“The future of business commerce isn’t in the standalone enterprise, but the extraprise,” said Tim Minahan, Chief Marketing Officer, Ariba. “In the extraprise, it’s not about executing a process within a company, but across the entire value chain. It’s not about the intelligence within an organization, but the about the  intelligence networks that are developed through communities. It’s not about doing things faster, but tapping insights and best practices to do things better.”


The talks around collaborative business networks have been around for quite some time now. The integrated trading partner community doesn’t seem to be elusive anymore, since Buyers have trading partnership with hundreds of suppliers, and suppliers have trading relationships with hundreds of buyers.  True collaboration implies instant access to thousands of trading partners, but it doesn’t just stop there. Other important concerns emerge like:
• How much you know about your trading partners?
• How much do they know about you?
• How much of your business transactions are really paperless?
• Have you captured all necessary information about your trading partners?


The holy grail of successful collaborative business commerce seems to be hidden in effective and efficient Supplier Enablement. Many large organizations today do supplier enablement the old way – highly paper based transactions, which not only make the whole process inefficient but also block millions of dollars of critical working capital for all participating entities. At the same time it is not just bringing suppliers onto an online network or being ready to transact an EDI Purchase Order or Invoice.


True Supplier Enablement is about effectively targeting and on-boarding your global suppliers for business commerce and monitoring the entire enablement process with efficient escalation mechanism in place. Once having enabled your suppliers, transacting business documents & sharing business content with them in a seamless manner. It should be scalable to include thousands of suppliers without losing the effectiveness of the process.


The result of a successful Supplier Enablement for Buying Organizations is exchanging electronic business documents, complying with regulations and contracts and reducing vendor management costs. For supplier organizations, it boils down to eliminating barriers to participation in business, capabilities to maximize business value and supporting cash flow options to reduce operating risks.


You could be doing the entire enablement process in-house as a self service, source it out to an expert service provider or a mix of both. The embedded/provider tools of enablement should be flexible enough to allow you do this all seamlessly without any business disruption and the complete B2B solution should allow you to extract the full value of your enabled trading partnerships.


An Aberdeen report highlights that the best in class enterprises that have successful supplier enablement realize up to 71% lower processing costs (which includes order-to-pay cycle time) and 47% lower transaction costs for PO’s and Invoices. These companies have e-Enabled over 50% of their active suppliers in their efforts to achieving these milestones.


In the next article we will look into how Ariba Supplier Enablement can aid to make the inter-enterprise business collaboration better by helping the organizations discover, connect and collaborate with one-another. We will also delve into how this can be achieved by an efficient Global Expertise, proven methodology and empowered by cutting edge technology that Ariba brings on to the table.