The buzz surrounding the announced SAP and Ariba transaction is making its way through the practitioner and provider communities less than 24 hours after the initial announcement. One of the major tasks that SAP and Ariba customers and prospects will have as they consider how the various providers' solution capabilities can fit into their procurement technology portfolio will be to understand the related and overlapping offerings of each provider -- not to mention how they stack up comparatively in the market.
Early this morning, on Spend Matters PRO, we published a detailed initial research brief that took what we consider to be a high-level functional look at the strengths and weaknesses of Ariba and SAP in the sourcing, spend analysis, supplier management and contract management areas including how they compare in the competitive marketplace. We also offered initial recommendations to Ariba and SAP customers and partners about how they should look the overlapping modules in each area. In our 1,800 word analysis, we include the following observations:
Supplier Management -- Ariba and SAP have solutions capable of addressing supplier management needs -- especially in areas of onboarding. SAP's tool in its latest on-demand iteration (Wave 9) is quite good – in fact, what is holding it back is primarily lack of imagination among client and implementation teams, not any solution shortcomings. SAP's development path has provided a lot of excitement for some time now, bringing in the latest functionalities such as mobility apps, social media collaboration and more. Ariba on the other hand has focused its efforts on developing its crown jewel, the supplier trading network. We recommend... (continued for subscribers)
Contract Management -- Ariba and SAP individually have solid, but not best-of-breed capability in contract management. Contract management tools enhance the efficiency of the overall procurement process by increasing the speed and quality with which the contract process is completed while improving access to contract information and driving more effective and timely purchasing decisions through re-use of information to create contract terms and notifications of when to take critical actions. Ariba and SAP provide varying levels of authoring/drafting capability, clause scoring/libraries, analytics, negotiation, approvals, repository, administration, compliance monitoring, compliance systems integration, etc. Of the two providers, Ariba is further along in delivering flexible authoring environment that enables technical and organizational integration and collaboration. Advanced use cases where Ariba and SAP are behind the competition (e.g., Upside) include... (continued for subscribers)
If you're looking for a level of insight that's been missing in traditional procurement technology research, we encourage you to examine Spend Matters PRO. We believe it is a strong complement to other research services available in the market. Spend Matters 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.