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World’s Business Network Grows and Expands Capabilities

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As the saying goes, there’s strength in numbers. With more than 1.6 million connected companies in 190 countries the Ariba(R) Network is the largest and most global business network in the world. And with a new company joining every minute, it is only getting bigger. Most importantly, companies connected to the Ariba Network aren’t just signing up and lurking. They’re doing real business, transacting nearly $600 billion in commerce on an annual basis. That’s more than the volume of commerce on Amazon, eBay and Alibaba combined.

“Bigger isn’t always better. But when it comes to networks, size definitely matters,” says Andrew Bartolini, Chief Research Officer for research and advisory firm Ardent Partners.

Why? Consider Facebook. Consumers use the social network to manage their personal connections because all of their friends and family are on it. When it comes to managing commerce, companies need a similar platform that allows them to connect and collaborate with all of their trading partners across business processes anytime, from any device, in any part of the world.

The Ariba Network is this platform. A truly open, global business network, the Ariba Network enables companies to manage all of their spend, resources and business processes in the simplest possible way- by bringing the convenience and reach of personal networks to the business world.

On average, 40 percent to 60 percent of a company’s trading partners are already connected and transacting on the Ariba Network, making it easy to improve engagement and speed efficiencies of fully automated transaction and collaboration management.

But the Ariba Network is more than just an efficient, effective way to connect with a global network of partners and transact business. Its real power lies in its ability to enable new insights and processes that are only possible in a networked environment.

Processes like dynamic discounting that allow companies to manage payables and receivables in a more transparent and dynamic manner. Or contingent workforce management through which they can identify and manage highly-specialized resources needed to develop that next-generation product. Or trading partner discovery where network members can tap the wisdom and recommendations of entire communities to identify new qualified trading partners and business opportunities. Or electronic payments where they can eliminate paper transactions, provide better visibility into cash flow and produce rich remittance information to improve reconciliation processes.

“With Ariba, companies can quickly and easily connect their systems and processes to those of their partners – regardless of the backend systems they may be using,” says Chakib Bouhdary, President Business Networks, SAP. “More important, they can harness the power of network-derived intelligence to move beyond simple automation and enable new processes and insights that are only possible at scale in a truly networked environment and realize the true potential of end-to-end automation.”

Where the World Does Business

Companies around the globe continue to flock to the Ariba Network and leverage the cloud-based applications delivered on it to extend their existing systems and the value they deliver. During the third quarter of 2014, for instance, Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. selected the Ariba Network to more efficiently connect with its trading partners. The company will also use the cloud-based applications delivered on the network – including Ariba Sourcing, Ariba Contract Management, Ariba(R) Procure-to-PayTM, Ariba Invoice ManagementTM, Ariba Invoice ProfessionalTM, Ariba Spend VisibilityTM, and Ariba Supplier Information and Performance ManagementTM to drive a more efficient and collaborative procurement process from sourcing and orders through invoice and payment.

Charles Seafoods Supply, a small, family-owned enterprise in Manila, connected to the network, first creating an online catalog on through which customers could view and order the company’s products with just a few clicks and then collaborating with these customers around invoices. The company has since seen:

  • A 75 percent boost in order accuracy
  • An 80 percent reduction in late or overdue payments
  • A 30 reduction in days sales outstanding

“With the Ariba Network, we now have smooth and transparent transactions with our customers and fewer errors in ordering and delivery,” said owner Mayette Yulo. “More importantly, we are getting paid faster and now have a positive cash flow to support and expand the growth of our business.”

Leading European companies are also using the Ariba Network to collaborate more efficiently and spur business innovation and advantage. Many of these companies will gather at the Ariba Commerce Summits in Amsterdam and Paris this month to share their insights and experiences.

“These days, you cannot stop improving business processes when they reach your company’s borders,” says Heiko Rumpl, European e-business director at Brammer, who will be among the presenters at the events. “You need to improve the competitiveness of your value network if you want to improve the competitiveness of your own organization.”

Brammer is doing this by using the Ariba Network to better collaborate and build trust with its customers. For example, the company offers data analytics services through which customers can analyze their spending with Brammer and optimize their procurement strategies. Brammer doesn’t charge for the services. Instead, Rumpl says, the company uses them to grow market share.

As Bartolini notes in Selecting the Right Network, “True business networks are many-to-many platforms that not only connect participants through a shared infrastructure, but also enable new collaboration and process types.” And as the pace of business accelerates and markets become increasingly global and competitive, Bartolini expects more companies will embrace business networks not just as a way to automate tasks, but as a platform for innovation.

“In today’s business climate, innovation and agility are how market leaders are creating and maintaining competitive advantage,” Bartolini says. “And business networks will play an important role in driving it.”

About Ariba, an SAP Company

Ariba is the world’s business commerce network. Ariba combines industry-leading cloud-based applications with the world’s largest web-based trading community to help companies discover and collaborate with a global network of partners. Using the Ariba(R) Network, businesses of all sizes can connect to their trading partners anywhere, at any time from any application or device to buy, sell and manage their cash more efficiently and effectively than ever before. Companies around the world use the Ariba Network to simplify inter-enterprise commerce and enhance the results that they deliver. Join them at:

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 more than 263,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit

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