SAP-Ariba-Live-Drew-Hofler-quote-fb.jpegSometimes, the way we have always defined something turns out not to be the only way to think about it. Or the right way. Consider the belief that the sun revolved around the earth…until it didn’t.  Or that the earth was flat…until it wasn’t. Or that bloodletting was the best way to heal disease…until, well, best not to think about that one.


The point is, sometimes commonly held ideas benefit from a new way of thinking.


As a procurement or finance professional thinking of, or planning to, attend the 2016 SAP Ariba Live conference, you most likely understand that P2P stands for Procure-to-Pay.  But after attending the breakout sessions planned for the “Pay” track, you may very well rethink that and begin calling it PAY-to-Procure!


From silos to strategic value

The linear process moving from procuring goods and services to paying for them is, of course, where “P2P” comes from. You find suppliers, you buy something from them, they send you an invoice and you pay for it. P2P defined in this way is a discrete, self-contained process performed within organizational silos.  


In the Digital Age, however, such a linear, disconnected approach is a relic of a bygone era.  In the past, procurement and finance professionals were concerned only with cutting their own costs. But today’s leading businesses are concerned not simply with cutting costs but in creating strategic value. 


With this goal, P2P is less about automating a collection of discrete processes and more about connecting procurement and payables to unlock new value…between the physical and financial supply chains. Here, “Pay” is more than just the last step of the process. It is a strategic launching point for generating substantial value…for finance AND procurement.


4 ways to create value for procurement and the financial supply chain

In the Pay track at SAP Ariba Live this year, you will hear from over a dozen companies and thought leaders who are pioneering this approach to P2P and using payables to ensure compliance, improve working capital, positively impact financial statements, and transform their financial supply chains. Attend SAP Ariba Live to discover how their expertise boils down to these four steps for success:


1. Create a foundation for financial supply chain success in accounts payable. 


By automating the accounts payable process with smart invoicing via the Ariba Network, you can streamline exception management and so quickly approve invoices, that you open up new opportunities for working capital improvement.  Two sessions in particular will give you the inspiration and strategies you need for AP transformation.


  • In Mission Possible: You Can Achieve Touchless Invoice Processing (March 15, 3pm), you’ll hear how three companies automated their AP processes to eliminate invoice errors and exceptions, allowing them to rapidly approve invoices


  • While in the breakout session, Change Management and Accounts Payable: Driving Successful Digital Transformation (March 16, 3pm), Verizon and Adobe will share the strategies they used to drive their successful transformations, including the value of procurement support and the positive impact that can have on a business.


2. Begin with the end in mind by using “pay” to deliver a new wave of procure-to-pay success. 


Rather than an end-of-the-line process that means nothing to procurement, payment and payables can play a key role in procurement success. With AribaPay, suppliers get something valuable to them…full visibility into payment timing and details, which can increase their willingness to adopt the rest of your P2P initiatives. And with automated compliance to contracts and service entry sheets, the payables process can ensure hard won savings are actually captured.


  • Pay it Forward: How AribaPay can Accelerate your E-Commerce Strategy (March 15 4:45pm) Drive adoption with payment:give suppliers what they want and increase your P2P adoption. In this session, T-Mobile and supplier 487 Consulting will discuss the role payment plays in supplier adoption and enablement.


  • Nothing Like Getting Paid (March 16, 3pm) features 487 Consulting, a supplier that signed up for AribaPay because it gives them unprecedented visibility into when, how much, and what is being paid. 


  • No PO, No Problem!  Strategies for Ensuring Contract Compliance (March 16, 10:45am) Learn how companies like UPS and ADT capture value for procurement by achieving PO-level control on non-PO invoices with contract invoicing.



3. Combine the forces of procurement and finance to buy right, pay right and improve working capital performance.

Over the years, procurement has made major investments to buy right. By linking these processes with finance, companies can take the logical next step to close the loop and capture new value by also paying right.



  • New Power Duos (March 16, 10:45 am) – Find out how procurement and finance are collaborating with IT and streamlining the source-to-pay process, simplifying connectivity in their supply chain, and driving innovation in their ecosystem.


  • Buy Right, Pay Right: The Vital Role of Payables in Procure-to-Pay Transformation and Working Capital Excellence  (March 15, 1:30 pm) – Come hear how Sempra Utilities and Southern California Edison accounts payable departments are closing the loop with procurement, earning discounts and delivering significant working capital improvement for their companies.


4. Transform payables from liabilities into strategic assets. 


Technically, payables are balance sheet liabilities.  And accordingly, AP isn’t seen as much better than a cost center. But with the right approach and financial supply chain technology, payables can become sme  of your company’s most strategic assets.


  • Analyst Perspective on B2B Payment & Working Capital Management (March 15, 10:45 am) – Leading analysts from McKinsey & Company and the Mercator Group share their perspectives into the critical elements of successful B2B payment and working capital management in this modified panel discussion.


  • The Force of Payables Awakens! (March 16, 10:45 AM) – Find out about the many new tools and practices you can implement to drive success in payables. With a customized business case in hand, you will walk out of this session understanding how Payables-based working capital can change the game for both Finance and Procurement in your company in 2016.


In a digital economy, your financial supply chain is as vital to business success as your physical supply chain. And SAP Ariba is the marketplace these modern businesses are using to create simple, intelligent opportunities with their payables, while leveraging the open Ariba Network platform to connect with suppliers, partners and technologies that create value for all stakeholders. Come join us at SAP Ariba Live to learn a new way of thinking that can help you master financial supply chain management for business advantage.