In this installment of our coverage of SAP's recent content partnership with Cortera, we feature an interview with SAP's Thad Dungan, who serves as VP, Line of Business Solutions. In contrast to Oracle, Spend Matters believes SAP appears to be headed down a path where third-party (and cross-user) content and intelligence for suppliers will play a core component in their overall strategy for procurement going forward (editors note: our series profiling SAP Supplier InfoNet, a new offering, will kick off tomorrow).
Jason: How did the partnership with Cortera come about?
Thad: SAP established a content work group to collect SAP application and customer requirements and to evaluate world class sources of content that would drive more value for our end customers.
Jason: Going forward, do you anticipate working with a range of global information providers in Latin America, Europe and Asia?
Thad: Yes, SAP will continue to look for opportunities across all line of business and industries to help address specific challenges like risk, compliance, sustainability and supplier performance, etc.
Jason: What is the demand you are seeing from customers right now for this information?
Thad: In the process of supplier and category management, SAP customers tell us that their analysis should highlight areas of concern and provide directional insight across key suppliers, geographies, locations and items. Our unique integration of Cortera risk data helps support that insight while providing linkage to Cortera's detailed Pulse reporting.
Jason: What percentage of new Spend Performance deals are customers requesting information about risk data?
Thad: It's a frequent request. The majority of our existing customers are typically looking for ways to anticipate issues and improve decisions with risk-adjusted plans for stakeholders in procurement, supply chain and finance.
Jason: Will SAP use this data in its own offerings (e.g., Supplier InfoNet) rather than just endorsing the solution? If "yes", what is the timeline?
Thad: Yes, rather than a simple 'endorsement', Cortera risk data can be currently integrated with SAP Spend Performance Management 2.1 including all subsequent releases and will also be available in the August release of Data Enrichment and Classification.
Jason: In your own evaluation, how did Cortera compare to other providers of information across a set of vendor records (at least 50, not cherry-picked)?
Thad: We applied actual customer data in excess of 30,000 records to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of the processing.
Jason: Is Spend Performance Management (with Cortera data) now a substitute competitor to Supplier InfoNet? Do you anticipate customers using both systems?
Thad: No (to the first question). We see these solutions as complementary. SAP Supplier InfoNet can provide pooled performance views, allowing customers to compare their experience with that of other SAP customers. And since February 2010, SAP BusinessObjects Spend Performance Management 2.1 has provided spend and supplier risk analytics to help companies make risk aware sourcing decisions. Supplier risk elements come with flexible risk hierarchies that are OOTB for 2.1 and are risk vendor independent. The benefits of a common SAP approach to content management increases SAP application value, accelerates customer time-to-value, and demonstrates SAP leadership in enabling business network transformation.
Spend Matters would like to thank Thad Dungan for taking the time to speak with us. In the final installment in this series, we'll feature a discussion with Jim Swift, President and CEO of Cortera.