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As you evolve along the e-commerce maturity curve—moving from reactive mode, where you mainly respond to customer requests, to proactive, where you initiate actions that optimize your e-commerce capabilities to increase value for you and your customers—it’s important to put measurements in place to track progress and document success. And an e-commerce scorecard is a great tool to help you do it.


How can an e-commerce scorecard benefit your business?

An e-commerce scorecard gives you a highly effective way to share key metrics that reveal the success of your e-commerce strategy. Why is this important?

  • Enhances buy-in and support at all levels of the organization. When you share measurements, you increase visibility and appreciation for the value of e-commerce at all management levels—including the executive level. For example, hard numbers demonstrating how much of your company’s revenue comes through e-commerce can make management take serious notice. Similarly, when you can show how much money you’re saving on every electronic order that comes in unassisted (like the cost of 10-20 minutes of sales agent time per order) and how much faster you’re getting paid (by five to 15 days or more), executives can better understand the extraordinary potential of e-commerce to lower sales costs and reduce days sales outstanding.
  • Hones your strategy to drive better results. Besides making it easier to socialize your initiatives internally, publishing a clear set of measurements helps you and your team focus on what you really want to accomplish. With the right scorecard metrics, for example, you can see where you need to improve to achieve your goals and meet—or exceed—service levels provided by your competitors. And based on this data, you can make rational decisions about where to invest further. Measurements can also be the key to securing new budget for e-commerce initiatives; the more executives see tangible proof of the value of e-commerce, the easier it is to get funding for e-commerce improvements to grow your team, enhance your e-commerce capabilities, and move further up the maturity curve.
  • Helps you benchmark and improve your market position. Measurements help you objectively assess how competitive your business is relative to other suppliers. For example, you can evaluate whether your services are at least on a par with best-in-class suppliers, and identify and promote specific areas where your performance and capabilities differentiate you from other sellers—which can be critical to finding and keeping customers and driving up sales.


Tomorrow: Getting started strategies

If you don't want to wait, go to our Supply Lines group to read the full article.


Yesterday, we covered the benefits of contract management. Today, we'll share best practices for implementing an automated solution.


1. Build a template that’s easy for users to adopt. By designing a wizard-style template to guide various users along a customized path, you can ensure they see only the appropriate tasks, documents, and approval workflows. And to make sure the flow you create will really work, you first need to “know what your process is and get it down on paper,” Martz says. Answer these questions:

  • Who’s asking for the contract?
  • Who will use the system, and what will their roles be?
  • What dollar thresholds
  • Who needs to see which documents, and when


You can also gather metrics on how long tasks actually take and use this identify bottlenecks if the process isn’t moving quickly enough, providing a good timeline for your contracts overall.


2. Promote contract visibility throughout your company. “Make sure all stakeholders, not just those in sales, really understand the implications of sales contracts,” Dwyer advises. Role-based access along with dashboard self-service search and reporting tools give users the visibility and resources to use CLM effectively.


3. Manage risk at the contract and engagement levels. It’s essential to track and understand what’s going on within all contracts—not just some of them, or only those in your own department. You can establish an alert system to help users monitor status and ensure you don’t miss deadlines, fail to fulfill terms and conditions, or overlook legal mandates. For example, automating physician contracts makes it much easier for the Cleveland Clinic to stay compliant not only with internal policies, but state and federal requirements as well, despite rapid growth and a sharp increase in the complexity of healthcare regulations.


4. Move from tactical to strategic contract management. “Don’t think of this as just another series of processes that unfortunately you have to do day in and day out,” Dwyer says. “Think about it as more strategic: ‘Hey, if we do this the right way, there’s going to be tremendous value across the organization.’” For example, you can take advantage of the centralized contracts repository and data analytics to inform your negotiations on upcoming contracts. “It’s always interesting to be able to dig into that information and say ‘We signed this contract with this organization four years ago, what were the negotiations like last time, or what was the pricing like last time?’ All that information is very important,” Dwyer says.


Learn more

For more information about how automated contract management can deliver value to your business, listen to the full session on the Ariba Slideshare site. To learn about the Ariba Contract Management solution for sales contracts, go to this web page and download this datasheet.

To read the article in full, click here. For latest insights and best practices for collaborative business commerce, go to our Supply Lines group.

