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:

Marco de Haan (Sr. Manager, Technical Support Services), Matt Leone (Director, On-Premise Business), Rama Penumarti (Sr. Director, Engineering), Rachel Barger (Account Executive)

 

Connect

  • Has improved over time
  • QUESTION:  How are tickets distributed throughout the team?
  • QUESTION:  Do you have any plans to improve the functions in connect and expand capabilities of the site?
  • Wish they had more time to get to use connect and learn some of the special features/new features available
  • Do you feel anything is missing from connect?
    • Raise issues mainly
    • Raise enhancement requests
    • Uses pretty much reactively – not proactively
    • Really helpful for logging and tracking issues – like to get someone’s name – normally pretty proactive – generally really helpful and really fast

 

Exchange

  • Customer 1:  not using it too much – 2 or 3 people are really the only people who are involved
    • Both customers and Ariba people respond
    • A bit disappointed about the usage – would have liked the feature to have grown more – QUESTION: how can we get more people to use Exchange?
    • Seems like people are not using Exchange and are still using Knowledge Threads
  • QUESTION:  Have you thought about linking Exchange directly to the platform to allow users to access it more easily?
    • Would make people more aware of Exchange and remind them to use it.
  • Account management team has been very, very helpful and ready/able to answer any questions
  • What kind of questions are you asking?
    • Asking functional questions – example - how have other customers dealing with environmental questionnaires

 

General Support

  • How much are you as support pushing back on end users to “help themselves” with self-service features?
    • Once trained Sourcing Managers and Buyers are expected to be self-service with template creation unless there is a unique request
    • Mainly answer specific unique questions
    • Supplier enablement completely goes through the support team
  • Would customers be interested in having a webinar or live chat capability built into connect in order to facilitate the discussion on a particular SR/Issue?
    • Yes, that would definitely be a very strong benefit – more real time discussion  - more dialogue to ensure that the service rep truly understands the parameters of the issue
    • Could also potentially be interested in using Skype
  • Is there anything that your other technology partners are doing that you wish Ariba was doing?
    • No, not really.  Just looking for quick response and comprehensive knowledge of the product – feel that they are receiving that right now.
    • Only real way to improve the process would be to make process more self-service for actual end users so that all issues don’t have to funnel directly through internal support before they to go to Ariba TSS.  Would be better if people thought “If I have an issue I should go to connect, rather than if I have an issue I should go directly to my internal helpdesk."

 

Solution Functionality

  • How do you like changes from 8.2 to 9r1?
    • Generally like to new UI
    • Like the fact that Sourcing is more like the rest of the system
    • New Buyer is better – bit more user friendly
  • Usability
    • Most issues have to do with users requiring training on the solution and/or users not following internal company policies
    • Enhancement requests
      • Network – when suppliers are using the network and the first invoice comes in – there would be a massive benefit to putting the SMP invoices in the actions area (alert/pending actions) – this is a good way to alert the supplier that they have an invoice to pay – would also be good to put instructions on how to receive a PDF copy of the invoice
      • Sourcing – would be great if we could make the scenarios more easily accessable/obvious and encourage sourcing managers to use it – might be good to merge the scenario tab with the reporting tab
      • Sourcing – would be good if there was a more intuitive/obvious way to export supplier responses – know that it’s available in the system right now, but would be good if it was more obvious from the Actions tab or some other area
      • Catalogues – everything is generally fine
      • Network – Supplier registration – it would be great if the D&B number could pre-populate or information on how a supplier could get their D&B number if they were not aware of it – maybe a tooltip? – Or maybe a free-text area that can be used by the company to give specific instructions on the registration page to provide specific tips and tricks for their vendors based on their learning