SAP Ariba and IBM Join Forces to Transform Procurement with SAP Leonardo and Watson

Industry leaders to develop next-generation source-to-settle solutions; launch hub for cognitive procurement

ORLANDO, FL., MAY 17, 2017 – Procurement is about to get smarter, faster and more efficient. SAP Ariba and IBM (NYSE: 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 SAP 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.

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.

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. “By combining the power of IBM Watson on the IBM Cloud 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, President, SAP Ariba. “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 services, 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.

About SAP Ariba

SAP Ariba is how companies connect to get business done. On the Ariba Network, buyers and suppliers from more than 2.5 million companies and 190 countries discover new opportunities, collaborate on transactions and grow their relationships. Buyers can manage the entire purchasing process, while controlling spending, finding new sources of savings and building a healthy supply chain. And suppliers can connect with profitable customers and efficiently scale existing relationships – simplifying sales cycles and improving cash control along the way. The result is a dynamic, digital marketplace, where more than $1 trillion in commerce gets done every year.

To learn more about SAP Ariba, visit www.ariba.com

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the
competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 350,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

About IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson represents a new era in computing called cognitive computing, where systems understand the world in a way more similar to humans: through senses, learning, and experience. Watson continuously learns from previous interactions, gaining in value and knowledge over time. With the help of Watson, organizations are harnessing the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.