SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: Alex Atzberger by the Numbers

At the analyst session that marked the start of SAP Ariba LIVE Monday, SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger kicked things off by sharing a few numbers and observations on what’s trending within SAP Ariba and its customer base.

Here are some of the points in his talk:

  • 3,200 attendees are at LIVE this year (up from 2,500).
  • SAP Ariba is up to 4,000 employees.
  • Software is dead — CD software, that is. The end of life is coming for 75 Ariba on-premise customers. 2020 is the planned end date.
  • 497 customers went live last year.
  • Light Enablement (free connectivity on the Ariba Supplier Network) has transacted $18 billion in spend across 33,000 suppliers since launching last year.
  • 15% of light enablement supplier accounts have upgraded to the paid version.
  • Germany is hot: The country has a customer acquisition rate four times the average.

Atzberger noted that there are two key elements of SAP Ariba’s top-level strategy: to “lead innovation activities” within the market and “the network.” No surprise there.

Walking through guided buying on stage at LIVE.

To support these areas, Ariba is pursuing numerous tactics:

  • Co-innovation with customers
  • Taking advantage of SAP — including underlying stack components — more than before
  • Pursuing direct spend (aggressively) in pursuit of the goal of capturing 100% of spend overall
  • Making investments in expanding the geographic (and functional) capabilities of spot buying
  • Investing in risk management (supplier risk is currently “the fastest growing app” in SAP Ariba history)
  • Making further investments in an Extension Studio to allow for partner and customer innovations (e.g., apps on top of the platform)
  • Opening a data center in China (with Lenovo as a strategic partner)
  • Pursuing guided buying more aggressively as an “entry point” into the suite/network
  • Tapping new disruptive technologies, including AI and blockchain (“sourcing” capability from both SAP and partners)

Stay tuned for further coverage live from the event.

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