Blog Pick of the Week: IASTA regarding SAP and Ariba
Change takes time and yet it can also happen when you aren't looking. Another week goes by and before you know it, the change is now the norm. Well we are waiting and watching as the Ariba and SAP merger takes place. Like most corporate mergers, there are many steps involved. We all know that the legal aspects and subsequent paperwork will be a while for sure. However, even longer will be the changes within the organization.
This blog post from IASTA caught my eye discussing the changes that are in the air. There will be uncertainty for Ariba customers on how their lives will be impacted. Will their enhancements and voices be heard in the same manner? What about SAP customers? Will they experience any change in service or attention? What does it mean to the rest of the marketplace - the large solutions and others that offer a niche solution?
The Ariba Live user conferences have recently passed in Barcelona and Las Vegas. The SAP user conference is slated for September in Orlando. I am sure there will be interesting sessions discussing how all this will evolve. Are you planning to attend? What would you like to have on the agenda and what would you like to learn if you are planning to go?
“If anything is certain, it is that change is certain. The world we are planning for today will not exist in this form tomorrow".
SAP user conference has already past, it was in May in Orlando. The event in September is TechEd, which while targeted at SAP users, is run by SAP and focuses on education and using SAP products.
The SAP/Ariba acquisition will help/hurt both SAP users and Ariba users. Those SAP users who had been using Hubwoo and SRM are now faced with a huge dilemma, stay with Hubwoo or go to Ariba. Meanwhile, Ariba users, especially the smaller ones, may face significant cost increases and lowered service levels as SAP normally pushes these customers off into their partner network for support.
Some positives may come from this as well. Ariba users may finally get the tight integration with SAP they've either had to live without or pay high consulting fees to get. Likewise, SAP users may finally get a true end-2-end sourcing solution, at least for indirect materials, they've been seeking for 10 years now. Those of us who've been in the SAP ecosystem for 10 years remember the promises made by SAP when they partnered first with CommerceOne (RIP!) and then bought Frictionless Commerce about extending sourcing outside the enterprise, i.e it never really happened. The firms like IASTA, Wallmedien, HubWoo and others who fill in the gaps for sourcing in SAP will have a short window to attack the market while SAP figures out what to do with Ariba. These firms will focus on customers who want best functionality at the expense of tight integration with the rest of the enterprise.