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On the Road with PunchOut2Go: SAP Ariba LIVE 2016 Recap

PunchOut2Go had the exciting opportunity to connect with many customers, buyers and thought leaders within the procurement industry during one of the largest business commerce industry events hosted by SAP Ariba in Las Vegas, Ariba Live in March 2016.

With close to 3,000 attendees and the introduction of the new SAP Ariba brand, simplicity and transformation were the main messages of the conference.  

During the opening general session, SAP Ariba President, Alexander Atzberger, emphasized that the company was committed to making life easier for buyers to connect with suppliers and conduct transactions with as little friction as possible.  “It’s all about getting rid of complexity,” Atzberger said. “We are deeply committed to removing any barriers to adoption.”  

For buying organizations that leverage an eProcurement solution, it is critical to increase adoption among end users and suppliers in order to receive a return on investment and bring value to the procurement process.  

SAP Ariba is redesigning their system for adoption and rethinking the interactions between the end user, buyer and seller. In order to address some of the barriers, SAP Ariba will roll out a simplified supplier enablement feature and implement changes to their pricing structure for Suppliers. With a single click of a button, the Ariba system will be able to analyze supplier and spend data to recommend which suppliers should have full enablement (ie Supplier is registered on the Ariba Network and can do a full B2B integration with their own backend systems, including electronic catalogs such as PunchOut.) and which suppliers should be connected with “light enablement” (ie. Enables low volume suppliers to receive POs, send confirmations and invoices, all via email, without registering on the network). The system can be used to automatically send out emails to suppliers for on-boarding and tracks the progress along the way. In addition, SAP Ariba said that they are working to simplify their pricing structure for suppliers in order to drive adoption to the next level.  Light enablement is free for Suppliers and SAP Ariba will be linking transaction fees more logically to value realized for those Suppliers with full enablement.  More details will be announced later this year.

“Innovation in technologies drives today’s world. SAP Ariba’s stance in simplifying the process will indeed help buyers reign in spend with smaller suppliers. However, suppliers will still need integration if they have any significant volume or complex offerings“ says PunchOut2Go CEO, Brady Behrman “PunchOut2Go helps suppliers of all sizes, around the globe, do business with their customers across the channels while leveraging their existing infrastructure.”

With a multitude of workshops tailored for Buyers, Sellers, SAP Ariba Customers and Thought Leadership, the team from PunchOut2Go returned with a wealth of useful information.  Here are a few key takeaways that the team came away with:

  • We are all getting connected.  With the rapid change through innovations of software and services, the technology of tomorrow is here and companies from around the world are embracing these trends and leveraging the latest business commerce technologies to solve challenges and grow their businesses.

  • B2B is becoming more like B2C.  B2B Sellers recognize that the customer experience in a B2B environment is just as important as the customer experience in B2C.  This includes a user experience that is personalized and includes custom interactive catalogs and real-time inventory availability.

  • PunchOut is the preferred catalog strategy for Best in Class suppliers.  Leading suppliers prefer PunchOut Catalog integrations over CIF/hosted catalogs to drive exposure of their product offering to their Buying organizations utilizing eProcurement.

  • B2B order automation is key.  Buyers and Sellers both have a common goal to automate business transactions such as orders and invoices to reduce manual processing and errors.  Suppliers that have fully integrated with their Buyers from source to pay increase their value and lower their costs.

On the final day at Ariba Live, PunchOut2Go CEO, Brady Behrman, was invited to participate in the Seller Showcase, which was a rapid fire Q&A session and featured a total of 10 Ariba Network Suppliers. Watch the video below.

SAP Ariba once again delivered an excellent industry event focused on innovation and how the latest technology is transforming business commerce.

You can review recordings of 59 conference breakout sessions. Share these with your colleagues to boost knowledge and stimulate discussion and inspiration. That'll be a big help in your organization's procurement transformation.