The future of the Ariba Network is arguably the future of SAP Ariba. As more content, intelligence and capability shifts into not just the cloud but the space between companies, network and platform-based connectivity will become increasingly important for procurement and suppliers alike. Connectivity is even now forming the basis of competition in the procure-to-pay market, with SAP Ariba competitors like Tradeshift making the argument to potential customers that the platform matters as much — or more — than application capability alone. In a series of posts this week, we’ll tackle the past, present and future of the Ariba Network, as well as the SAP Ariba platform.
General News Content
Sears and Kmart are the latest brick-and-mortar stores struggling to stay financially afloat in an e-commerce world. Parent company Sears Holdings has said that there is “substantial doubt” whether the two retailers will survive. Changing supply chain economics has meant that companies are beginning to look to the U.S. for lower-cost manufacturing. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in supply chain and procurement.
SAP Ariba and ConnXus announced a new partnership Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE. ConnXus is one of the last remaining independent supplier diversity vendors with any scale, although still a small firm itself. There are only a few hundred people in the procurement industry who have tracked the market for supplier diversity databases and software solutions over the years and know it well. Those familiar with this area know that the road to tapping supplier innovation and managing diversity spend through these tools has been paved with the great intentions of vendors that somehow got sidetracked along the way.
SAP Ariba and Mercado Libre announced Tuesday a partnership in support of regional tail spend and spot buying initiatives for corporate procurement organizations. The coming together of the two providers might seem odd at first glance but makes sense for several reasons.
The VMSA Live conference will be kicking off in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 4 — and I am definitely here beating the drum as a big supporter. This will be my third year attending, and this time I will be a lead contributor in two sessions. Over those three years, I’ve seen number of attendees grow rapidly to an expected 400 this year, and I have seen the unique character of the event shape and solidify. In fact, I’d hesitate to call the event a conference — it’s more like a tribal gathering with many powwows where contingent workforce managers, technology and service providers and workforce suppliers can exchange practical knowledge and experience and learn from one another.
Earlier Tuesday at SAP Ariba LIVE, Dr. Matthias Dohrn, CPO at BASF, outlined his organization’s approach to supplier management using SAP Ariba. He began his talk by sharing one of the best equations we’ve ever heard to refute the notion that technology alone benefits procurement: PP + NT = EPP. Specifically, poor processes (PP) + new tech (NT) = expensive poor processes (EPP)! Dohrn noted during his talk that BASF partnered with SAP Ariba to develop a supplier management capability suited to its needs and processes — which, you guessed it, came before the technology.
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.
Whole Foods is holding itself to a higher bar when it comes to sourcing tuna. The natural foods supermarket chain released new tuna sourcing guidelines, which require suppliers to use software that tracks the tuna supply chain from vessel to can, monitoring for any unauthorized fishing. Afternoon Coffee brings you the latest news in procurement and supply chain.
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.
SAP Ariba LIVE Dispatch: SAP’s Procurement Transformation, Ariba AI, Direct Procurement, FreeMarkets Alumni and More
Pierre Mitchell, Xavier Olivera and I arrived in Las Vegas Monday for the start of SAP Ariba LIVE. We’ll be bringing you both live and more detailed coverage from the event in the coming days and weeks, including a deeper look of where SAP Ariba is headed on Spend Matters PRO. After landing yesterday, I rushed into a number of end-of-day activities. The first stop was an interview with Marcell Vollmer, SAP’s former CPO. Marcell shared his history at SAP and the story of his firm’s own procurement transformation.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Nick Lazzara and Naseem Malik, of MRA Global Sourcing.
Generally speaking, private equity firms buy companies and look to rapidly improve their performance by making them lean, efficient and cost-effective before selling. No group does these things better than modern procurement teams. As a result, one of the first orders of business following the acquisition of a new portfolio company is ensuring the procurement function is staffed with “A players.” And there are specific profiles that best suit these newly formed or revamped groups, PE industry leaders have told us.
Spend Matters welcomes this guest post from Verity Michie, market analyst at Mintec.
U.S. ammonia prices have been on a downward trend since the beginning of 2015, reaching a seven-year low in November 2016. So why have ammonia prices suddenly started rising? In order to answer this question, we will need to look at the reasons behind the two-year-long decline.