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Coronavirus crisis spurs SAP to action — and adds a bit of clarity

Sometimes in a crisis, a sense of purpose takes shape and the way forward gets a little clearer. During the coronavirus disruption, SAP Ariba has been doing that for buyers and suppliers when it opened up its cloud-based service for matching business buyers and suppliers, SAP Ariba Discovery, as well as giving free access to Supply Continuity Pulse, a pre-configured solution to gain visibility into suppliers’ operational status. And on a corporate level, SAP’s realignment of its divisions is being honed and now offers the market a more focused view of its direction.

Forrester rips SAP Ariba in its latest E-Procurement Wave

The Spend Matters team has known Duncan Jones, the lead author of Forrester’s latest E-Procurement Wave, for just about as long as the average technology solution provider in this sector has been in business. Duncan is known for trading humorous barbs with Jason Busch, Spend Matters’ founder, at various industry events with his typical acerbic British wit. However, there is nothing humorous about Forrester’s latest Wave when it comes to singling out SAP Ariba for failing to live up to its past prowess, especially in the technology area. What's going on with Ariba's product performance and personnel churn?

SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 3): How can the SAP spend platform ‘Run Simple’?

supplier network

The integration of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur into a single operating entity within SAP, the “Intelligent Spend Group,” will be far more straightforward from a commercial and go-to-market perspective than a technology architecture and platform vantage point. This Spend Matters research brief, the third in our series analyzing integration considerations for the Intelligent Spend Group, explores network and platform considerations and offers key takeaways for the company and SAP customers. Part 1 centered on specific integration models that SAP is likely to take (e.g., the SAP Cloud Integration Gateway) and what these approaches would mean for customers of multiple solutions. Part 2 asked the hard questions surrounding core integration considerations.

SAP Intelligent Spend Group is future for Ariba, Fieldglass, Concur (Part 1): Customer Analysis, Solution Integration, Roadmap

Late in April, SAP announced that it was bringing its procurement assets under a single operating umbrella. The announcement of the new business unit, tucked into the body of a press release with the headline of a leadership promotion, notes that the “SAP Intelligent Spend Group” will be “comprised of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur.” The group, according to the announcement, would be headed by SAP Ariba and Concur veteran Barry Padgett, but this week we learned that Padgett left SAP. Regardless of leadership, the Intelligent Spend Group will move forward. This Spend Matters PRO brief provides an analysis of what the creation of a single organization within SAP for these solutions may mean for each individual solution line and customers.

SAP Ariba Sourcing: How Does it Compare Today and What is Coming Tomorrow (Part 2: Playing the Scout Card)

Procurement organizations previously embraced complexity in tools to enable both event sourcing and category management processes. Now, the tide has turned. Solutions that are best-in-class from a user-experience perspective, but may lack advanced features (e.g., sourcing optimization, the most capability/depth for RFP/RFI/auction support, full opportunity analysis like should-cost modeling, full project management, comprehensive integrated supplier and risk management, etc.) are increasingly winning the day — sometimes even replacing solutions that offer deeper functional capability.

Simply put, this is what I term the Scout phenomena (but in all fairness to Scout, the provider, is aggressively building out capabilities in areas that it has lagged in for our SolutionMap benchmarking tool).

In the forthcoming new releases of its sourcing product, SAP Ariba has not just co-opted Scout’s playbook. It has built on it. By masking complexity and prioritizing usability not just as a primary, but the top objective, forthcoming “SAP Ariba Sourcing” releases represent a fundamental replatforming that will put casual, business and procurement users at the center of a vastly improved and consumerized UX.

In Part 2 of the Spend Matters PRO research series providing analysis of the SAP Ariba Sourcing solution, we offer insight into the new user experience as well as analysis, commentary and customer recommendations based on SAP Ariba’s planned release schedule featuring the new UI/UX. Part 1 provided insight into SAP’s relative strengths and weaknesses today (based on the Q1 2019 SolutionMap release) and shared what we learned last month at the SAP Ariba Live event on an overall roadmap basis for the sourcing product line.

SAP Ariba

As part of the SolutionMap RFI process, Spend Matters continuously solicits customer references to determine a procurement technology provider’s placement on the ranking graphics. This is a Spend Matters curated summary of verified customer feedback for SAP Ariba, a SolutionMap-ranked provider.

SAP Ariba: What Makes It Great (E-Procurement SolutionMap Analysis)

It will likely come as no surprise that SAP Ariba is a top-ranked functional provider within the E-Procurement SolutionMap for Q3 2018. But among the 22 providers ranked in the latest e-procurement release, SAP Ariba stands apart from the pack in a number of key areas, showing demonstrated innovation in various e-procurement components and disruptive technologies that many other providers are placing less emphasis on, yet could be crucial in selection decisions.

