SAP Sapphire: P2P, SRM, and Sourcing in Orlando (Dispatch 1)

I arrived in Orlando late last night to attend SAP's annual Sapphire event. Along with my colleague Thomas Kase, I'll be covering the show and sharing the latest about what we learn in the coming weeks. There is quite a bit happening at SAP of late, including a new facelift for SRM (which is being introduced right around the same time Ariba is giving a similar shot of Botox to P2P/Buyer). In SAP's case, we can say the enhancement is very significant, having looked briefly at a walk-through earlier this year.

During and after Sapphire, we'll provide some more detailed thoughts on this new optional enhancement to SRM, which, if successful, could reduce the reliance that SAP shops have had on third parties such as IBX/Capgemini, Hubwoo, Simplifying IT, Wallmedien, jCatalog and others, for streamlining the search, requisitioning and shopping experience (catalog management, however, is not likely to be an area where others in the ecosystem lose business to SAP itself).

Aside from enhancements to SRM usability, there are several other areas that we'll explore from the floor at Sapphire including the latest around SAP Spend Performance Management, Supplier InfoNet, On-Demand Sourcing (including Supplier Management and Contract Management), Commodity Management (a new area for SAP procurement) and their supplier connectivity/network offering (in partnership with Hubwoo and leveraging the capabilities gained from the Crossgate acquisition). And we'll also be sure to share what we learn from SAP partners like Hubwoo, OpenText, Deloitte, Infosys, IBX/CapGemini and others.

In addition to the procurement stuff that Thomas and I like to geek out over, we'll spread our technology wings a bit and dig into the latest use cases from HANA (SAP's in-memory database technology that allows for the much more rapid crunching of larger datasets, including spend and supplier data -- we are expecting to hear that Spend Performance Management and Supplier InfoNet will soon be available leveraging HANA).

Stay tuned! This promises to be a packed week of SAP learning.

- Jason Busch

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