Aristotle’s wisdom is more extolled today than probably in his lifetime. But rarely do occasions in business merit such usage, which probably amplifies the importance of this simple statement:


            The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.


In this competitive world, where companies acquire and gobble up smaller competitors to maintain market share and play to the street, it is rare to find strategic acquisitions that deliver on its perceived value or business case. Many acquisitions have gone horribly wrong, despite the best intent and efforts. What people tend to miss out are the softer aspects of such forced partnerships. Aspects like Leadership, making efforts to align cultures, bringing people together, and importantly the vison around the product strategy and roadmap and communicating that in a coherent manner.


SAP acquired Ariba in 2012, and over the last few years the evolution of this relationship is a true testament to the topic of this discussion. What prompted me to pen this blog was Analyst Simon Ellis IDC Manufacturing Insights Perspective on the recently concluded SAP Ariba Live in Las Vegas. For someone who has been an Ariba watcher for years, he has one of the best perspectives of the past, the present and where he sees the future for SAP Ariba. In his words:


“…SAP Ariba seems on the right road to meeting the stated goal of being the best-in-class procurement vendor. My own worries that SAP "meddling" might erode the Ariba brand appear unfounded, as customers both old and new continue to extol the virtues of the business, and the forward-looking road map has never been more exciting.”


Truly exciting for someone like me to hear this, as we talk to customers day in and day about our commitment to make them successful. But the comment also brought me to the topic of SAP Ariba Live. The next edition of the event is now planned in Madrid from June 13-15.


SAP Ariba will be showcasing an array of innovations. These include:


  • Guided Buying: A whole dimension to UI & UX. Making buying in an enterprise as easy and intuitive as in a consumer scenario.


  • Light Enablement: New suppliers big or small, strategic or tactical can now become part of the Ariba Network.


  • Supplier Management & Risk Insights: With supply chains going global, it is important to know not just who your supplier is, but their suppliers and the entire supply chain. Analyze the different types of risks involved and take appropriate action without waiting for disaster to strike.


  • Direct Materials Sourcing & Collaborative Supply Chain: The Supply Chain and Supply Management platform just got truly collaborative. Not just for the Buyers, but also for the Suppliers. Meet with our solution experts in the Commerce Pavilion, while at SAP Ariba Live in Madrid to understand how this could be a game changer for your business. 

Chief Information Officers and Chief Digital Officers will be intrigued by the discussions around S/4HANA integration with the Ariba Network, and how it can extend the value of their SAP platform and investments.


Similarly, the breakout sessions on 'Moving to the Cloud' will share insights and expertise on how user organizations can migrate to a SaaS powered procurement platform in a simple, quick and efficient manner and with the least amount of disruption.


Digital Transformation is not an option, but an imperative. What Businesses tend to struggle with is the ‘When’ and ‘How’. At SAP Ariba Live, meet with your peers from varied industries. Understand how they are dealing with these challenges. Engage with subject matter experts. Listen to thought leaders. All of this under one roof. How much better can it get.


We eagerly look forward to welcoming you at SAP Ariba Live Madrid, 13- 15 June.