Best of Spend Matters: SAP/Ariba

Just a couple on the pending merger...scroll down for some oldies but goodies you may have forgotten about.

How Has the SAP/Ariba Deal Affected Other Firms' Stock Prices? -- It's been almost two months since the seismic event of the procurement year so far: SAP's acquisition of Ariba. Whilst many of the questions we raised at the time have yet to be answered, such as the way any product integration might develop or how the two firms' sales efforts may or may not mesh, we thought it might be an appropriate time to look at the effect on a number of SAP and Ariba's key competitors.

Friday Rant: Will Oracle Go Shopping? Post Ariba/SAP Acquisition Strategy... (Part 1) -- Last weekend, I chatted with sharedserviceslink's Susie West during her visit to Chicago. Her firm, a conference and community company focused on the shared services industry (especially accounts payable and P2P) held an event in Chicago. Susie herself is a blogger, and during her visit, we had the chance to catch up on the latest SAP/Ariba news, including trading thoughts on where the acquisition places Oracle. We both speculated that there are some deals that Oracle should consider, including OB10 and Transcepta, to even the e-invoicing, supplier enablement and network paying field with its Waldorf-based rival.

From a Former Employee: Goodbye Ariba -- Much has been written here and elsewhere about the SAP/Ariba deal, but for me the acquisition has a personal angle, having spent six years there at the intersection of marketing, solutions and communications strategy. Also, a little-known fact is that Spend Matters would never have existed if it weren't for Ariba. But more about that in a moment.

Analyzing the Ariba Supplier Network -- Forget the Alternatives and Examine the Original (Part 1) -- We've been hard at work these past few months following the publication of our heavily downloaded research brief, Ariba Network Price Hike: Plan for Increased Supplier Fees, on researching and writing about Ariba Supplier Network alternatives. But we haven't taken much time to analyze the Ariba network itself outside of the original published paper, and we've done even less when it comes to analyzing its functional capability. In the past month, we've spoken to a number of Ariba customers as well as those close to the Ariba organ... (Part 2)

Examining SAP Supplier InfoNet (Part 1) -- In the early years at Spend Matters, I remember being impressed by the concept of Open Ratings, a vendor that sat between the software and content worlds. Open Ratings' solution attempted to predict whether or not a supplier would remain financially viable based on a combination of financial, credit and related inputs. Although their execution was not always perfect -- and they were held hostage by some of their content providers over third-party data until D&B, one of their major content sources, finally acquired them -- it is clear that Open Ratings was the pioneering solution voice in the supply chain risk management sector. (Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5)

Negotiating With SAP -- Weighing Different Advice on Tactics for Q4 Smack Downs (Part 1) -- Earlier this month, Forrester's Duncan Jones published a detailed SAP sourcing op/ed in the form of a research brief titled Three Key tips to Optimizing your Commercial Relationship With SAP -- Encourage SAP to Adapt to Current Licensing trends Forrester subscribers can access the research here. Even though we're not SAP (or even more broadly speaking IT negotiation and sourcing experts) here at Spend Matters, the topic is worth discussing given the substantial percentage of readers it affects. Duncan frames his argument, saying "many sourcing and vendor management professionals are currently facing tough negotiations with SAP, which does over 40% of its license business in the fourth quarter." He then frames the challenge that companies face in preventing rising maintenance costs while budgets and value delivery decrease, achieving an appropriate price level on license purchases and resisting unreasonable non-compliance claims. All in all, Duncan's work represents an opinionated primer on a topic that certainly goes past SAP in much of its general advice. (Part 2)

- Sheena Moore

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