WALLDORF — Social networks have made it easier than ever to shop, share and consume. Companies want this same simplicity. And with increasing frequency, they are turning to Ariba, an SAP SE (NYSE:SAP) company, to enable it. More than 1.7 million companies, including two thirds of those on the 2014 Forbes Global 2000 list, are connected to Ariba Network. And a new company is added every 13 minutes. In 2014 alone, 200,000 selling organizations joined the network where more than $700 billion in commerce is transacted on an annual basis. What’s driving their adoption?
“Today’s businesses demand higher levels of agility and knowledge frameworks,” said Chakib Bouhdary, president, Ariba. “And the only way to enable this is through dynamic communities that connect you with the applications, intelligence and partners you need to discover, connect and collaborate in the simplest possible way.”
A new IDC white paper sponsored by Ariba, “Business Networks: The Next Wave of Innovation” (February 2015), supports this notion. “Business networks are forming a new framework for productivity and value creation,” said Michael Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions, IDC, and author of the white paper. “Leveraging the connectivity and free flow of information that networks provide, companies can communicate and collaborate in massively scalable ways that drive innovation and competitive advantage.”
Every day billions of consumers around the world tap into networks like Facebook, Uber and Amazon. Why? Because they make things easy. Everything needed to manage your life is in these networks – there’s no need to leave them to make things happen. The same is true for business networks. With a few clicks, companies can manage all of their resources, processes and spend in the simplest possible way. In particular, Fauscette says, “Networks create a high-performance platform for buyers and suppliers to build collaborative relationships and execute in more efficient and effective ways.”
Innovative companies of all sizes are using Ariba to do just this. “Connecting to the Ariba Network has really streamlined the whole business process for us,” said Brady Seiberlich, IT eProcurement Manager, National Business Furniture (NBF). “Through the network, we can quickly and easily flip and acknowledge orders and invoice customers as soon as they ship in a completely automated way. And this has not only eliminated errors, but led to faster payments.”
Perhaps more important, it has enabled NBF to become a more strategic partner. Leveraging transaction data and other intelligence available on the network, the company is transforming the way its customers buy, helping them to maximize their spend and drive a standard, compliant process for purchasing that delivers savings and efficiencies. “We were seeing a lot of rogue purchases from branches of larger companies,” Seiberlich said. “We knew we could help them with this if we could get them connected to the Ariba Network where all of their purchases can be managed in one place.”
This, says Bouhdary, is the future of business commerce. “The 21st century enterprise cannot achieve its cost, revenue and cash flow goals without being connected. Empowered by business networks, companies will effectively organize resources and optimize collaboration across the supply chain to achieve new levels of innovation, efficiency and agility.”
Karen Master, SAP, +1 (412) 297-8177, email@example.com, EST
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