In today’s demanding market, maintaining competitive advantage is harder than ever—so the solutions you depend on should work harder, too. That’s why we continually add new features and functionality to the Ariba® Network, all designed to help you collaborate with customers better, grow revenues faster, and sell simpler across every aspect of your business.
But we get it: your time is precious, and poking through an endless array of enhancements may not top your priority list. To make it easier, we’ve highlighted some of the latest and greatest changes below.
1. Order task reminder feature: Like an automated “personal assistant” who gently nudges you to complete unfinished tasks, the order task reminder regularly alerts you about orders that require your attention. This means that rather than having to log in to your Ariba account to see what’s pending, you can rely on the reminder to keep you aware of orders that need confirmation.i
2. Automatic service invoice/service entry sheet generation: If you sell services, you can now take advantage of a feature that enables the Ariba Network to create invoices automatically from any service entry sheets (SESs, or service claims) you submit that have received customer approval. The feature can also be set up to work the other way around, automatically generating SESs from invoices you create.Especially valuable for multi-month to multi-year service orders or contracts that you log hours against over an extended period, this feature enhances cash flow by allowing you to receive ongoing payments for services you deliver. It also saves you the time and effort of creating and managing these documents separately, and increases accuracy by eliminating the need for duplicate data entry.ii
3. Multi-document, multi-level invoice “flip” capabilities: Ariba sellers have long benefited from the network’s valuable PO-Flip® feature, which makes it easy to automatically convert a purchase order into an invoice. Now this time-saving functionality has been extended to other document types as well, enabling you to flip buyer-approved goods receipts and advance ship notices (ASNs)—or specific line items from them—into invoices. This expedites payment by allowing you to invoice as soon as items are shipped or delivered, rather than waiting until the entire order is fulfilled. It also boosts productivity and eliminates errors by significantly expanding the types of documents you can convert to invoices without re-entering data.
4. Ariba Spot Quote award notifications: The Ariba Spot Quote solution lets buyers generate tactical sourcing events directly from their ERP system through the Ariba Network. Besides helping them quickly find and award new business to qualified sellers, the solution opens up big opportunities for you—since tactical sourcing can represent up to 42% of companies’ indirect spend, and the bar to win this business is often lower than that required for bigger, more strategic orders. Ariba Spot Quote opportunities look much like any other Ariba Discovery™ RFQ, so you may be bidding on them already without even knowing it. The new feature makes it easy to see where and when tactical sourcing business gets awarded, with quick access to the latest bid so you can compare the award notification against your own RFQ response.
5. Simpler, more secure password management: Say you need to log into your Ariba Network account, but you’ve forgotten your current password. Then when you try to retrieve it by responding to the system-generated “secret questions,” the answers you supply don’t work. Sound familiar? If so, there’s good news: upgraded password functionality makes this hair-tearing scenario a thing of the past.Instead of having to reset your password every 90 days, you can now keep the same one for five years.iii You also get to choose from a much longer list of secret questions, lessening the chance that you’ll forget the answers. And because the new questions focus on personal details known only to you—as opposed to more financially based queries that criminals find easy to hack—they enhance account security as well. Last but not least, the elimination of case- and space-sensitivity makes it easier for you to answer questions correctly based on what you know, not the way you type.
6. Expanded access to buyer profile information: When it comes to winning sales, having inside information about buyers’ preferences and business configuration rules can make the difference between success and failure. And with new access to extended buyer profile data, you can see detailed descriptions of your prospects and customers and educate yourself about what they want. You can also receive notifications when they change their profiles or requirements, then proactively align your actions and processes accordingly—enhancing your credibility as a seller who cares about customer needs and is easy to do business with.
To explore additional improvements to Ariba features and functionality, check out the Ariba Network 14s Release Notes. And to learn about exciting changes being planned for 2016, log into the seller readiness portal.
i, iiTo take advantage of this feature, simply ask your customer(s) to activate it if they have not already done so.
iii Note that if your account includes access to other users’ pCard or credit card data, you’ll still need to reset your password every 90 days.