transformation. 

This includes some advice that might upset the big boy consultancies…



We wrap up this episode by thanking Melissa for her insights, and asking how to best reach out to her.

If you want to get in touch, you’ll find all the links you need below. 

Thanks for listening, and we’ll catch you next time.

Stay in touch!