Emptoris: Staying Relevant with SAP Customers

Emptoris is taking the offensive with its partner / competitor SAP when it comes to sourcing and contract management. Yesterday afternoon, Emptoris announced its new XI-based Integration Package for SAP Procurement Solutions. Following SAP's acquisition of Frictionless Commerce in May, it became critical for Emptoris to come out with a more complete story as to why companies should consider their solution over Waldorf's. Even with next generation contract management capability gained from DiCarta, Emptoris needed a better yarn to spin. And they just might have it now, especially with SAP customers which are open to considering a heterogeneous applications environment. This should not be much of an issue as approximately half of current Emptoris customer run SAP.

Emptoris' current announcement focuses on deep functional and business process integration with SAP. According to Emptoris -- I have not validated this with SAP or others -- the new XI Content Interface provides a deeper level of integration to SAP than even the giant's own SRM offerings. The purpose of this integration is to bridge the gap between strategy and execution by tightly integrating sourcing and contract management with SAPs' eProcurement execution (which lacks full EIPP capability, but at least has a partial story to tell around procure-to-pay). Emptoris provided an example to me about how a Global 50 energy company that uses SAP has achieved, in their words, "total contract visibility with Emptoris with over 30,000 contracts from 47 global business units under management."

This latest announcement makes a compelling case -- especially on the contract management side -- about why SAP users should not just wait for Waldorf to catch up, but should act now. By supplementing SAP's current capabilities with best of breed components from other vendors, companies will not only identify greater savings, but capture and implement the results as well. At this point, I believe hands down that Emptoris has the best story to tell on the contract management side of the Spend Management house. The DiCarta acquisition was a very smart move. Because of it, I reckon that Emptoris will be a thorn in SAP's side for quite a long time. SAP should have moved faster and picked up DiCarta when they had the chance.

Jason Busch

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