Jan Laros

7 Reasons why Mid-Sized Companies choose SAP Ariba

SAP Ariba provides the world’s largest business network, the best-in-class cloud procurement solutions, and innovative business models. Ariba has been around for a while, first as an independent US based company that delivered on premise procurement solutions. From there it gradually moved into the cloud. After the SAP takeover in 2012, things accelerated. After the acquisition of Ariba, SAP has invested millions of dollars in the development of Ariba, in integration with SAP, in new capabilities of the product, into their network and of course, in sales and marketing.  Over the last years, we have seen multinationals or large enterprises in the Netherlands making the move to Ariba, with implementations at e.g. Philips, ABN-AMRO, Shell, Jumbo, NXP & ASML. We see that for medium sized enterprises the momentum is there as well to make to move to Ariba. In this article, we give you 7 reasons why the time is now:

1. Maturity of the product

Ariba was already in the top right corner in the famous Gartner Magic Quadrant in which various providers of Procurement Software are compared on the axis of completion of vision vs the ability to execute. The proof of the pudding is in the eating they often say; we experienced over the last years when implementing Ariba solutions at customers that many improvements and more capabilities were realized. Many large enterprises have implemented Ariba, and based on their feedback improvements and innovations like Guided Buying and Spot Buy were initiated. Another typical example of this is the improved integration with the SAP Backend.

2. Easy to get a positive business case

From our customers, we regularly received the statement that ‘this is just something for the bigger companies’ both driven by the broad capabilities as well the perceived high price-levels. The Ariba offering for midmarket is very attractive nowadays, driven by the fact that the product is mature, many companies have decided to buy Ariba and the fact is that it is a buying market with multiple procurement software suppliers out there. 

3. Innovation

Needless to say, that SAP has deep pockets and that investments in innovation are huge. Every quarter the innovations are pushed to customers, independent if you are a mid-size or large enterprise. This means that as a mid-market customer you get access to the same innovations and product improvements. Next to that the Ariba Network is the world’s largest business network with many buyers and sellers transacting. We are quite sure that many of your suppliers will be on the network already. Ariba and the Ariba Network will help you to get rid of your paper based environment. 

4. Ariba's mid-market focus and approach

Ariba recognizes the potential and wants to develop the mid-market. However the traditional approach does not fit. The mid-market approach means that partners will be made responsible for the implementation and also the supplier enablement and catalog enablement is left out of the standard price list of Ariba. In addition there is a rapid deployment approach with a set of predefined best practices already delivered at initial delivery of the customer realm. Comparing it to a menu in a restaurant; in the restaurant for mid-market customers the quality level (the product) and the ingredients are the same, only the options on the menu are more limited and better tailored for mid-market. There is however never a lock-in into a mid-market solution. Capabilities can be added where needed. 

5. The cloud is not scary anymore

In Dutch we have a word which would apply to this: ‘cloudwatervrees’: The fear to enter the cloud. Many companies made the step into the cloud over the last years. Often started with solutions for office such as Office 365 but also with business applications such as salesforce.com. It is needless to say that this is not something new. Many companies see the added value in scalability, security, applicability of best practices, shorted implementation cycles and lower costs. The hype is over and even the most skeptical forces in the companies have often become drivers behind cloud strategies.  The advantages of the cloud are also applicable to Ariba. 

6. Implementation Strategy of Ariba - Partner Eco System

In the history of SAP, the company has always been working in a partner eco system. SAP is delivering the software and partners are doing the implementations and support. Where Ariba was an independent company before it was acquired by SAP, the strategy of Ariba was different. Ariba was delivering both the software and the delivery of implementations and support. This model has changed, as partners are more and more involved to help customers getting the maximum value out of their software. This is driven by the successful model of SAP and in addition the limitations of Ariba to deliver services as the market demand is growing. Ariba needs partners in order to be able to reach new customers. 

7. Experience of partners

Partners such as McCoy, gained a lot of project experience over the last 2 years in implementing Ariba, both Sourcing as well as Buy (former upstream and downstream). Partners are familiar with the local market needs, have the cultural fit and can implement the end-2-end solution. As the leading Ariba partner having the most actual project experience in the Netherlands,  we also have the experience to offer integration with external applications such as S/4HANA, SAP ERP, SalesForce.com, Planon and others. In addition, we also have experience in implementing hybrid scenarios such as enabling the Ariba Network for catalogs for Sales and Service processes, or connecting the Ariba Network to SAP SRM. 

Concluding the 7 reasons; if you are a midmarket company and considering to improve your procurement processes supported by leading software, the time is now. For more details please see our leaflet

In addition, we are happy to invite you to attend our webinars in August and hope to see you at our customer event on Thursday September 14th. We will tell all about our MId Market approach in which we implement SAP Ariba Buying in just 12 weeks. Benefit from content on day 1 and instantly leverage innovations like Guided Buying and Spot Buy. Subscribe here!