Ariba Supplier Network Alternatives: Hubwoo (Part 2)

See the first part of this post here.

From a supplier onboarding and enablement perspective, Hubwoo's Connectivity Hub is focused on driving rapid adoption of suppliers and the capture of related sourcing information. The self-service supplier registration capability directs vendors to enter information. In addition, Hubwoo provides a range of value-added services focused on "program management, adoption, content, connectivity, support and monitoring" to enable supplier onboarding. Once suppliers are on-boarded and transacting via Hubwoo's Connectivity Hub, users can archive, search and analyze the full content of each document. In the future, Hubwoo plans new "information derivatives" based on the aggregate business intelligence of information on the network.

Buyers are able to check on the status of invoices and other documents both within their standard buying applications (e.g., SAP SRM) as well as a portal that connects to the Collaboration Hub. This information is real-time, owing to certified SAP adapters that provide transaction status via SAP SRM, MM and E-Sourcing. From a matching and validation perspective, Hubwoo supports two major categories of matching. The first is what Hubwoo describes as "supplier-side pre-matching," which includes "proactive validation, matching, and business rule enforcement for invoices at the time of supplier presentment" as well as "tolerances and business rules which can be defined by the buyer." Pre-matching rules might take the form of requiring invoices to be matched to a certain tolerance of purchase orders or goods receipt prior to allowing invoice presentment. Other rules an A/P or procurement might specify include validation to country-specific legal requirements, required and qualified digital signatures, etc.

Hubwoo also supports buyer-side matching, which includes an A/P dashboard work center with defined workflow, analytics and search capability. Users can specify tolerances and dictate automatic approval within tolerances (or not) and also provide approval workflow for unmatched documents. Collaborative dispute management capabilities guide a specified means to guide exceptions that lead to disputes. The Collaboration Hub also provides p-card reconciliation based on bank statement files. Last, Hubwoo provides an optional pass-through capability that links and integrates with on-premise accounts payable systems for matching. Additional services (e.g., AP audits, dynamic discounting, payables auctions, etc.) are available through a network of partners.

For procurement systems integration, Hubwoo has experience integrating its Collaboration Hub into both SAP and non-SAP transactional and purchasing systems. These include SAP SRM, SAP MM, SAP PM, Ariba Buyer, Oracle, and "dozens of legacy procurement systems," in Hubwoo's words. Hubwoo currently has live Ariba customers integrated to Ariba Buyer for both its Collaboration Hub as well as its catalog content management solution. The vendor shared with Spend Matters that in the past year, they have been selected by "three of the top fifteen" Ariba ASN customers who are now deploying or using the Collaboration Hub and SAP-powered procurement modules. When integrating with Ariba customers as a replacement for the Ariba supplier network, Hubwoo encourages customers, especially those with an SAP back-end environment, to also look at their broader "cloud-based" source-to-pay capabilities, which has a range of deployment modules including hybrid SaaS/on-premise that can be tightly integrated via the Collaboration Hub.

Stay tuned for Spend Matters analysis of Hubwoo's capabilities as a lower-cost replacement/complement to the Ariba Supplier Network in the final post in this series.

Jason Busch

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