SAP and Ariba: Morphing or Moving to Full EDI Network Replacement and Support? Jason Busch - January 15, 2015 9:45 AM | Categories: Ariba, Procurement, SAP, Services and Indirect Spend | Tags: L1, Technology A move we’re watching closely at Spend Matters in 2015 is SAP’s and Ariba’s continued investment in expanding its supplier/business network outside of primarily enabling indirect procurement connectivity (and now contingent/services and T&E as well with Fieldglass and Concur). Indeed, the ability to support additional transactional document types and have network-based workflow, routing and translation across different standards for direct specific use cases (e.g., change orders, goods receipting and labeling) will be central to enhanced offerings for direct spend enablement. Customers are also looking for increasing levels of integration and connectivity services from their technology partners as part of a “single throat to choke.” FREE Research: Strategies to Drive Savings Implementation But while potentially connecting greater swaths of spend natively via SAP/Ariba (e.g., with “new” network services such as AribaPay), such investments and capabilities will bring Ariba and SAP in direct conflict with partners like OpenText/GXS and IBM/Sterling. It also raises the question of whether IT, supply chain and procurement teams want to put all their eggs in one vendor basket: infrastructure, platforms (including connectivity) and applications (we won't add marketplaces to the list and re-hash that topic). Regardless, the strategy Ariba and SAP are following is similar to what was done by taking much of the customized capability Quadrem built out with its solution (mirroring capabilities from providers like GXS, Elemica, E2open, etc.) and offering similarly specific capabilities for targeted geographies and industries to provide some level of direct spend support (e.g., BOMs/kits/bundles, complex services, multi-tier support, etc.). Ariba and SAP are also aware of the need to support specific business use cases (e.g., for logistics, freight information such as origin/destination, manifest, bill of lading, demurrage/detention, etc.), freight sourcing, discrepancy management (a big deal in logistics) and related areas. There are 2 sides, of course, to this strategy: product/technical and commercial. When the 2 come together in a cross-industry strategy, it’s likely Ariba and SAP are going to increasingly be competing for connectivity business in areas that their network and e-invoicing competitors (aside from EDI providers) have put little to no investment in. Related ArticlesAriba and SAP: How We Would Play For Keeps in the SMB Market With Enhanced Network StrategiesSAP and Ariba: A Playbook for Creating SME (and Large Company) Network ValueConcur and SAP/Ariba: Customer and Partner/Ecosystem Analysis and RecommendationsBeware Ariba's Patent Treasure Chest (Part 6): Dynamic Data Access and StorageBeware Ariba's Patent Treasure Chest (Part 5): Analysis of a Recently Awarded PatentBeware Ariba's Patent Treasure Chest (Part 4): Supplier Approval and Activation in a NetworkBeware Ariba's Patent Treasure Chest: Spot Market and Importable TemplateBeware Ariba's Patent Treasure Chest: Sourcing and eProcurement (Part 2)Beware Ariba's Patent Treasure Chest: An Arsenal of Intellectual Property (Part 1)Amazon.com vs. Ariba: The B2B Merchant Experience to Procurement is in for a Storm of ChangeAnalyzing the 2014 Forrester eProcurement Wave – SAP, Ariba, Coupa, Oracle, and MoreSAP and Ariba: Examining Cloud and On-Premise Choices and Product-Line Competition Discuss this: Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.