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A Tale Half Told …

Recent McKinsey research advises that part of getting a 10% – 30% performance improvement is through moving from Silos to Squads; they’re saying a lot more than that too, of course. The Squads are design squads and deep synchronicity of data and design are needed for best results. Design in here means identification of the end goal to which you apply the data or, discovering the context in which data can be usefully interpreted. End users, pop up all over the article, basically anywhere design is mentioned end users are there too – connecting to your end users is key.

For organisations looking to put the McKinsey approach into practice SAP Ariba has a great, big / great-big story to tell, so much so that it presents a problem of what to leave in and what to leave out.

On a recent trip to Copenhagen, I read a review of The Vikings separating inaccuracy (e.g. Kattegat is a sea not a village) from acceptable omission for plot reasons, which made me appreciate my dilemma is common for writers. Being in Denmark a week I thought of the country’s most famous prince (from English literature) and realised it’s a problem for even the very best of writers: did Shakespeare need Hamlet debating cowardice for quite so long, or would more on women’s mental health have been better?

Therefore, given my inability to tell all of this particular SAP Ariba story, which is in reality an SAP story, in this blog – part II is planned. However, the synopsis is: SAP has the digital core plus SAP Analytics and Cloud Platform (the data bit – including slicing and dicing) and, The Intelligent Suite, of which SAP Ariba is part (There is data here and analysis can happen but the connection with end users is key – so you get the design bit right) and the deep synchronicity’s there too – still brilliantly described by the bald guys.

By way of illustration imagine you’re a retailer looking to source material for an organic shirt range don’t forget Ariba does Directs. SAP Ariba, helps make an RFQ easy but comprehensive by automatically incorporating attribute information (such as whether cotton is organic) from the ERP and Product Information Management systems. On contract award, info is automatically transferred back into the ERP which enforces prices and terms in production. Suppliers receive Purchase Orders and commit to them over Ariba Network – giving great supply chain visibility – while three or four way matching of goods receipt, purchase order, contract and invoice all combine to help get a product to market without delays or aggravation. Watch here

As I said, there will be a part II – because I really did just skim the surface on this- but in the interim below are three great ways for finding out more:

  • Come to Ariba Live, register here & you might also meet me – I’ll be doing stuff on 12 Keys to Success.
  • Toast the Future of Direct Spend with Deloitte, starting 17:00 on Weds 5th June, Hotel Barcelona Princess sign-up here.
  • Tune in to GSK’s webinar on May 29th about how they leverage innovation, state-of-the-art technology inc. SAP Ariba
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