SAP Ariba Summit – Evolution, Robotics and Procurement with Purpose on October 10th

We’re getting into conference season now and on October 10th at the Glazier’s Hall in London we have the SAP Ariba Procurement Summit.

The theme is “Ready for the next evolution!”  We assume that means the evolution of procurement, rather than humankind eventually developing mind-reading abilities or knees that don’t wear out once you hit 50 years old …

The equivalent event last year was very strong. It gave me more insight into what is really likely to happen around digitisation in our sector than pretty much any other event over the past couple of years that I attended. I can’t guarantee this year’s event will be of similar quality, but the omens are good.

For example, session titles such as How Procurement Innovation Drives Intelligent Enterprise bode well for a bit of mind-stretching content! That comes from the excellent Marcel Vollmer of SAP Ariba, and we can expect a range of experts from SAP Ariba, IBM and elsewhere talking about their latest developments in areas such as those as well as digitised risk management, complex services procurement and so on.

There are also a couple of strong practitioner sessions lined up. Guy Hubball (haven’t seen him for years) is leading a session on the future of procurement – he was in very senior procurement roles for Caradon, ABN AMRO (maybe you don’t mention that these days) and more recently, BP.

There is also a session on “procurement with purpose”, a big theme for the firm this year as you probably know, and yes, this is another plug for our briefing paper, available here. That involves Martine Booth from SAP Ariba and two practitioners, Timo Worrall from Johnson & Johnson (a firm that has done very good work with social enterprises), and Colin Downie, WildHearts Group.

There is also a panel session on Managing the impact of Evolution moderated by SAP Ariba's inimitable James Marland, and featuring Ian Galloway of Capita, Paul Jones  of exceleratedS2pba, Martin Traxl of OMV and  Fabio Francalancia of Sky. I did a bit of work some 10 years ago with Tim Ussher, Sky’s first ever CPO, so it will be fascinating to see how things have moved on since then for the business.

It’s a free event for practitioners, so we’d suggest that for any procurement function that numbers a handful or more staff, it’s worth someone from your organisation going along, even if you are not an SAP Ariba client. And if you are a client, it would seem to be a must-attend day – the second half of the afternoon features a range of deep-dive, more technical sessions that will be particularly useful for you. You can find out more and book here and we’ll see you there.

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