As of September 2018, the Spend Matters SolutionMap contains functional and customer satisfaction benchmarks on over 50 providers within the procurement technology landscape. But where does SAP Ariba stand out most and help “set the bar” in e-procurement? And why should this matter for procurement and finance organizations? Let’s delve into the SolutionMap benchmark to find out where SAP Ariba is great.

“What Makes It Great” is a recurring column that shares insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers. Based on both our rigorous evaluation process and customer reference reviews, each brief offers quick facts on the provider, describes where it excels, provides hard data on where it beats the SolutionMap benchmark and concludes with a checklist for ideal customer scenarios in which procurement, finance and supply chain organizations should consider it.

Tradeshift vs. SAP Ariba: E-Invoicing and Supplier Network Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

In its early years, Tradeshift was a thorn in the side of SAP Ariba in a handful of strategic accounts. More recently, as Tradeshift transitioned from operating at least in part (previously) on the PowerPoint platform to its own, the provider has emerged as more than just a credible threat and is now an everyday competitor to SAP Ariba, Basware, Coupa and many others.

Tradeshift has real, proven capability today. Through the Spend Matters SolutionMap process, we’ve benchmarked its solution on a functional and customer satisfaction basis across hundreds of procure-to-pay functional and customer satisfaction areas 20 competitors. And when we talk about functional analysis, we’re talking about actual product demonstrations of real GA product.

SAP Ariba and Tradeshift are among the two strongest invoice-to-pay providers in Spend Matters Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap on a functional scoring basis. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head battle, especially when considering core e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities as part of the invoice-to-pay solution area?

Join us in this unfiltered head-to-head SolutionMap results analysis from our Q2 2018 dataset, along with the commentary of the Spend Matters analyst team. We will be writing “Head-to-Head” columns on a regular basis, sharing the insights of each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers and providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters since its inception.

Not an Insider member yet? Here’s a preview: In certain invoice-to-pay categories — which include supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services, invoicing setup, invoicing creation/capturing/submission, services invoicing and contract invoicing, invoicing collaboration, invoice validations/approvals, invoice integrations, invoicing compliance, invoice mobility, invoicing analytics, payment/financing and overall invoice-to-pay scoring — SAP Ariba comes out on top. In fact, SAP Ariba, on a straight line, “Deep” persona invoice-to-pay functional basis factoring into account all scoring criteria, is the top performing solution on an analyst scoring basis in Q2 2018.

But in specific categories, Tradeshift wins the race. And overall, the results specific to core accounts payable and invoice/document automation might surprise companies that think experience and size triumph over youthful ambition. Perhaps more important, the SAP Ariba vs. Tradeshift head-to-head shows that one size does not fit all for e-invoicing and associated capabilities. There’s no debate that invoice-to-pay selection processes will reward those procurement and finance organizations that tailor provider selection to their specific needs.

The Q2 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 13 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ivalua vs. SAP Ariba: E-Procurement Head-to-Head Technology Evaluation and Comparison

Few procurement organizations evaluate Ivalua only from an e-procurement angle. Most prospective customers are looking for integrated suite capabilities that the uber configurable and increasingly industry-specific procurement provider can bring. Moreover, Ivalua has unfortunately remained somewhat of a “best kept” secret in the procurement tech community, especially in the procure-to-pay (P2P) area, owing in part to the double-whammy negative combination of less brand awareness than others like Coupa as well as having a smaller systems integrator community to recommend it (although it has a long standing and close relationship with KMPG).

Yet overall Ivalua does very well in the Spend Matters SolutionMap. As of Q2 2018 Ivalua delivers the highest ranked source-to-pay suite on a functional basis (across spend analytics, sourcing, contract management, supplier management and procure-to-pay). But how does Ivalua stack up to the biggies like SAP Ariba in e-procurement specifically? Curious? So were we.

Join us as we put Ivalua’s e-procurement capabilities to the test against SAP Ariba. Today, we offer a preview of the Q2 dataset (also see the Q1 2018 E-Procurement SolutionMap) and pit Ivalua head-to-head against SAP Ariba. These recurring columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception.

So prepare for some real data and expect at least a modicum of salty opinion. Here’s a preview: across certain e-procurement functional requirements — which span catalog management, shopping/requisitioning, ordering, receiving, supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services and a summary e-procurement average — SAP Ariba, not surprisingly, comes out on top. But Ivalua more than holds its own in most areas and convincingly wins in one.

But real world procurement technology decisions are more complex that just module-by-module comparisons and geeking out over functional battles between two finalists across sets of hundreds of requirements. And this is where customers will likely gravitate to one solution over the other. So join us as we explore how each provider stacks up on a direct competitive basis and share our perspectives on which is likely a better fit in real-world circumstances.

