Ariba — Mea Services Spend Culpa (Correcting a Previous Post)

-A couple of weeks back, I criticized Ariba's services procurement focus in a post, suggesting they "punted in the services spend area." Noting that "Rather than phase-out their own offerings" I opined that Ariba "should have considered the purchase of Fieldglass, IQNavigator or Click Commerce (ProcureStaff and others would be more complicated deals because they are part of full-service MSPs)." This comment of mine confused some Ariba users who still use Ariba’s services procurement offerings. Upon further research and demoing Ariba's latest procurement services offering and discussing the roadmap, I would like to correct my previous statement. Indeed, Ariba has not punted on their services procurement products (although they’ve not done a good job creating awareness around them, either). Mea services spend culpa ...

Alas, I’ll plan to do an in-depth analysis of how Ariba approaches services procurement after writing up my findings on a number of best-of-breed providers in the sector who have been patiently waiting for me to get my services spend act together. At this point, it’s safe to say that while at least some of Ariba's services spend competitors have materially deeper offerings in managing the contingent labor lifecyle, Ariba has taken a broader view than others in defining services spend management to encompass a range of categories beyond contingent labor. Whether this proves prescient or not -- and whether their generic services spend driver proves popular -- will certainly be interesting to watch and comment on. Up-first in my services spend deep-dive: ProcureStaff (followed by Fieldglass, IQNavigator and Click). And then I'll get to Ariba.

- Jason Busch

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