The Ariba Fallout — How the SAP Procurement Partner and BPO Ecosystem Could be Shaken Up

If SAP closes the Ariba acquisition, the ecosystem that has been so important to SAP (especially in SRM and directly linked areas such as e-invoicing) could be in for a serious shake-up. Spend Matters believes that providers that have worked closely with SAP in the past by introducing complimentary and integrated applications including Hubwoo, Capgemini/IBX, OpenText and others could find themselves needing to take a more independent strategy going forward in procurement-related areas. Moreover, upstarts such as Taulia in the discounting market could find themselves being pushed outside of the SAP partner ecosystem as a combined SAP/Ariba introduce similar capabilities of their own with internally developed solutions. However, the ecosystem shake-up will not just be limited to these providers and partners. It may also include:

  • Search, content/catalog management and related providers such as jCatalog, Vinimaya and WALLMEDIEN that have built practices in part based on the shortcomings of SAP and Ariba solutions (SAP, especially) that a combined procurement technology combination are likely to address more directly internally
  • Existing and upstart connectivity providers such as OB10, TradeShift, and Pagero that have previously benefited -- or were planning to benefit -- from a lack of a holistic SAP network strategy within the SAP installed base
  • SAP BPO hosting partners which previously configured and hosted SRM on behalf of clients (Hubwoo, Capgemini/IBX, Infosys, etc.); ironically, Quadrem, which was previously a close SAP BPO partner prior to the Ariba acquisition, is now back in the family on good terms, so to speak

These are just a few examples of disruptions that we expect in the SAP partner ecosystem. There will certainly be others as well if the announced acquisition comes to fruition.

- Jason Busch

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