The Q2 2018 E-Procurement SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 21 separate providers, including all of the “biggies” procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process. Whether you’re in the market for a new e-procurement product or want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

GEP vs. SAP Ariba: E-Procurement Technology Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

GEP and SAP Ariba could not have more different e-procurement DNA. GEP, as we like to say, is the Swiss Army knife of procurement, combining business process outsourcing (BPO), consulting, managed services, market intelligence and procurement technology under one roof. SAP Ariba is the opposite: it has a legacy as a purely enterprise software company that had two major pivots, first to SaaS and later to the combination of cloud applications tied to a networked business model and value proposition.

This begs the question: How the heck can GEP compete against SAP Ariba — including winning on SAP’s home turf — when its ambitions are less focused than that of its competitor? The comparison between GEP and SAP Aiba in Spend Matters Q1 2018 E-Procurement SolutionMap on a functional scoring basis must not be cut and dried. Or is it?

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q1 2018 dataset, supplemented by commentary from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch. These recurring Head-to-Head columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception.

So prepare for some real data and expect at least a modicum salty opinion as we pit GEP and SAP Ariba against each other in the Spend Matters evaluation ring. Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: In the majority of e-procurement categories — which overall span catalog management, shopping/requisitioning, ordering, receiving, supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services and an overall summary e-procurement average — SAP Ariba disarms the GEP Swiss Army knife. But in at least one area, GEP takes the prize — which might be the secret to how it wins its share of customer battles.

The Q1 2018 E-Procurement SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 19 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Coupa vs. SAP Ariba: E-Invoicing and Supplier Network Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

Coupa and SAP Ariba are among the two strongest invoice-to-pay providers in the Spend Matters Q1 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap on a functional scoring basis. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head bout, especially when considering core e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities as part of the invoice-to-pay solution area?

Join us in this unfiltered SolutionMap results analysis from our Q1 2018 dataset, supplemented by commentary from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch. These recurring Head-to-Head columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider Subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception.

So prepare for some real data and expect at least a modicum of salty opinion as we pit Coupa vs. SAP Ariba against each other. Not yet an Insider member? Here’s a preview: in certain invoice-to-pay categories – which include supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services, invoicing setup, invoicing creation/capturing/submission, services invoicing & contract invoicing, invoicing collaboration, invoice validations/approvals, invoice integrations, invoicing compliance, invoice mobility, invoicing analytics, payment/financing and overall invoice-to-pay scoring — SAP Ariba sneaks in a knock-out blow.

But in others, Coupa jabs and beats its foe into the corner, delivering punch after punch until the round ends (and even tosses in a few jabs after the bell). Overall, the results suggest that it is essential to evaluate each provider’s capability in the context of specific deployment considerations (e.g., global compliance, supplier network consideration, services invoicing, invoicing analytics).

The Q1 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 13 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Basware vs. SAP Ariba: E-Invoicing and Supplier Network Evaluation and Head-to-Head Comparison

Basware and SAP Ariba are among the two strongest invoice-to-pay providers in the Spend Matters Q1 2018 Invoice-to-Pay (I2P) SolutionMap on a functional basis. But how do they stack up against each other in a head-to-head bout, especially when considering core e-invoicing and supplier network capabilities as part of the invoice-to-pay solution area?

Join us in this unfiltered head-to-head SolutionMap results analysis from our Q1 2018 dataset, along with commentary from Spend Matters Founder Jason Busch. These recurring Head-to-Head columns share insights from each quarterly SolutionMap report for SolutionMap Insider subscribers, providing unique comparative cuts of SolutionMap benchmark data, along with the trademark quips that have defined Spend Matters analysis since its inception. The most recent head-to-head comparisons include Coupa vs. SAP Ariba (e-procurement) and Coupa vs. Jaggaer Advantage (sourcing).

So prepare for some real data and expect a few sparks to fly as we pit Basware and SAP Ariba head-to-head in the Spend Matters evaluation ring. Not a SolutionMap Insider member yet? Here’s a preview: In certain invoice-to-pay categories — which span supplier network, configurability, technology (overall), general services, invoicing setup, invoicing creation/capturing/submission, services invoicing and contract invoicing, invoicing collaboration, invoice validations/approvals, invoice integrations, invoicing compliance, invoice mobility, invoicing analytics, payment/financing and overall invoice-to-pay scoring — SAP Ariba takes the yellow jersey. But in others, Basware is first in the peloton. And overall the results suggest that it is essential to evaluate each provider’s capabilities in the context of specific deployment considerations (e.g., AP automation-led initiatives compared with broader procure-to-pay considerations).

The Q1 2018 Invoice-to-Pay SolutionMap benchmark is now based on an underlying dataset featuring 13 separate providers, including nearly all of the must-shortlist invoice-to-pay technology providers procurement organizations can expect to consider in a typical selection process (as well as those they should consider but might overlook). Whether you’re in the market for a new invoice-to-pay product or just want to know if you made the right decision for your organization, our SolutionMap analysis and benchmark data can tell you the answer. Curious to learn more? Don’t hesitate to get in touch.