Around 1,5 year ago we have posted an article with the title: ‘7 Reasons why Dutch Companies choose SAP Ariba’ and we explained why the time is now. In the period between publishing and today, McCoy Ariba Consultants were involved at several SAP Ariba Implementations at our customers. We see that all the things we have mentioned at the time are still true, even more, we see that things are accelerating and are evolving much faster. Therefore, we have updated the article with a few more insights.
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, Merck, ABN-AMRO, Cargill, Sitech, Shell, Jumbo, NXP & ASML. We see that for other Dutch 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:
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. Also in Supply Chain Collaboration we see major things happening, making it also a strong product to cover your direct spend scenarios.
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 the Dutch market 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. Price models have changed. In addition the Minimum Viable Product Approach is widely accepted, leading to faster implementations with improvements as part of dev ops or continuous improvement at a later stage.
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 to enable your digital transformation roadmap. Also, with recent innovations in several areas, the product is getting richer in terms of functionality and wider in terms of capabilities. Often these innovations were triggered by SAP Ariba customers via the customer influence process. In addition, SAP has recently integrated their cloud solutions around Spend Management from an organizational point of view. That means that the power of SAP Ariba, SAP Fieldglass and SAP Concur solutions will be combined. Likely these SaaS solutions will offer more and better integration scenarios in time.
Ariba recognizes the potential for the mid-market after their earlier focus on multinationals only 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 excluded from 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 as the SNAP proposition is standard Ariba Buying and Invoicing but then with a fixed implementation scenario and scope.
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.
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.
Partners such as McCoy, gained a lot of project experience over the last years in implementing Ariba, both Strategic Sourcing Suite as well as Buying and Invoicing (former upstream and downstream). Also in the direct spend area we have deep experience with Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration (SCC) at multiple customers. We are familiar with the local market needs, have the cultural fit and can implement the end-2-end procurement solutions. 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. Key is our experience with Cloud Integration Gateway (CIG) – the standard new method of integrating S/4 and SAP Cloud Applications. We have experienced with this integration at multiple customers.
Concluding the 7 reasons; if you are a (midmarket) company and considering improving your direct or indirect procurement processes supported by leading software, the time is now. McCoy & Partners is the leading SAP Ariba Partner in the Netherlands. For more details please see our simple-procurement approach and meet our team of top💯 consultants.
Think SAP Ariba, Think McCoy
This article is based on the original article ‘7 Reasons why Dutch Companies choose SAP Ariba’ that was released in 2017.