“Applications Unlimited” Oracle vs. “We Know Best” SAP/Ariba (Part 1)

It’s rare for a large ERP/MRP and business applications deal between top enterprise software vendors (Oracle, SAP) to hinge on the comparative capabilities of the procurement suite. The same holds true of evaluations involving a new generation of often (but not always) middle-market driven providers like Workday, NetSuite and others that have more limited source-to-pay capabilities. Yet with SAP buying Ariba and a number of marketplace dynamics beginning to coalesce, the importance of direct comparisons between Oracle and SAP will increase over time in the procurement area for three reasons:

  • With Ariba, SAP positions and sells a networked-based business approach with greater emphasis on cloud-based applications and buyer/supplier connectivity that can work with all back-end environments – or at least be loosely couple...
  • While Oracle’s investment in the Oracle Supplier Network as an open standards-based connectivity hub has been material, its adoption and usage across wide numbers of suppliers within Oracle E-Business Suite iProcurement – let alone other Oracle solutions – customer base has looked more like the typical adoption levels within SAP SRM than Ariba (<25 suppliers enabled per company versus multiples of this) in cases where partner networks have not been used (Hubwoo, IBX, etc.). SAP and Ariba undoubtedly want to get a foot in the door for supplier enablement and connectivity within the Oracle community...
  • Through acquisition and organic development, Oracle has a number of advanced technology assets, including the Oracle E-Business Suite Extensions for Oracle Endeca content management and analytics platform, which SAP and Ariba do not currently have anything like. Moreover, Oracle Supplier Hub for master data management...


Additional coverage areas in the full research brief include:

  • Different solution rationalization approaches (SAP vs. Oracle)
  • Business model differences
  • Emphasis of cloud vs. on-premise offerings (and flexibility)
  • Recent SAP/Ariba product rationalization decisions (e.g., spend classification)


The rest of this PRO research brief can be found on Spend Matters PRO. If you’d like to become a Spend Matters PRO member, please subscribe. If you’re not ready to subscribe or wonder why you should, we’ve answered some FAQs here or you can email a Spend Matters team member directly. If you’re not into paying for content, we get that too. Thanks for reading!

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