Last week marked a big turning point in our industry with the announcement that SAP acquired Ariba for $4.3 B. As a CEO of a technology company dedicated to delivering solutions that handle supplier information management and recovery auditing, I was especially excited and intrigued by SAP’s move.
Why? Because the acquisition has direct implications for the industry as a whole that will impact both technology providers dealing with “big data” management solutions and enterprise organizations looking to improve P2P processes.
The move underscores the need of end users for access to more powerful and efficient tools that allow direct interaction with the massive amounts of data stored in these “big data” corporate systems. With the Ariba purchase, SAP obtains a robust, cloud-based supplier data network that reinforces the growing importance of supplier relationships as well as the difficulties involved in maintaining records for the massive volumes of suppliers that AP and Procurement must manage.
While participating in several recent finance conferences (IFO’s Fusion in Nashville and Sharedserviceslink.com’s P2P Leadership Summit in Chicago), finance professionals from global enterprises to small-medium sized organizations voiced a common concern that managing supplier relationships — from on-boarding in a consistent, efficient manner, to maintaining up-to-date records — is a critical pain point that absorbs valuable resources without ever being fully resolved.
This acquisition is an important validation that SaaS-based, network-centric solutions are needed to enable procure-to-pay professionals to interact with, manage, and ultimately control supplier data. We also see this as a validation of a strategy Lavante has been committed to since building our first recovery solution. I’ll be back next week with more thoughts on this important topic. In the meantime, please click here to take a look at a short video blog on the same subject.