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), Matt Leone (Director, On-Premise Business), Olaf Schrader (Sr. Manager, Solutions Management for Supplier Enablement), Rama Penumarti (Sr. Director, Engineering), Rachel Barger (Account Executive)


Network Innovation

  • Would like to see enhancements made to the supplier enablement manager feature – love the feature
  • Wish there was an ability to send a new “escalation” email or potentially a custom email to the suppliers after they haven’t responded to the first email
  • Would like a way to establish a “target activation date” for each supplier so that you can be proactively alerted to the fact that these suppliers have not made their target date so that they can be specially managed
  • Would like to have a way to move certain suppliers off the queue once all assigned tasks have been completed required for enablement (i.e. PO received and Invoice Sent) because these steps are really outside of the control of the supplier and the enablement team until the business decides to send a PO (ARIBA ACTION:  Olaf will look at this with interested customer)
  • Would like a way to put company specific information on the supplier registration page on the AN – provide specific tips/tricks for registering, country-specific information on how to get D&B information – require/not require certain fields – co-brand the site – specific welcome comments
  • Pre-populate AN supplier registration page based on DUNS number


Buyer/Procurement Innovation

    • Provide listing to attendees about:
      • Things in On Demand solutions that are not in 9r1
      • Things that are in both 9r1 and On Demand, but are different in On Demand
      • Things in 9r1 that need to work better (reporting, usability, features not fully developed)
    • Would like cleaner dashboards – too hard for occassional users to find the things that they need to do
    • It is the non-frequent (ad-hoc) users that take the majority of support’s time – making it easier for them is key.  The users forget the training and forget how it works.
  • Discussed concept of having catalogues be hosted behind the firewall 9r1 – does not need to be all or nothing, could be Ariba Procurement Content + several local catalogues – working on certifying this configuration for 9r1 users – lots of focus on usability within the catalogue
    • QUESTION:  Would this be in one of the point or service pack releases – how would this work?
    • Can’t say enough that it is important to improve usability on requisitions
    • Would be interested in seeing what other users are buying during the catalogue search process
  • How often do you link contracts with catalogues?
    • Quite frequently, can’t tell you the percentage though
  • Some of the usability clumsiness is created through customisations on the User Interface required for commodity code or accounting structures
    • One example – would be very interesting to have bookmark feature to save a specific requisition(s) for use and submission later so that not only items but also accounting is saved for easy submission
  • PCards
    • Interested in better international support on PCards
    • More like a complete unknown – does it actually work in other counties other than the US and the UK
    • Tend to plan strategy based on an American model – wish Ariba had a more global perspective about WHERE the solutions have deployed and proactively suggest potential pitfalls in other geographies
    • Wish there were references for other customers who are using PCards in other countries


Upstream Innovation

  • In version 8 there was very good logging information for the auditors on an auction, but now in version 9 this information is no longer available on the event which is a big problem for the auditors
    • This has been included as an enhancement request or a service request in (ARIBA ACTION:  follow-up on this for customer)
    • This is more than an enhancement – it is a requirement for the customer in order to be able to maintain regulatory requirements
  • Concern about information on public event  vendors – how can customers ensure that the vendor is who they say that they are?
    • The next version of Ariba Discovery has a certification level – risk scores, credit scores, diversity information – providing a first level validation through relationship with D&B
      • How can this really work in Latin American & South America given that D&B is not very prevalent
          • Could provide financial information available in the public domain
          • Could get information from the government to determine if they have paid all of the taxes have been paid
          • Could get information on previous events won/references
      • QUESTIONS:
        • How can you really ensure that the person that signed up for Discovery is ACTUALLY that company (i.e. random person goes onto Discovery and registers as a different supplier organisation because they have information available in the public domain)?
        • How are some of the US government and defense agencies dealing with this issue?
        • Could we manage this as a chargeable service through a 3rd Party – maybe pay by the event to get events “validated”?
        • Could be something like sanctions check that IBM does for certain banking customers?
    • D&B certification is not offered in the standard Public RFx solution available in 9R1 Sourcing – this can only be used in Discovery