SAP and Ariba: Sourcing and Spend Analysis Comparative Analysis

Earlier this morning, we published a detailed initial research brief on Spend Matters PRO providing a comparative high-level functional look at the strengths and weaknesses of Ariba and SAP in the sourcing, spend analysis, supplier management and contract management areas -- and how they stack up to the competition. We also offered initial recommendations to Ariba and SAP customers, prospects and partners about how they should look at the acquisition in each of the functional areas as well as when alternatives should be considered (including which provider to look at). In our 1,800+ word analysis, we include the following observations:

Sourcing -- Ariba and SAP customers and prospects should continue to evaluate sourcing tools independently. Given the limited integration touch-points in the sourcing area between spend analysis and contract management, organizations should not be worried about the integration of various best-of-breed tools even if they plan to standardize on an SAP/Ariba suite and network vision at some point in time. The major difference in sourcing platform decisions between Ariba and SAP relative to best-of-breed vendors will nearly always come down to the importance of prioritizing (or not) the following enabling solution elements that SAP and Ariba have not yet fully developed... (continued for subscribers)

Spend Analysis -- Ariba and SAP customers currently using spend analysis tools from their respective providers should not rush out to evaluate other solutions unless there is a compelling reason. On a foundational level, both SAP and Ariba spend analysis capabilities (and other spend visibility tools) enable the ability to collect and analyze data across multiple operating units, systems, instances, and versions -- beyond just ERP. They also incorporated data cleansing and analysis, common commodity classification and structure and item level visibility (especially in the case of direct materials). While the general availability of SAP HANA-based applications is proceeding at a conservative pace, Spend Matters believes that an in-memory approach to combining different datasets, reclassifying data on the fly, moving beyond the notion of periodic (quarterly, monthly, etc.) refreshes to more real-time based data analysis is the path that the sector will take. For this reason, our bias is to recommend... (continued for subscribers)

If you're looking for a level of insight that's been missing in traditional procurement technology research, take a glance at Spend Matters PRO. We will be accepting a limited number of new PRO subscribers during our beta launch. Get in touch via the site if you're interested in becoming one of our launch users (we apologize in advance if it takes time to process your application, as our launch of PRO this week was meant to initially be to just a select group, but this news made us open it up to a few others).

We look forward to welcoming all those who are interested in joining our new research community in June and apologize in advance for restricting the number of users in our beta launch period.

- Jason Busch

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