What’s the progress since SAP acquired Ariba last fall? Tim Minahan, SVP of Network Strategy at Ariba, visited with Dennis at AribaLIVE 2013 in Berlin to share Ariba’s current news, as well as the company’s vision for the future.

One conference announcement which interested Dennis was Ariba integrating with Sage and Quickbooks, prompting the question, “Who in either of those communities are going to use Ariba?” Tim explains the overall strategy is to provide the necessary connectors that make for easier on-boarding of particular customers, and to expand Ariba’s market footprint.

SAP is generally regarded as a large system of record for internal use, whereas Ariba’s use cases are external. Doesn’t that mean big changes for both companies?. Tim agrees that that journey is only in the beginning stages, but he does point out that shops like Disney have been extending their SAP platforms with the Ariba network for a decade or more.

The next big frontier? Making vendor relationship management the exact mirror image of CRM done right – a goal that, the guys agree, is still a ways off.  As for the  “what’s in it for me?” factor, Tim says that, at a customer’s request, one supplier joined the network, and in the first year, saw their business with that customer increase 300%. In the second year, business went up 250%. Another customer said their clients were OK with being charged more because they were actually saving them money by taking away admin pain.

The big story to tell, Tim says, is that being part of SAP allows Ariba to recognize the full value of business networks. Every business process that touches the edge of the enterprise can benefit from a business network. The long-term vision? Gathering ideation from a community of suppliers, and being able to cost out the feasibility of that design in real time.
Show Notes

:46 Tim’s take on Ariba LIVE

1:26 Integrating with QuickBooks and Sage

2:53 Adding new connectors for easier onboarding

4:30 Discussing connectivity scenarios

5:24 Big SAP companies and their history with Ariba

6:39 Vendor relationship management needs to be mirror image of CRM done right

8:48 Value for suppliers in joining the network lies partly in eliminating admin pain

10:03 Today’s business networks do more than push docs; they manage multiple processes

12:17 What’s next – connecting to supply chain and CRM systems