Transforming Procurement with SAP Ariba
Any woodworker knows that a bond between two pieces of wood is always a point of weakness.
Imagine you need to design a table top that is two meters long but you only have two one-meter planks. You can try dovetail cuts, adhesive, dowels, or brackets. You can then cover them up in laminate or lacquer. Maybe the customer will never know. But that join remains a point of weakness and over time will eventually come apart.
Procurement Transformation Starts With Building a Stable Technology Platform
Like any design project, success depends on building a strong foundation, starting with the technology platform. So much of our lives rely on technology. But that technology must work consistently. It must be user friendly. And it must be strong and stable over an extended period.
But what happens when all the work you’ve done to create a vision and put in place the technology platform gets turned upside down due to circumstances beyond your control? That’s not a rhetorical question. And the answer I’m hearing in the marketplace is that confusion and chaos are rampant. The recent mergers and acquisition spree in the procurement software market is certainly creating confusion for customers. But worse than that, it’s threatening to derail procurement transformation journeys, breaking the promise of the original vision.
Change Is Hard Enough Without Your Technology Changing Under You
It’s tough out there. We are all trying to find a way through the complexities of operating in the digital economy and undertaking procurement transformations. This means decisions are being made every day on how to manage the future while building a high-performing, profitable organization through digital transformation of critical strategic functions. It’s your classic bi-modal challenge, trying to balance short-term and long-term demands.
Change is hard and procurement leaders are looking for a stable technology partner to help them reach their goals, not just this year, but for the next three to five years — or longer.
There’s No Place for Chaos and Confusion in Procurement Transformations
SAP Ariba brings the much-needed sanity you need to help ensure success in the long game. Many procurement software companies today are inwardly looking, trying to integrate their latest shiny acquisition into the family, arguing over platforms while managers jockey for position in the new company.
SAP Ariba is looking outward. Although we’ve been around for 20 years, the SAP Ariba of today is full of energy, innovating all over the source-to-settle value chain. We’re not burning cycles on trying to bond together companies that we’ve acquired with the software equivalents of adhesive, dowels, and brackets.
So what about these firms that are planning their procurement transformation? They will surely suffer when the platform they are using starts to creak and wobble. Until the adhesive gives away or the dowels work loose. You backed the wrong horse. Sorry.
Procurement leaders have enough on their plate with change management within their own organizations. They don’t need chaos from their procurement solution vendors. They need a partner they can count on, one that has one technology platform end-to-end.
Not one that is putting lacquer or laminate over the joins.
This article first appeared on news.sap.com
Funny enough, from my point of view (and experience as an Ariba customer and Supplier using the services) also Ariba struggles (at least sometimes) with these issues.
Looking forward to your feedback.