What to make of SAP and Ariba

When SAP announced its intention to buy cloud-based B2B trading network, Ariba the general consensus was that this deal would fit in with its apparent cloud strategy, which we’ve seen demonstrated through other notable acquisitions, such as SuccessFactors.

However, as some commentators have noted the Ariba deal does not fit quite so neatly under the simple ‘cloud’ bracket.  For SAP users, it is actually how the acquisition is going to complement SAP’s existing supply-chain and supplier-management capabilities, which is potentially of most interest. The acquisition of Ariba, who compete more with specialised supplier-management and trading firms, stands to vastly extend SAP’s network of integratable supplier systems, which are focused almost entirely on indirect spending–office products, IT gear, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul goods.

Jason Busch at Spend Matters, a research and advisory firm focused on spend-management issues such as procurement, believes that this acquisition is likely to shake up Oracle and its own supplier network.

Clearly there is some overlap with SAP’s existing offerings, so here at the User Group we will be keeping an eye on how things develop and how the potential acquisition will impact on new and existing customers. So watch this space.