Ariba bullish on "spend management

The new corporate mantra at Ariba, Mountain View, Calif., is convincing customers to "put spend management at the center of their universe." Spend management is the term Ariba adopted to describe how companies will use its latest set of software solutions. Both the term—and the software package behind it—represent a significant evolution for Ariba, which was at the forefron...

03/01/2002


The new corporate mantra at Ariba, Mountain View, Calif., is convincing customers to "put spend management at the center of their universe." Spend management is the term Ariba adopted to describe how companies will use its latest set of software solutions. Both the term—and the software package behind it—represent a significant evolution for Ariba, which was at the forefront of the e-procurement movement.

Spend management essentially is a synonym for strategic sourcing, which features applications that enable companies to select direct materials suppliers for specific products, negotiate contracts, and monitor supplier performance in relation to contracts. Ariba's latest spend management suite contains three distinct solution sets: one that analyzes a company's spending patterns, a second that enables negotiating contracts with suppliers, and a third for quick execution of individual purchasing transactions.

Sundar Raghavan, Ariba's director of product marketing, says companies that make spend management their central focus will be able to consistently find, capture, and retain savings opportunities. He also says Ariba has "moved substantially away" from on-line auctions, although it continues to operate the Ariba Supplier Network—a Web site through which buyers can connect with large groups of suppliers.

"This network rapidly enables suppliers to conduct e-procurement," he says. "We do bulk supplier enablement, which means our customers give us a list of all of their suppliers, and we register them on the Ariba Supplier Network. The buyer can go to the Web site, push a button, and begin conducting business with their suppliers."





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