Often times, a company’s first thoughts when thinking about transaction automation are about “EDI”.  As many others do, you may be asking yourself, what differentiates Ariba against EDI?  Here are 5 top differentiators:


1)      Solution for all suppliers – Ariba was designed from the ground up to be a solution for every type of supplier. With Ariba, suppliers’ maintain their transaction profile preferences within a graphical user interface, and can setup the transaction process that meets their requirements. UNLIMTED SUPPLER ENABLEMENT SERVICES ensures a continuous focus on migration away from paper, so all suppliers, regardless of size, can become electronic. Ariba is a modern technology and service for the modern age.


2)      Supplier Value – Ariba provides revenue generating and product search tools like supplier discovery, cash management tools that accelerate collections and improve cash flow for Accounts Receivable and Credit Manager stakeholders, and provides error reports to eliminate payment risk. The Network Effect, available only with web-based, SAAS applications, creates leverage across many buyer relationships.


3)      Scale and Flexibility – EDI is point to point data transmission and relies on older file standards.  Ariba provides the best of BOTH worlds- we are backwards compatible with yesterday’s EDI technology, as well as providing the best of what the internet has to offer with integrated support for modern, flexible standards to meet modern age demands. This flexibility allows Ariba the ability to better serve the supplier community and automate more transactions and deliver more value.


4)      More than transmission - Ariba does more than just transmit data!  Ariba is a destination for functional business users to address opportunities and solve business problems. Ariba provides a feature rich, web-based application environment that provides both transaction automation AND business application functionality. This is a big difference and a great example is Smart Invoicing, where business logic detects a broad array of exceptions to ensure transactions are clean and error free. Modular based web applications like workflow, cash management, contract flip, procurement content, and discovery are other examples of doing more than moving data from point A to point B.


5)      We understand AP – The challenge in Accounts Payable isn’t moving data faster from a supplier to a buyer- too much risk is created if that is the only focus. The big objective for AP is CONTROL, COMPLIANCE, AND EFFICIENCY. Smart Invoicing, Workflow, and Payment Automation all deliver on these objectives. Another hidden dimension of efficiency is working capital efficiency. It is often said that the opportunity cost tied up in the Accounts Payable balance makes AP the most expensive debt on the balance sheet. Ariba Dynamic Discounting delivers on this critical dimension of efficiency.


What do you see as a differentiator for Ariba vs. EDI?