The acquisition of Ariba by SAP has raised some questions for some time now. This applies to both SAP SRM consultants and purchasing professionals within companies. By now it is clear that SAP has positioned Ariba as its “On Demand” solution while SRM has been presented as the “On Premise” solution in the market. But what does this mean in practice? What should companies consider when choosing SRM or Ariba. What are the differences between these two?

To be able to advise its clients in the best possible way on this area Compera Consulting has invested in building the necessary knowledge of the Ariba On-Demand solution. More important to note is the fact that two consultants of Compera Consulting are currently engaged in a deployment project of the Ariba On-Demand Solution. Their first impression of the solution is presented in this blog.

1. The user interface.

The user interface looks good. It is quite intuitive even though it cannot be compared to the user experience on web shops like or the SRM User Interface Add-on. This comparison is not quite right because there are other things to be considered like accounting information (cost center, project, ledger, etc) when placing an order as a purchaser of a company. 

2. Flexibility.

One of the benefits of a Cloud-Based solution like Ariba is the fact that the operational costs can be minimized. As a company you don’t have to make the necessary investments in order to keep the solution up and running. The downside of this is that you are somewhat limited in the extent to which you can make custom developments to fully meet your business requirements.

However Ariba will cover all standard processes as long as these are designed according to the business best practices. The system has a number of configurable parameters to help you customize the system as desired. In addition, it is also possible to some extent to make custom developments to support certain business processes. For very specific/complex business processes the question remains whether you can support this with Ariba.3. Integratie met SAP ECC.

3. SAP integration.

The integration between Ariba and SAP ECC is probably the subject where the greatest challenge lies. With the acquisition of Ariba, SAP is paying more and more attention to the integration between SAP and Ariba. However, this is one of the areas where SRM has an edge on Ariba.

4. Supplier collaboration.

The Ariba Network where buyers and sellers can find each other is seemingly the showpiece of Ariba. It allows buyers and sellers to exchange digital procurement documents among each other. These include quotations, order information and invoicing. A key factor for success is, of course, that the suppliers also need to be on the Ariba Network. Therefore supplier onboarding should not be underestimated.

In a next blog we will go more into the details on the content with regard to the functionalities of the  Ariba On-Demand Solution.