Transform to Outperform in The Age of AI

Most of us already live with AI, from the watches on our wrist that track our sleep and heart rate, to ads that follow us everywhere we go, from something as simple as the autocorrect on our phones or the (sometimes annoying) predictive text that pops up when we write an email — All of it is AI. And today it impacts almost all aspects of our lives.

And, while we have seen the AI sun shine in our personal lives, A strong wave of AI-powered software is now also making its way to procurement.

After experiencing uneven adoption for several years, Artificial Intelligence has now become the top-most agenda of the world’s leading CEOs and CPOs. Cut-throat competition and growing supply-chain uncertainties have intensified pressure to innovate and disrupt in order to deliver more with less. It was the pandemic that provided critical traction to widespread AI-led Digital Transformation.

Faced with these ‘New Normal’ demands and a constant onslaught of uncertainty, procurement now needs a new type of system that learns and adapts quickly.

Paradigm Shift from ‘Whether to take the AI-first route’, to ‘Which approach will get there faster’

In this backdrop, Zycus hosted its flagship Horizon, a Global Virtual Conclave for Procurement & Finance Professionals — the spotlight of the event was on AI-led digital transformation as an enabler of the ‘Next frontier’ of Procurement.

In Zycus CEO Aatish Dedhia’s words, ‘There are multiple favorable conditions, the confluence of which are driving Cognitive Procurement forward. The Source-to-Pay software space is maturing and there is feature-parity in the offerings of leading players, so people are looking to next-gen technologies.’

Over multiple sessions and interactive workshops, industry experts and practitioners attempted to answer pertinent questions around AI in Procurement — these included questions like — Where can AI deliver the most value? How can firms build resilient supply chains? How to spearhead effective transformations and manage change? Will AI replace people? And more.

Top industry analysts like Gartner, Forrester, and The Hackett Group, Zycus’ star clientele, and over 1800 Procurement and Finance professionals came together to incite a relevant and useful dialogue for things that matter to Procurement today.

In addition to starting important discussions around AI, the event was also a stage for 3 exciting AI-themed launches from Zycus leadership.

The first of these was Zycus’ latest product in its Merlin Suite, Merlin for eProc. Targeted at Buyers bogged down by tactical buying, this product aims to free up their time so they can work on more strategic tasks. It aims to make tactical buying ‘touchless’.

To allow attendees to experience their Merlin Suite first hand, Zycus set up a Real-time, first-of-its-kind AI sandbox, ‘Merlin Experience Centre’. Delegates spent over 3000 hours at Merlin Experience Centre during the event exploring the latest launch.

In addition to Merlin eProc, Zycus launched two AI themed, non-product entities:

The first — A must-read book on Cognitive Procurement ‘Why the Time for Cognitive Procurement Is Now!’ — with insights drawn from Zycus’ years of experience in the procurement space.

The book has already garnered praise from leading CPOs across verticals and geos. It is a hands-on guide, with anecdotes and real-life incidents, on how futuristic organizations can unlock value from #AI led Cognitive Procurement practices.

Praise for — ‘Why the Time for Cognitive Procurement Is Now!’

“This is the first piece of literature that I have read on AI that answers all my questions on what the future can look like.”

- @Ben Briggs, General Manager Procurement & Supply Chain, Crown Resorts, Australia

“An easy-to-understand guide for practitioners which clearly and compellingly outlines the what, why, how, and benefit of undertaking the Cognitive Procurement journey.”

- Shawn Sehy ISIT — General Manager — G&A and B2E System Department, Nissan Motor Corporation

“A key read for any procurement professional, to help explain and open their eyes to the possibilities which they can bring within their business. Knowing the market challenges that everyone is currently facing, future success will be with those who are brave enough to jump in and “do differently” in the world of tomorrow.”

- Ruth Bromley — Director Procurement Enablement, HEINEKEN Global Procurement

And the second is “The AI Council’. Zycus’, AI Council, in collaboration with SIG is a confluence of global leaders to ideate & brainstorm AI-led use cases to solve complex business problems and contribute to the Procurement community.

At the council’s launch at Horizon 2021, its 3 pioneering members, procurement leaders Ben Briggs (GM Procurement & Supply, Crown Resorts), Hervé Le Faou (CPO, The HEINEKEN Company), Russ Major (CPO, USAA) shared their expectations from the AI Council and set the tone for the council’s journey of bringing about the new era of Cognitive Procurement.

From the members on their expectations from the AI Council

“hoping to identify the most impactful and realistic automation opportunities and being able to share use cases where we have already seen success in different companies — through all this we can accelerate how we move forward with AI.”

- Russ Major (CPO, USAA)

“…It’s all about horizontal learning — it’s always good to be connected and to learn from one another on what works, what works less….”

- Hervé Le Faou (CPO, The HEINEKEN Company)

“…what I am particularly interested in is finding out where the quick wins are, where can we get some quick runs on the board to start building that culture of AI change within business…”

- Ben Briggs (GM Procurement & Supply, Crown Resorts Australia)

Bringing together pioneering CPOs and CIOs on one unified platform — this council is expected to be the torchbearer of where the NextGen of procurement with AI will go.

The AI-tide is coming in fast and strong. And leading CPOs worldwide are already making power moves towards digitization. The results of this year’s McKinsey Global Survey on artificial intelligence (AI) suggest that organizations are using AI as a tool for generating value. And, that this value is increasingly coming in the form of revenues.

The time for AI-led, Cognitive Procurement is now!

Zycus Horizon Sessions are now available to watch on-demand at

About Zycus:

Zycus is the pioneer in Cognitive Procurement software and has been a trusted partner of choice for large global enterprises for two decades. Zycus has been consistently recognized by Gartner, Forrester, and other analysts for its Source-to-Pay integrated suite.

Zycus powers its S2P software with the revolutionary Merlin AI Suite. Merlin AI takes over the tactical tasks and empowers procurement and AP officers to focus on strategic projects; offers data-driven actionable insights for quicker and smarter decisions, and its conversational AI offers a B2C type user-experience to the end-users.

Start your #CognitiveProcurement journey with us, as you are #MeantforMore.

Manan Banga, Senior Executive — Marketing, Zycus Inc.




For procurement professionals in the key strategic areas of procurement.

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