SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: First Day Main Stage (Part 1)

SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger and a number of colleagues took to the main stage at SAP Ariba LIVE Tuesday morning to present an update on SAP Ariba’s operations, products and strategy. The discussions were interspersed with customer stories from procurement executives at Johnson & Johnson, BASF and Nielsen. Also, Resilinc CEO Bindiya Vakil made a brief appearance to talk about her firm and the evolution of supply risk management.

Starting the main stage talk, Atzberger compared SAP Ariba in 2017 with where it was at LIVE the same time last year. He noted that SAP Ariba has added 3 million more users to its platform, a 30% year-over-year increase. Further, annualized volume is up by $300 billion and “10 new Global 100” companies were added in the same timeframe. In other metrics, SAP Ariba now has more than 30 partners for its spot buy solution, representing some 10 million SKUs that network users can access beyond their own supplier agreements and catalog content.

Alex also hinted at some news coming out tomorrow about a new Light Accounts offering that will complement its Light Enablement solution — which appears to be gaining traction — likely for smaller suppliers on the network or those with low transaction volumes. We’ll report more on this tomorrow.

Following Atzberger’s talk, Len DeCandia, chief procurement officer at Johnson & Johnson, took the stage. DeCandia shared the highlights of his organization’s SAP Ariba procure-to-pay (P2P) rollout, which featured a six-month implementation to get to 50% of potential spend capture (based on what SAP Ariba can address). It then took another three months to get to 90% spend capture. These percentages have some significant numbers behind them. J&J is currently managing $7.5 billion in spend through SAP Ariba across 14,000 suppliers.

DeCandia noted 110,000 requisitions have gone through the system and that SAP Ariba helped it “double its compliance” to its preferred supplier base. It also helped J&J move to a more demand management-driven approach to transactional procurement and to embrace democratized centers of excellence that make the lives of business users easier — rather than having procurement come off as just a gatekeeper.

During her quick stage time at the end, Resilinc’s Vakil noted that her company currently has 14,000 users with 80,000 suppliers that are monitored in its supply risk management solution, representing some 2 million parts. Curiously, SAP Ariba’s Risk Management module, which launched in Q4 2016 and was noted as SAP Ariba’s fastest growing application in history, does not appear directly competitive with Resilinc (or riskmethods, for that matter) based on our own analyses of these solutions.

The SAP Ariba team noted that its risk management solution is currently monitoring more than 10,000 suppliers and “matching” 1 million incidents per day to supplier profiles.

The module is also integrated with Sourcing and Supplier Management. It initially launched with a basic risk monitoring/alerting capability and “incident” risk model. The 2017 roadmap calls for the incorporation of an “end-to-end” risk management process framework, metric-based risk domain frameworks and residual risk reduction and remediation. In 2018 and beyond, SAP Ariba plans to add an operational risk model, supply chain risk optimization and risk insights and guidance into the solution.

With this roadmap, SAP Ariba and other risk management providers would appear to be on a collision course. But for now, the enemy of supply risk is the best friend of all providers, I suppose. For more background on the supply risk and supply chain risk landscape (including how these and other providers fit in), check out our latest report, Spend Matters Landscape Definition and Overview: Supply Risk Management and Compliance.

Stay tuned for further live coverage from the SAP Ariba LIVE today.

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