Last year, SAP beat Ariba (Nasdaq: ARBA) to the punch by gathering a group of some of the most senior purchasing executives in the world to meet and provide input and guidance on Spend Management technology and business process. Given this, it's interesting that the first piece of news out of Ariba LIVE this year is that Ariba is hosting a similar senior executive group called their "CXO Council". The council is being led by Javier Urioste, the former CPO of JPMorgan Chase. Other members of the group include purchasing executives from some big global names including Accenture, Alcoa, AXA, BHP Billiton, Hewlett-Packard, Medbuy and MetLife. In total, 20 Spend Management executives are members this group.
I'm hoping to sit down with Javier at LIVE in the coming days to learn more about this group and how they're working together with Ariba. I'm also curious to learn if there's any overlap between this group and SAP's group, but more important, I'm interest in hearing how many of these large-company CPOs plan to work with their existing ERP providers as well as Ariba in the coming years. Both SAP and Ariba have been pitching the theme of coexistence recently, but getting the customer's take -- especially a highly informed, CPO-level customer -- will be fascinating.