Race car drivers have pit crews. Star athletes have coaches. Heads of  state have cabinets. And as an Ariba seller, you have the Commerce Assistance team.

 

Even if you’re a whiz at e-commerce, sometimes you just want personalized  advice—especially if you’re looking for ways to up your e-commerce game. That’s  where the Commerce Assistance team comes in. As one of the newer resources  among the various support  services you can use, the Commerce Assistance team functions as a best  practice center to help sellersi drive more value from their Ariba® Network account.

 

“Think  of us as a middle layer of help that’s more involved than Customer Support, but  not like a long-term engagement with an assigned account manager,” explains Commerce  Assistance associate Dina Deutsch. For CJC  Technologies, a leading seller of enterprise software solutions for commercial  real estate lenders and service providers, that kind of support proved key in  helping the company add new assets to its e-commerce portfolio.

 

 

Making the Connection

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CJC’s first encounter with Commerce Assistance occurred when Dina made  an outreach call to principal Kent Waltman. Prior to their connection, CJC was using  the Ariba Network to invoice one of its largest clients and had responded to  several customer RFPs through the Ariba Discovery™ service.

“Invoicing with our client is a smoother and more efficient process  than what we used previously, with an audit trail and progress reporting that give  us information and trackability,” Kent says, noting that faster payment has  been valuable too. “For a small company like ours, cash flow is important. If we  can shave 10 days off our processing time—a 60-day wait to get paid versus  45—that means something.” CJC also landed one piece of new business via Ariba  Discovery.

Beyond those instances, however, the company’s SMP  membership seemed more of an expense than an asset, so learning about additional  features in their subscription package that could help grow their business came  as a welcome surprise. “Working with Dina was a very positive experience—someone  reaching out to say ‘Hey, you’re paying for this, here’s some real value you  can get from it,’” Kent says.

 

Uncovering New Opportunities

With Dina’s help, Kent completed the Ariba Ready Basic validation  process, enhancing CJC’s visibility in Ariba Discovery searches and making it  easier for the company to market its Ariba-savvy status. “We received an Ariba  Ready logo that we can put on our profile and our website, which tells  prospective clients ‘We know what we’re doing in Ariba, if you need to work  with us there,’” Kent notes. He was also pleased to learn that CJC qualified  for free Ariba Discovery responses, which will be helpful in pursuing new  business.

 

“We welcome the opportunity to explore how we can make sure potential  consumers of our product on the Ariba Network—which will mainly be financial institutions—are  aware of us, and to put ourselves out there so we get RFPs and so on,” Kent  says. “Additionally, if we’re able to connect with existing clients using Ariba  and provide better service to them as an experienced Ariba vendor, that makes  our company even more difficult to displace.”

 

Try It…You’ll Like It!

Asked if they would advise other sellers to take advantage of Commerce  Assistance team support, CJC says yes. Why? “The reason is very simple—most  vendors are probably much like CJC, utilizing Ariba at the behest of a given  client or clients,” Kent says. “The possible benefits of being a member of the  Ariba Network are not necessarily intuitive, and the feedback and guidance  provided by the Commerce Assistance team prove valuable in that regard.”

It’s also helpful to talk to someone directly about potential benefits the  Ariba Network offers. “If you’re a busy professional, it wouldn’t necessarily  occur to you to go poke around and learn on your own the ways you can get more  value on the system,” Kent points out. “We saw the network as a means to an  end: keep clients happy, get paid, and get new business. It was just a tool to  use in that overall process. Talking with the Commerce Assistance team  encourages someone like me to slow down and say ‘Hey, you need to take a look  at this,’ and prompt some thought on how to use stuff that we’re paying for  anyway.”

 

Learn More

To find  out how the Commerce Assistance team can benefit your business, write to CommerceAssistance@ariba.com.                 

 

i Commerce Assistance team support is available  to all sellers at a paid membership level (Select, Premier, Enterprise, or  Enterprise Plus) in the Supplier Membership Program (SMP).