SAP have always held their Ariba Live events in either the United States or a European city. This year, SAP brought Ariba Live to Asia, holding the inaugural SAP Ariba Live in sunny Singapore. This was only appropriate, because Asia accounts for 25% of the worldwide commerce that run through the Ariba Network.
Held from the 29th till the 31st of August, the SAP Ariba Live 2016 @ Singapore boasted every big gun SAP Ariba could muster, including SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger, SAP APJ President Adaire Fox-Martin, and SAP Ariba CTO Dinesh Shahane.
What Is SAP Ariba?
SAP Ariba is a subsidiary of SAP that focuses on software solutions that make it easier for companies to procure goods and services. Procurement is ordinarily a labour-intensive process for large and public-listed companies because they have to adhere to strict bidding or tendering processes.
These processes are intended to promote fair and open competition for their suppliers, although they may even emphasise certain CSR (corporate social responsibility) requirements. They also have to be tailored to avoid or reduce exposure to fraud and collusion.
As a result, many corporations rely on manual, paper-based systems to create paper trails for accountability reasons. This is not only inefficient, it is costly and wasteful. This is the problem that SAP Ariba tackles. It is not “sexy” work, but it is incredibly important work.
The SAP Ariba Network
The SAP Ariba Network is a cloud-based B2B (business to business) platform that make it easier for companies to procure goods and services from suppliers from all over the world. Think of it as eBay for companies.
Users get to “shop online” just like millions of consumers do every single day. Just like consumers, they can do their “shopping” on any device – whether it’s a desktop, a laptop, or even a mobile device.
The only difference is Ariba offers features that help companies automate requests for sourcing, RFQs (requests for quotations), contracts, management of suppliers, contract, ethical and legal compliance, etc.
Why Does It Matter?
Ordinary consumers don’t care about corporate matters like “procurement”. B2B services like Ariba are not sexy, but they grease the great wheel of commerce and make a big difference in our lives.
Procurement done right is what ensures that Apple can deliver their latest iPhones on time while remaining compliant with fair labour requirements. It also ensures that smaller companies can save money, so they can deliver more competitive products.
SAP Ariba is hardly the only company to tackle problems with procurement, but their Ariba Network alone had 10 million users with a cool US$1 trillion in transactions in 2015. That is how important the Ariba Network is in corporate procurement.
What’s New At SAP Ariba Live 2016?
In this keynote address, SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger announced a bevy of updates to the Ariba Network, with two major upgrades – Guided Buying and Light Enablement. Suppliers will also be excited about the new simplified pricing.
He also announced that the SAP Ariba Network will be available in China by the end of 2016. Check out his full keynote address, together with SAP APJ President Adaire Fox-Martin.
For more details on the new and future SAP Ariba features, read our supplementary article – New & Future SAP Ariba Features Revealed.