Spend Matters: Surround Strategies to Enhance SAP, Oracle and Ariba (Part 5)

Please click here for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this series.

Here at Spend Matters, we take P2P seriously. And we publish on the subject quite a bit. Most recently, we released the paper: Surround Strategies to Get More From Existing ERP, eProcurement and P2P Investments. This is Lazy-Boy reading material. It's as superficial as our research ever gets. But it does reflect a lot of synthesis on our part. What we've done, in part, is introduce and explain five different "surround" strategies for organizations hoping to get more from existing SAP, PeopleSoft, Oracle, Ariba, Basware and related P2P systems. These different strategies are:

  1. Invest in a new user experience layer that creates a usability buffer and potentially adds new capability
  2. Augment existing eProcurement or P2P investments with third-party tools or solutions in targeted areas that improve the basic capability of the system itself
  3. Invest in complementary technology that goes beyond original capabilities
  4. Work with a third-party solutions provider that will provide technology and more services-driven capabilities
  5. Purchase new solutions that gradually consume their hosts

In this post, we'll explore the fifth option on the list: Purchasing new solutions that gradually consume their hosts. This option is perhaps the most radical, but we see it taking shape within the vendor community and in companies with significantly customized P2P deployments -- companies purchasing new solutions that gradually consume their hosts.

We once heard this referred to as "eating the old code," but in many cases, a more appropriate, broader description -- in part because not all P2P surround strategies in this manner involve actually consuming legacy workflows, screens, architecture components, etc. -- would be to describe it as "spicing up the existing dish." Of course, metaphorically speaking, certain ingredients can replace others, especially when diners begin to appreciate a new taste!

The notion here, in short, is not a swap of solutions, but a dual deployment strategy where one solution sits on top of another with the goal to replace larger and larger components over time. A number of the providers Spend Matters names in the analysis can serve in this capacity for those eventually wanting to consume their host systems. Moreover, this is something we're seeing in the market at various levels -- with varying degrees of focus -- by a range of vendors with their own toolsets as they leverage newer platform models and architectures to speed and improve development (e.g., Emptoris, Ariba, Intenda).

If you're looking to "surround" a current eProcurement, invoice automation or related implementation, we encourage you to download: Surround Strategies to Get More From Existing ERP, eProcurement and P2P Investments. Readers should take note that Spend Matters research will only be available to qualified practitioners (free of charge) in the coming months.

- Jason Busch

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