Procuri Empower: Dispatch Six

Enter Ariba, Stage Left

In the next week, I will continue to post the remaining dispatches from the Procuri and Emptoris events that I have taken notes on, but I've yet to write up (but I think will be worth your time to read). Today, I thought I'd share some of Bob Calderoni's words from his short keynote at Procuri Empower. Bob, Ariba's President and CEO, was joined at Procuri by a few other Ariba executives, but overall, the Ariba contingent was small indeed (as it had to be given the fact that the Ariba acquisition has not yet closed). Below are some of the highlights of what Bob had to say with my "in between the lines" analysis following each quotation.

"Together with Procuri, we can provide you with the most innovative technology, expertise and services to accelerate results … and we plan to close the transaction before the end of the calendar year." My take: Ariba is moving fast to close this deal and has learned from past acquisition integration challenges about what it has to do to reach out the Procuri base to keep and delight as many customers as they can. I believe that Ariba will invest heavily in account management and customer service to maintain Procuri's high customer satisfaction and account management levels (Ariba -- as do nearly all medium and large-sized solution providers -- sometimes gets knocked for having variable account management levels at different customers).

According to Bob, Ariba's focus for customers will be to deliver "spend management and contract management success". My take: if you've become a fan of the phrase "supply management" in Procuri's marketing material, expect to start using spend and contract management going forward. Perhaps owing to Emptoris' success in contract management -- and Procuri's customer growth as well -- we should certainly read something into the fact that bob chose to emphasis contract management over other Spend Management solution areas in his presentation.

"By combining Ariba and Procuri, we can provide a comprehensive range of solutions ... We can identify savings in procurement, but by working with finance in areas like spend visibility and category management, we can make savings drop to the bottom line.” My take: Ariba has significant plans to target finance organizations as a potential target for their solutions in addition to procurement.

"You will be able to tap the ASN and the Procuri supplier community to identify new trading partners and enhance trading relationships". My take: look for Ariba to invest in new ways to turn the ASN into a sourcing and supplier identification network in addition to its role in the procure-to-pay process. Perhaps Procuri will have some significant inputs into this process. I'd love to be a fly on the wall as Ariba brainstorms the sourcing potential for the ASN with Tim Minahan and others at Procuri.

Jason Busch

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