SAP Ariba & IBM: Transforming Procurement with Leonardo and Watson
Logistics Press Release

SAP Ariba & IBM: Transforming Procurement with Leonardo and Watson

Procurement is about to get smarter, faster and more efficient. SAP Ariba and IBM today announced a global strategic alliance to deliver cognitive procurement solutions that redefine the source-to-settle process.

Leveraging SAP Leonardo, IBM Watson technologies and SAP Ariba, the solutions will bring intelligence from procurement data together with predictive insights from unstructured information to enable improved decision making across supplier management, contracts and sourcing activities.

IBM Global Business Services will provide consulting and services to build, implement and operate the new offerings using tailored roadmaps to help enterprises of all sizes lower costs and realize faster time to value.

IBM will also work with Ariba to bring new and existing IBM customers, including those using IBM Emptoris solutions, to the SAP Ariba platform where they can benefit from this expanded functionality and the comprehensive source-to-settle offerings that SAP Ariba provides.

According to Ariba, Emptoris users will have to manage a 2020 (cloud) and 2022 (on-premise) end-of-life deadline.

“It’s important to stress that instead of just merging the two platforms in terms of merging code, we are developing a completely new solution to drive innovation”, said SAP Ariba President Alex Atzberger when talking to E-3 Magazine prior to Sapphire Now.

Additionally, the companies will launch a Cognitive Procurement hub to further the development of intelligent procurement solutions and services, working side by side to explore applications of emerging technologies, including blockchain.

Hub locations are planned in Palo Alto, the US East Coast as well as Europe so far according to Ariba. The locations will include showrooms to provide users with a live experience of the Ariba’s and IBM’s joint solution.

Combining the Best of the Best to Transform Procurement

“We’ve built a cognitive procurement platform trained specifically to understand procurement transactions and unstructured data such as weather, non-standard part numbers in contracts and complex pricing structures,” said Jesus Mantas, General Manager, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM Global Business Services.

He adds,“By combining the power of IBM Watson with SAP Ariba, we are leaping existing procurement benchmarks and delivering unprecedented value to our joint clients.”

“Today marks a major milestone for procurement,” said Alex Atzberger.

“With the deep horizontal integration capabilities native within SAP Ariba’s mature platform and the innovative capabilities of SAP Leonardo and IBM Watson delivered by the industry’s most experienced and trusted providers, companies can realize an even more intelligent source-to-settle process for managing all categories of spend that creates value across the entire business.”

A Smart Approach

In joining forces, SAP Ariba and IBM will use data insights to empower procurement professionals to make smarter, faster decisions across their supply chains. The new applications can impact the entire procurement process from improving spend visibility to assisting buyers and enriching content management.

For example, a digital assistant combined with IBM Watson APIs, will transform sourcing events by helping with tasks such as defining the correct Request for Proposal type, identifying appropriate suppliers to participate based on commodity category, region or industry and delivering intelligence on market signals and pricing pressures to optimize results.
With SAP Leonardo and IBM Watson, contracting will be become smarter and more comprehensive, as applications automatically identify relevant terms and conditions matched to legal library and taxonomy, uncover similar contract terms for a specific commodity by industry or region based on benchmarking data and suggest optimal prices to target based on expected volume and contractual discounts.

SAP Ariba and IBM will also explore automating the extraction of contract terms and summaries to help customers ensure compliance in next-generation procurement.

To learn more about the SAP Ariba-IBM partnership to transform procurement, click here.

Ariba, IBM

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