ProcureTechSTARS with Joel Hyatt, Co-Founder, CEO and Chairman of Globality, Inc., the world’s only AI-powered Platform for B2B services, transforming the way global companies connect with the best suppliers across every service category.
During the conversation, Joel shared his thoughts on how technology can transform the global economy, the opportunities new ways of working offer, building high-performing teams, and great leaders in history from both sides of the Atlantic.
1. What’s Globality’s mission?
Globality is revolutionising how companies buy and sell services: high value, high-cost custom services in marketing, consulting, IT, HR, legal, real estate and construction.
A typical global 2000 company spends $4 billion a year on these services, but most of it isn’t competitively sourced, and is instead bought through incumbent firms they’ve always done business with. When it is sourced, it’s often through antiquated, analogue processes that have been in place for decades – it’s not efficient.
While there’s been some digitalisation of goods and direct procurement, there hasn’t been anything that relates to services and indirect procurement, which is what we’re pioneering.
Globality is an AI-powered platform that is bringing transformational innovation to companies, eliminating RFPs as well as inefficient and intensive paperwork processes. Instead, it adds real value to how a company defines, manages and scopes the need, helping it get the best supplier at the right price, for each specific sourcing event.
You can hire a firm to do your whole range of marketing services, but…
“It’s silly to believe you’re getting the best person for each and every project, because you’re using one firm as opposed to technology at the leading-edge of innovation. It’s exciting because we are helping to deliver enormous value to companies!”
2. What have been the most significant milestones in the Globality journey so far?
In the early years of the journey, we realised the opportunity was much bigger than we had initially understood. We wanted to make it possible for smaller firms around the world to become players in the global economy, and have the opportunity to work with big global corporations. But the more we got into that, the more we realised that the entire way in which companies were sourcing services really needed change. Even when they were using the biggest suppliers and the best-known brands, important feedback that would inform them who was good and what didn’t work wasn’t captured.
“While we started off with a smaller idea, it kept getting bigger until we realised we needed to build a platform that was comprehensive: one that could handle all services, from all types of suppliers. This gave us the opportunity to transform how global companies conduct business.”
The journey has been fascinating, and our vision has expanded. We had to invent some technology that didn’t exist, and we’re proud of the science breakthroughs that have been part of our development. We have created technology that gives machines the ability to understand long form intent, to read paragraphs and capture exactly what the business user is conveying. Now, we have our AI advisor Glo, who guides the business user through every step of the buying process and adds substantial value.
3. What do you look for in the perfect customer?
” We need companies and leaders who understand that accelerating the transition to artificial intelligence and digital solutions is the future – and that this future is now.”
It is a tremendous competitive advantage for a company to transition now. Our customers are all Fortune 500 companies around the world, and we’re delivering 15 to 20% savings across the board, in terms of reducing the cost of services they procure. We’re generating significant operating expense reductions, because procurement teams can operate much more efficiently.
Some of our customers are using the platform so that their internal stakeholders, the actual business user with the need, can get the best supplier at the right price, quickly and efficiently. We’re fulfilling a very big promise to significantly improve the way our customers do business.
We’re very excited about the expansion opportunity.
“We decided to start with the biggest and most demanding companies, because their needs would be more complex: if we could serve them, we could serve anyone!”
We took on the hardest with a long-term view of what it was that we were building.
Our aspiration has always been that any company of any size, anytime and anywhere in the world, needing any service, would be able to use Globality‘s platform to find the best supplier at the right price; whether that supplier already exists in their vendor system, or whether it was introduced as a new alternative.
Even though we are not there yet, it still is our aspiration. We’re already at work designing a totally self-service product, so that we can serve companies of all sizes.
4. What are the foundations of a great team?
We’ve been very fortunate. We have real leaders, like Keith Hausman and Diego Barilla, in key customer-facing positions in our company. They joined Globality because they understood that the solutions available were no longer adequate to serve companies’ needs. What they saw in Globality was the future of sourcing and procurement for indirect spend. They wanted to be part of creating that future, so they left their roles at Accenture and McKinsey in order to take their entrepreneurial risk to deliver on that future. They’re just examples of a terrific team that we’ve built.
5. As we emerge from COVID, what will you be doing differently?
The pandemic created a real opportunity for us, as companies revisited how they will work moving forwards. One of the compelling advantages of using Globality‘s platform is that it fosters collaboration between companies and their suppliers, as well as between different teams within the company, who are in different parts of the world. With the new ways of working, the most common way of collaborating is through zoom calls, which have their limitations. Our platform fosters real-time and easy collaboration.
“Some of the terrible impacts on the world happen to be opportunities for us to help companies. The pandemic made companies understand that using technology to foster collaboration can be a real solution to their problems.”