If you’re still questioning the importance of social media in your business marketing strategy, consider the following:


  • 90 percent of small businesses actively use social networking sites, and 78 percent gained at least a quarter of their new customers through online or social media channels in 20121
  • 73 percent of Fortune 500 companies had Twitter accounts in 2012, 11 percent more than in 2011, and 66 percent were on Facebook, an 8 percent raise2
  • 56 percent of US-based B2B marketers plan to boost their social media spending in 20133


Clearly, social media is playing an increasingly crucial role in B2B sales. And while a core component of honing an effective social approach4 involves pushing content to potential customers, pulling them to you matters just as much—and tools like sharing buttons and vanity URLs can help. With Ariba Discovery Release 10, you can take advantage of these handy features so buyers can easily find and share your Ariba Commerce Cloud profile.


What are sharing buttons and vanity URLs, and how can they benefit me?

You’ve doubtless used sharing buttons (also called sharing widgets, icons, and badges) plenty of times when surfing the web. These buttons show images and sometimes phrases that encourage people to take specific action, such as “liking” your company on Facebook, or simply offer quick access to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter feed, or other social media source.



Sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn


Sharing buttons also let you integrate social media with your other marketing efforts by enabling social sites to work as extensions of your own website, promotional campaigns, emails, and more. And because they make it easy for users to connect with you, sharing buttons help grow your customer base into a larger, more engaged network, increasing opportunities for collaboration and sales.


A vanity URL is a web address or URL that names or suggests the product, brand, or content to which it points, such as or Instead of meaningless letters and numbers, vanity URLs contain relevant words or phrases that make them easy to read and remember. As a result, they tend to enhance trust and are more likely to be clicked during searches. Many vanity URLs also support automatic redirect functionality, sending users to the right site even if they don’t type the address perfectly. And because vanity URLs are visually pleasing and succinct, they’re also more shareable, not only online but also in offline materials (such as business cards and marketing collateral) and conversations (for example, you probably wouldn’t tell a colleague or prospect to visit, but you might well suggest they check out


How do Ariba Discovery sharing buttons, vanity URLs, and profile badges work?

These new tools introduced in Release 10 boost your ability to market your Ariba credentials as part of your overall social media strategy:

  • Sharing buttons appear on your public profile to help customers and prospects socialize information about your company via email or Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, broadening your marketing reach.
  • A vanity URL makes it easier for buyers to remember, access, and share your profile information with colleagues. In addition, your public profile URL will now be available on your profile for instant sharing by copy/paste.
  • “Find Us on Ariba” profile badges are branded icons that offer a quick, immediately recognizable way to promote your Ariba presence by giving users one-click access to your Ariba Commerce Cloud profile.

You can also include profile badges and your vanity URL on your website, social sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, email signatures, printed marketing materials, and similar places to drive more traffic to your profile page—significantly increasing visibility and sales opportunities for your business.


In the Next Blog - Why Socialize Your Ariba Commerce Cloud profile?

If you don't want to wait until tomorrow to learn more, then go to the Supply Lines group to read the full article.

Hey folks,

As promised at both Ariba Live in Las Vegas and in Barcelona, I'm posting the first of two eCommerce Value Calculators.   This is the simplified, high-level value calculator.  It should be used to help you determine where your greatest opportunity to impact your business in the areas of:

  • Working Capital Improvement
  • Increased Wallet Share
  • Efficiency Benefits
    • Invoice Efficiency Improvement
    • Purchase Order Error Reduction
    • Invoice Error Reduction


You can find localized calculators in the following locations.



Stay tuned for the more detailed eCommerce Value Calculator that I showed at Ariba Live Las Vegas.  I'm doing some final validations and consultations with customers. 

Customers and brands interact in so many ways and places these days, it is sometimes hard to conceptualize the variety of places where those interactions take place. I came across a pretty solid graphical representation (created by TippingSprung) of interactions a brand has with the world. Originally, when I was looking at and thinking about the graphic, I was thinking that it was brand relation to consumers. From there, I was thinking to an extent about the parallels between brand to consumer, vs. brand to business. However, really a brand has its relationship with the world at large. Some of that relationship is planned, and some of it is unplanned. Hence, the need for brand management and the continuingly broader scope of marketing. For how much of this universe has your brand planned its interactions?



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