The following is a summary of the topics discussed during this rountable discussion at the On-Premise User Group that occurred 7 December in London.

Customer participant names and companies are not listed to protect their privacy, but some may be willing to share more details.  Please feel free to respond to this blog post and if they can comment back, they may reply.


Ariba attendees/facilitators:

Jason Brown (Director, On-Premise Solutions Management), Chris Haydon (VP, Solutions Management for Procurement, Invoice and Network Solutions), Ravi Kumaraswami (GM, On-Premise Business), Steve Buckell (Principal, Ariba Services Europe), Jennifer Satterwhite (Sr. Manager, Customer Communications)


Current Deployments:

  • Customer 1: just went live with Turkey (without the language pack; using English in the interim until shop is fully open; need Turkish by March); headed to Romania next (no lang pack; really need it because even managers don’t speak English; also headed to Australia, Spain, & Italy
  • Customer 2:  live in 26 countries (mostly 8.2, 9r1 in NAMER, some just upstream); new project for APAC (China & Australia); need Turkish as well, but making do in English (translated themselves); don’t seem to struggle with this too much (just use local resources to do the translations)
  • Customer 3:  live in 11 countries with Spanish, Portuguese, English, German; opening new office in Poland (supported for Analysis and downstream – not Sourcing; ARIBA ACTION: Jason will enter ER)


Ariba Comments on Language (Jason Brown):

  • Imperfect language implementation (have historically just built out based on request by application),
  • Ariba policy: if we support any language, it must be supported on the Network
  • NEW policy (2 weeks old):  if we support a language, it will be supported across the full suite
  • 2 things to support:  “Stemmer” work (core code); translate all strings
  • 8 current requests for language that we don’t support at this time (On-Premise)
  • We are investigating building language packs that can be purchased (at cost) – using secondary resources (flex pack – which will be an option for SP20 in February)
  • Costs Ariba about $250K over a 3 yr period for a single new language
  • Formalizing the full plan/policies and cost now
  • QUESTION:  How are the languages prioritized?
    • Top of list if customer funded, otherwise it’s our list based on number of requests
    • Current list:  traditional Chinese is first, Turkish is second


CUSTOMER ACTION: for all language requests - let us know how much spend could be unlocked by language


eInvoiving Compliance:

  • 11s3 feature – country based rules (stemmed from VAT compliance – what fields are required); guidance from PWC drove design
  • Landed cost (Brazil, India): looking to make this the main focus of the network (as opposed to simply VAT compliance)
  • South America strategy:  working with partners to validate tax requirements



  • Challenging to get buy-in


Other challenges:

  • Site specific change management
  • Ariba documents are only officially available in English:
    • Customer 1 translates all documentation and does training in local language
    • Customer 2 does global training only in English (including train the trainer sessions).  Individual countries then localize as needed.
    • Customer 3 translates everything into Spanish and trains everyone in Spanish
  • Do you use Ariba standard materials to train end users? 
    • Customer 1 – no; they translate and customize (add screen shots and captivate videos)
  • Should Ariba adopt a set of “core languages” and provide all docs in these languages?
    • Customer 2 – probably not because that would only accomplish the “system training” – they will still have to create all process training
  • ARIBA ACTION:  Focus on usability to make training obsolete.