The network marriage SAP has arranged between Hubwoo and Crossgate has resulted in a range of basic enabling and connecting capabilities that mirror many of the same values and benefits the Ariba Supplier Network delivers to customers (and some, from an SAP integration, that go beyond the ASN). These include:
- "Access to hundreds of thousands of trading partners of all sizes"
- "Single integration point via SAP Information Interchange to a buyer's supply base"
- "Outsourced, fully managed supplier enablement" (which, incidentally, SAP's partners will carry out for free for companies moving from specific competitive solutions)
- "24x7 help desk for trading partners in 14 languages"
- "e-Invoicing compliance for more than 38 countries"
Even though SAP has gone far beyond what Oracle has developed organically with the OSN through its partners, there's not a whole lot of originality in how its specific network capabilities are positioned. Indeed, SAP is positioning the benefits of its new network as a near carbon copy of what Ariba has been talking about for years. These include the ability to increase spend under management and identify/discover new sources of supply while also enabling AP departments "by automating invoice presentment, legal compliance, digital signature, and archiving."
Interestingly, the archiving component is not something I'm aware -- though I could be wrong, if changes have happened recently -- that Ariba offers as a permanent proposition for its users. In addition, SAP suggests the new Hubwoo/Crossgate/SAP offering can give suppliers the ability to "streamline the order-to-cash processes, reducing DSOs, and marketing to thousands of large enterprise buying corporations, including the global SAP customer base." With statements like this, I'm sure the SAP check is in the mail to Ariba's marketing department for serving as their agency of record.
Stay tuned as we continue this analysis in future posts.