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Author's profile photo Mo Ahmad

SAP Ariba Ecosystem Innovations

Hi Everyone,

My name is Mo Ahmad, RVP of Alliances and Channel at SAP Procurement for EMEA/MEE.

I wanted to talk to you today about our ecosystem and innovation.

In the Procurement Vendor market we have had a lot of analysts in the last couple of years questioning the innovation that SAP is pushing in this space. In addition, the analysts have even downgraded SAP Ariba in certain circumstances.

But a lot of this can be put down to analyst relations, our messaging into the market and other vendors doing a good job of discrediting us. Our solution IS a leading solution in the market, we have the best integration to SAP and flexible functionality that covers almost all of the bases. But we know there is work to do to stay ahead of the competition.

This is further accelerating with our North Star approach and I would urge you to go and find any sessions done by Baber Farooq or Salvatore Lombardo where they articulate the vision and the strategy as it is super exciting!

In addition, the analyst community has been managed more effectively and within the space of 6-9 months we have gone from being a leader, to an also ran and now we’re a leader again (and guess what, the solution hasn’t changed in that short period of time! Read into that as you will…).

Another aspect being talked about a lot today is ‘Best of Breed’, where the analysts are actively pushing the ‘Suite doesn’t give you everything’ approach and ‘you need best of breed solutions to fulfill the needs of your company’.

How do we deal with that? How do we address the market when the analysts are pushing this approach vs full suite?

Well, an element that we don’t look at enough are the innovations our Partners bring to the table. There are so many fantastic extensions, apps, intelligent technologies that have been built to add amazing capability and efficiency for our customers. Also, we are connecting with best of breed companies like Icertis or Keelvar to ensure that we take advantage of best of breed vendors in an integrated fashion to the SAP Ariba suite.

In the 20 years I have been in this industry and the various SAP and non-SAP technologies I have delivered, there have been glaring gaps that have not been filled by any vendor. I would also argue that they will NEVER be filled by every vendor.

This is where our Partners have come in and have built, and are continually building, some phenomenal features that would really help our SAP customer base.

However, not many people know about it.

We have recently launched a Procurement Innovation Channel called Ecosystem Innovations  on Ariba.com AND these videos are also being posted on the Ariba Youtube channel.

For anyone interested in Procurement technology, innovation, intelligent process innovation and thought leadership I want this to become a one-stop-shop to educate you on the content that is available.

It also helps the conversations that you may have with customers/prospects/peers that questions how we manage the best of breed conversation. Our answer? Our Ecosystem!

Thank you for reading and please use the links below to connect with the various channels.

https://www.ariba.com/resources/ecosystem-innovation-video-series

Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss further also.

Thanks and take care in these strange times!

Mo

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