When: June 12th – 14th 2017
Where: Prague, Czech Republic
The Event: SAPAribaLive 2017
Recently I got the excellent opportunity to participate in #SAPAribaLive 2017 #MakeProcurementAwesomeAgain and to be honest I was surprised! (don’t worry! in a good way 😉 )
First of all, it’s important for you to know that my background is not in Procurement nor SAP Ariba. Mainly I have a technical background with a center on SAP technologies like ABAP, UI5, SCP, Gateway, HANA, etc. From a business point of view I had built apps related to HR, FI-CO, MM, PS, Sales, Marketing, Logistics, etc. So for me… a Cloud based solution focused in Procurement is a COMPLETELY NEW thing! Because of this I decided to take this chance to engage with the SAP Ariba community to try to understand their mindset. Spoiler Alert: It was AWESOME!
During the 3 days of conference I got the chance to spent some time with Jason Cao (SAP Mentors Program Lead) and Joe Fox (SAP Mentor & SVP at SAP Ariba – who, by the way, gave a very powerful session on Blockchain with a panel of experts that he led)
It was that with them I got to discover this new world… (new to me and Jason. For Joe it felt like his house’s backyard – rockstar level).
Let’s now go to the juicy part of this blog, “What did I learn as a foreign to the Procurement world and SAP Ariba?”
- Blockchain is not just a buzzword and not only related to cryptocurrency (or crypto assets); it’s a powerful technology that SAP Ariba is working to leverage in their own cloud solution to provide their buyers and sellers with new capabilities.
I highly recommend you to follow Joe Fox over twitter @JoeAriba – he absolutely knows his stuff.
Also, check the announcement made in March 22nd 2017 along with some the interviews Joe did as a follow up… like this one
- REST APIs, to my surprise, as a developer, SAP Ariba can be consume from our own code in whatever programming language we like. They provide a great REST API, excellent documentation and even a tool that allows you to test your calls and check the response before you even start with the code. Something that reminded me of the SAP Gateway Client (/IWFND/GW_CLIENT) but in the web, of course 🙂
If you want to learn about this go to https://developers.ariba.com/API , here you will need a proper SAP Ariba valid user. I’ll try to follow up to see if there is anyway we can get access to this sandbox somehow.
A great guy to follow here is Jason Brown, I participated in one of his session and I got to learn a couple of very useful tricks 😉
- SAP Ariba Extension Studio, this is a very powerful tool included in SAP Ariba that allows you define your own Forms and Flows that are triggered by web-hooks.
What I like the most about the Extension Studio is how clean and simple is the design of the tool.
If you’re interested on knowing more about this I attended to a session where Manny Cortez , Ani Chauhan and Simona Iliuta
- SAP Ariba Digital Assistant, check out the keynote from Dinesh Shahane (SAP Ariba’s CTO)(I did my homework and the link that I added has the exact minute/second when he starts talking about Ariba D.A.).
It was a great demo and I’m looking forward to continue seeing this type of AI/ML assistants on all SAP products that will enhance users to become more effective and precise on their task.
- #WomenInLeadership Luncheon, organized by Alicia Tillman (SAP Ariba’s CMO) was a unique opportunity to get a different point of view on leadership brought to the experiences of Alicia, Leila Janah and Anne Ravanona – I suggest you to check out this video of Samasource (Leila’s company) video . Sadly there isn’t any available video of Anne’s interview.
- SAP Ariba Integration, several sessions on how can other solutions can be integrated to the SAP Ariba and the next step in this evolution – known as Cloud Integration Gateway
Some conclusions from different perspectives:
– As a DEVELOPER I see a lot of possibilities for research around the REST APIs and their Integration models. This could expand your portfolio as a profesional and also see how cool cloud companies get their APIs running with high-performance.
You could do integrations using from a backend perspective using:
- JAVA on SCP
From a front-end perspective:
- Native App for iOS, Win or Android.
- Hybrid Apps
- Web Apps
There is really no limitations as the APIs are REST so this is handling HTTP and parsing a JSON.
– As a PARTNER I see the chance to expand services, specially if you already have in the area of Integration and Solution.
– As a CUSTOMER It‘s an event that characterizes for promoting networking, communication and inclusion to their ecosystem. Being 1600 people is easier to get to know each other and develop a more effective relationship in a shorter time. I got to talk with SAP Ariba Employees, Buyers/Sellers and of course Partners.
Overall, SAP Ariba Live is an excellent event – even for the Procurement Newbies like myself! 😉
Next actions: There is an upcoming SAP Ariba Live in Sydney in the Month of August. Check it out!