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SAP Ariba: Procure-to-Pay Vendor Analysis (Part 1) — Company background, P2P solution overview, SWOT, competitors/market analysis

06/02/2021 By

SAP Ariba was arguably the first ever source-to-pay (S2P) suite. Its history stretches back to 1996, when it was founded and quickly built a reputation for its downstream procure-to-pay (P2P) product. And while the history of Ariba before it became SAP Ariba is complex, there is little doubt today that if you’re a procurement organization evaluating P2P offerings, you’re almost certainly going to put SAP Ariba on your longlist, and likely your shortlist too — especially if you’re an SAP shop already.

The SAP Ariba of 2021 is not, however, the same as the Ariba of 1996. In fact, it’s not even the same SAP Ariba of even a few years ago. The product continues to undergo significant development, and the solution’s overall roadmap increasingly intersects with those of other SAP products. This context in the long-term strategy of an enterprise software behemoth is critical to consider when evaluating SAP Ariba for P2P. It’s also important to not only consider factors around classic end-user-focused e-procurement — including usability, configurability and access to multiple sources of content — but also those around supply chain collaboration, integration with other SAP solutions (e.g., ERP and treasury) and the draw of the vendor’s globally known supplier network.

Because SAP Ariba offers a broad suite, Spend Matters will write multiple posts that focus on three distinct areas: the downstream P2P offering (today’s posts), the upstream source-to-contract offering, and a summary look at the S2P product as a whole.

In today’s three-part PRO Vendor Analysis series on SAP Ariba’s P2P offering, Part 1 provides a company background and high-level solution overview, gives a company SWOT analysis and discusses SAP Ariba competitors. The next two parts focus on product strengths/weaknesses and tech selection tips as well as an in-depth look at the P2P solution (platform, e-procurement, AP automation, SAP Business Network, analytics) and our analyst summary.

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