Ariba Supplier Network Alternatives: Elemica (Part 2)

Please click here for the first part of this post.

In driving the supplier on-boarding process and the collection of information associated with general supplier management (e.g., supplier employee contacts, banking details, automated checks/validations, etc.), Elemica uses a range of tools and maintains an active CRM database of industry information to facilitate these capabilities. Elemica's positions its offering in this regard as a solution component to its broader portfolio of capabilities rather than just software. Yet, like Ariba, Basware, Hubwoo, SciQuest and numerous other vendors in the sector, Elemica realizes the importance of this auxiliary, enabling capability to delivering core network/connectivity value.

Outside of its software-based connectivity and network solutions, Elemica provides a range of international services, training and support to both buying organizations and suppliers, including supporting multiple languages. For small and medium-sized suppliers, Elemica providers "a portfolio of connectivity options that maximizes enablement by limiting change of process." This services may extend to capturing transactional documentation in both electronic and non-electronic formats.

When it comes to enabling the exchange of transactional information (e.g., POS, ASNs, invoices, etc.) Elemica supports a range of file formats and enables connectivity across multiple transaction types. Elemica is capable of transforming and analyzing this information in part to offer "preemptive alerts and visibility" to users. Both buyers and supplier can take advantage of this capability.

To enable self-service for buyers and suppliers, Elemica provides a dashboard capability that gives visibility into status/document information as well as preemptive alerts and reporting. For invoices and POs, Elemica supports matching at the line item level and can "support multiple purchase orders and changes associate with an invoice." Users can set tolerances tied to exceptions/workflow for price, quantity and totals/volume. Elemica's capabilities in this area appear to offer potentially complementary or overlapping capabilities with Ariba, SAP and Oracle, depending on how customers opt to configure their P2P environments and the existing capabilities of the vendors they are currently working with already.

Elemica has experience integrating into a range of eProcurement, P2P and ERP environments (e.g., SAP SRM, Oracle iProcurement) and delivers these capabilities as a "core service of what it does." In terms of Ariba-specific integration, there are no technical barriers, however this is "currently in discussion" and Elemica suggests they "not only have the technical and international support capabilities, which are complementary to Ariba, but [also] the industry contacts and expertise in the heavy industry areas, particularly in chemicals" to make such an integration advantageous.

Spend Matters believes that there would be mutual benefit for both Elemica and Ariba users (buyers and suppliers) if a network connectivity/interoperability relationship could exist between the two networks, were commercial arrangement agreed upon. However, until this occurs, Elemica customers should not have concerns over connecting into Ariba, SAP, Oracle or another other business applications/back-office applications.

Stay tuned for our final post in this series, where we'll share the Elemica customer perspective.

- Jason Busch

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