Spend Matters PRO: Ariba/SAP Customer Recommendations and Initial Analysis (Part 2)

To highlight the depth of what's available on Spend Matters PRO (link to get more details of how you can subscribe), last week my US colleagues featured select research briefs on the Spend Matters public site.  "Spend Matters PRO is our response to the type of material we wanted (but never got) when we were customers of industry analyst research firms. It's fast, deep, pragmatic, and insightful".

Below, we feature excerpts from Part 1 of our analysis from October 1st offering customer specific recommendations for those impacted by the closing of the Ariba/SAP transaction. For RPO subscribers, access the original here: PRO Analysis: DOJ and UK Fair Trading Office Clear SAP Acquisition of Ariba

All Spend Matters readers can click here for Part 1 of the "PRO preview" commentary as well.

Recommendations continued from Part 1:

  • SRM customers should stay the course (for now). SAP customers going down a current SRM path (either currently implementing or planning to implement) with significant back-end ERP/MRP integration (ECC) requirements should not consider switching to Ariba Buyer, especially if decisions have been previously made; however, organizations may wish to consider how Ariba's network and enabling capabilities (e.g., e-invoicing, supply chain finance on the network) can complement SRM alongside other established SAP partners including Hubwoo, IBX/Capgemini, etc. Third parties such as Basware and OB10 should also be considered for network enablement and connectivity
  • Consider Ariba sourcing and contract management. As soon as it is available, SAP customers may wish to consider the planned roadmap for integration into Ariba's more loosely coupled products in the areas of sourcing and contract management and/or consider these on a stand-alone basis, evaluating them in comparison to SAP's Sourcing OnDemand platform (sourcing, supplier management, contract management) and other solutions. In the area of spend analysis, we believe that SAP's current direction with Spend Performance Management (built on HANA) is likely to become the corporate standard over Ariba's tool, which while perfectly sufficient, is built on a legacy architecture
  • Turn to the right set of partners/consultants for advice. Customers and prospects should look to consultants and advisors with deep SAP and Ariba solutions expertise including larger firms such as Deloitte, PWC, IBM and Accenture (as well as boutiques with systems expertise in the area). Those seeking outside advice on solutions should avoid strategy-oriented firms without a track record of systems analysis and implementation experience given the many nuances of knowing the multiple stacks and architectures that SAP will need to continue to support, while likely building their own answer to a new solution – the truly next generation of Ariba/SAP procurement.
  • Competitors need to move fast. Ariba and SAP competitors shouldn't waste any time, not only in developing marketing and sales initiatives to take advantage of uncertainty prior to the time a joint solution roadmap is released at a highly granular level of detail, but also learning about what makes SAP tick at this stage of development (including what assets they have and what advantages they have recently started to exploit).
  • Not the old CIO's SAP. Competitors that still believe SAP is slow to adopt to the current technology environment with new product releases and innovations would be shocked to see what the formerly slow-moving ERP giant has been able to build in the past 24 months. If SAP and Ariba together can move half as fast and effectively as SAP has in the specific areas of supplier risk management on a network basis, spend analysis, numerous mobile/iOS focused prototypes/products and a forthcoming SRM re-skin, we know the competition and broader market will be in for a big surprise.

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First Voice

  1. eSourcingSensei:

    Hi Peter

    “■Consider Ariba sourcing and contract management. As soon as it is available, SAP customers may wish to consider the planned roadmap for integration into Ariba’s more loosely coupled products in the areas of sourcing and contract management ”

    Having gained fairly in depth experience of the SAP sourcing system and the Ariba sourcing platform I for one would not be shouting from the rooftops on either as I think they are some what behind the market when it comes to flexible and comprehensive sourcing platforms. I have worked with others, including some of your sponsors, and find their platforms far more advanced then either SAP or Ariba. I had commenced engagement with SAP to develop some significant improvements to the tool and had been invited to meet with their developers to advise on such but a significant change in circumstances prevented that from taking place.
    I do think Ariba have a very strong analysis tool and supplier managment/networking platform and think they are as good and in some cases better than those I would use for the sorucing element
    I also agree with your comment that competitors should move quickly in staying “ahead” of the game – sitting on one’s laurekls no matter how good they have been is not going to cut it today in an ever changing eSourcing market place

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