Why Platforms Need to Monetize Their Supplier Ecosystem

Because P2P solutions started giving away supplier portals, cash flow optimizers, analytics, support, etc., they closed a revenue door. Trying to build a sustainable business model when half your ecosystem is not monetized is very challenging, even as P2P platforms add features and functionality. Sure, many platforms are trying to figure out payments, and that is something that scares the bejeebers out of them due to regulations and compliance rules. (Don’t pay that blacklisted vendor or person, or else.) But payments is not a profitable business for platforms, it’s a service.

Beware “Analyst” Research: Ovum’s Review of the Ariba Network


There are industry analysts and there are paid mouthpieces.

Unfortunately, many are increasingly falling into the latter category. And as Ariba has begun share top marks with Coupa or fall behind in the traditional analyst rankings by Forrester and Gartner, it has increasingly ramped up its efforts with the latter group.

While I have no idea about the economics of this review by Ovum, which I read in researching some recent posts on the Ariba network and trade financing, what was missing in this report screamed out at me as much as what it included.

Ariba, SAP and Financing the Supply Chain: What’s Next – Partnerships, Acquisitions and Other Ideas


Earlier this week, I shared a quick update on where Ariba stood as a quiet but material player in the invoice discounting market. It’s important to note, however, that invoice discounting alone is but one small – and barely penetrated – sub-sector from an adoption standpoint within the tech and purchase-to-pay- (P2P) enabled trade financing area. Ariba and SAP have significant opportunity to become a leader in this still exceptionally fragmented and nascent market segment. While it’s unlikely they will truly remake their procurement, accounts payable and treasury business lines around the next wave of trade financing – as Basware and others are placing significant bets on – we firmly expect to hear much more from the ERP and cloud giant in 2016. Here are some speculative partnerships and moves we expect Ariba, Concur, Fieldglass and SAP to consider as they expand their presence in the trade financing market.