Internally, I think culture is a key asset for a company and a key factor of success. During the pandemic, we had to adjust to the reality that people weren’t coming to the office. We also had to expand our team without in-person interviews. Nevertheless, we were able, on the basis of a strong culture, to continue growing during the pandemic.
“I think we thrived because of our strong company’s culture. I am very impressed with how our people have been able to maintain it.”
6. What is the vision for Globality in the future?
We expect Globality to become the default platform where companies transact with suppliers across the entire range of service categories across the globe.
“We expect companies to have shifted from their legacy, analogue and antiquated processes to modern technology-based solutions that empower their users to achieve better results, and delight them with a better, more enjoyable experience.”
Many business users don’t see any added value in the compliance-based procurement process.
“We turn procurement teams into real champions and heroes, because we partner with them on bringing out a modern-day solution that adds value to both their companies and their internal customers.”
Some of it is just a commitment to innovation…
“Innovation has to happen at the speed of innovation, not at the speed of bureaucracy.”
“Frankly, we’ve had to overcome the issue that so many other procurement technology tools have proven very difficult to implement and to change: it’s an expensive long process, and that’s not valid at all.”
You can sign a contract with us and four to six weeks later, your people across the globe are using Globality‘s platform… it’s cloud-based, easy-to-use and intuitive. We have all kinds of sophisticated training tools, and we’ll do the change management.
Users find the platform extremely intuitive, but that’s a hard sell because this hasn’t been the case in the history of procurement.
7. What are you doing that’s good for the planet?
We started Globality to level the playing field for suppliers of all sizes, and to enable smaller, diverse, women and minority owned firms to be able to play in the global economy.
“Companies, no matter how small, can see the globe as their marketplace, not just their community.”
We have proven over time that small firms, with real expertise in a particular area, will outperform larger firms who aren’t experts in the area: all they needed was an opportunity to get in the game, and we’ve provided that opportunity!
We also work very effectively in helping our customers advance their ESG agendas. We can make their supplier base more diverse and transparent from a governance point of view, and enable companies to understand the environmental performance of that supplier base.
“The biggest impact a company can make is to understand that the way they spend their money is a huge asset in their ESG strategy: A company can change the world by how they spend.”
We integrate with all the major ERP systems. All of our customers have one of those systems, and we add value in the process of sourcing and procurement and we seamlessly integrate into these systems.
INSTANT JOEL INSPIRATION
1. Do you have a favourite blog or book?
There are many biographies of Churchill, and I think I’ve read them all because I’ve been a big student of history, especially of that era. I find Roy Jenkins’ version particularly special because he had been a politician himself, and I thought his perspectives on Churchill were quite astounding.
2. Who is your favourite inspirational leader?
Bobby Kennedy. I was a young boy when he was Attorney General in the United States, and he was trying to bring transformational innovation in his realm.
I was also very young when his older brother, John Kennedy , became president of the United States and I was influenced by what he said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. I hark back to that kind of inspired leadership, and wish there were more of it today.
3. What is your favourite app or piece of technology?
My passion outside of work and reading is sports: I follow a lot of sports, and some of the apps associated with them (there are a few!).
4. What is your favourite cocktail?
I’m a Scotch drinker. My favourite is Glenmorangie Signet.
5. What’s your favourite way of to celebrate a success?
I love working with people who I care about and I know care about me. Spending time with my colleagues and friends matters to me. I love celebrating our successes together, mostly with a good meal, a couple of drinks and some good war stories.
Bonding with people is a prerequisite to celebrating anything and I’m very fortunate to have the partners and colleagues that I do.
1. The future is modern technology-based solutions that empower their users to achieve better results, and delight them with a better, enjoyable experience.
2. Choose customers who understand that accelerating their digital transition is the future, and that digital future is available now.
3. Hiring the right leaders is one of the keys for success, entrepreneurial leaders prepared to make significant commitments to build the future.
4. A strong company culture is a key asset enabling a company to thrive.
5. Innovation has to happen at the speed of innovation, not at the speed of bureaucracy.
6. Companies can change the world by how they spend.
7. Success is not about the size of the company; it’s about having real deep expertise.
Globality is the world’s only AI-powered Platform for B2B services, transforming the way global companies connect with the best suppliers across every service category. The Globality Platform replaces the archaic analog RFX process, efficiently and effectively scoping needs, managing demand, matching companies with outstanding suppliers that meet their specific service needs, and cutting the sourcing process from months to hours while delivering savings of 15 – 20%.
Our industry is moving forward faster and faster, empowered by innovative, progressive digital procurement solutions created and led by inspiring teams. ProcureTechSTARS are the digital procurement company CEOs and Founders that are leading the change, they are entrepreneurs, engineers and architects collaborating to transform procurement and the enterprise. In an open conversation with these leaders Lance Younger will be discussing the highs and lows of building the future now, the challenges they’ve faced, their perspective on accelerators and hot topics, and what keeps getting them up in the morning (and keeps them up at night).