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SCM 2013 Prague: A Procurement General Assembly wrap up

by Allison Martin

April 29, 2013

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit in on the Procurement General Assembly at this year’s SCM2013 Prague event, which was given by Rolf Weiland of SAP and James Marland of Ariba, an SAP company.  The topic was Enabling procurement excellence in today’s networked enterprise”.  Being new to the Procurement and Supply Chain space, I hadn’t had much exposure to SAP’s recent acquisition of Ariba and what it means for vendors and suppliers.

Outside of being totally entertaining, James and Rolf gave some great insights into how adding more collaborative source-to-pay processes (which extends to suppliers both large and small) can be extremely helpful in achieving sustainable savings and increasing profitability.  

A recent study done by McKinnsey found that “Networked enterprises were 50% more likely than their peers to have increased sales, higher profit  margins, gain market share, and be a market leader.” Collaboration and the new technology that support it is growing every day, just look at the impact of these trends in our personal lives with sites such as Google, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter and LinkedIn.

So what does all this mean for SAP and Ariba? It means that they need to keep up with the changing times, and based on the recent roadmap they presented, it certainly looks as though they are.  

SAP’s roadmap for procurement includ es 3 main areas of customer focused investments:

  1. Delivering Network Value
  2. Extending Applications Leadership
  3. Improving Infrastructure and Scalability.

They have a number of tools set in place to achieve these three goals including Ariba Network 2.0 , Ariba Pay, SAP TM integration for all collaborative portions of the process, SAP SNC integration which includes planned purchasing, work order / services collaboration and inventory sharing.  They also have new processes for application integration such as Ariba Sourcing with SRM/MM on HANA, Ariba SIPM to MDG, SAP BusinessOne, SAP Invoice Mgmt. and Supplier Lifecycle Mgmt. Improvements.

In summary, the combination of SAP and Ariba allows SAP to offers what appears to be the most comprehensive, end-to-end spend management portfolio, from spend analysis, to sourcing and contract management and procure-to-pay, across all consumption models. Whether a company is running their processes in the Cloud, on premise, or on a mobile device (or a combination of all 3), SAP and Ariba have the solutions to support them.

I’m looking forward to seeing how customers react to all the new technology and functionality SAP and Ariba are putting into place.

-Allison

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