Ariba Live Chicago kicks off tonight for what promises to be an abridged though certainly informative conference. Because of the recession and travel budget concerns, Ariba cancelled the large, single event they've held in the past in favor of holding a virtual conference and then taking the show on the road to six cities. This weeks’ Chicago event promises to provide a number of insights into what procurement organizations are doing to make the most of the current environment. I'm particularly looking forward to a keynote by Heinz' VP of N/A Procurement, Christopher Stockwell, who will be talking on: The Indirect Opportunity: A Call to Arms. Many of the organizations I talk and work with are doubling down on indirect sourcing, P2P and demand management at the moment. I suspect this is what Christopher will address.
On an Ariba note, I'm not expecting much in the way of new product or solution news, but if I learn anything, I'll report it back here. I know from talking to Ariba customers and channel partners that Ariba is getting a lot of questions around solutions concerning supply risk and supplier information management. I suspect these won't be application holes that we see for too long in the Ariba solution portfolio. At ISM, D&B and CVM solutions generated quite a bit of interest -- at least as much as they could based on the limited attendance -- for their emerging solutions in these areas. And I know that other providers including Aravo and SupplierForce (based in Dublin) are continuing to expand as well. It can't be long before Ariba sniffs out the opportunity with either its own solutions or acquired assets.
In any event, if you’re at Live and want to connect, drop me a line.