SAP Ariba ‘buys’ into speedier route to Amazon Business 

There’s a fleeting moment during SAP technology conference keynotes when the company posts up a slide that displays all its brands.

With some homegrown products (SAP HANA, SAP Leonardo etc.) and some acquired brands (SuccessFactors, Concur, Fieldglass, Hybris etc.) that now sport their “an SAP company” livery, the SAP smörgåsbord of software products looks like a comprehensive (if possibly/arguably/allegedly tough to integrate) selection pack.

Among the acquired children at the SAP table is SAP Ariba, a procurement software product SAP bought in 2012 for just over US$4bn.

Nothing to do with the now politically incorrect Speedy Gonzales and his cry of ¡Arriba, arriba! ¡Ándale, ándale! — the pre-SAP development team called the product Ariba, because it was easy to pronounce and spell.

So to Ariba then, SAP has this week announced it is partnering with Amazon Business in a move that it hopes will enable employees to tap into hundreds of millions of items on Amazon’s business purchasing site directly from within SAP Ariba.

The science of compliance 

The partnership will also focus on assisting with compliance with corporate purchasing policies.

With this partnership and technology integration, Amazon Business becomes a source of supply for Spot Buy, a capability within SAP Ariba solutions for users to purchase items from trusted suppliers. 

Integrating Amazon Business into the guided buying capability within the SAP Ariba solution experience helps simplify the purchase of general business goods while providing users with hundreds of millions of new items.

“Partnering with Amazon Business is a bold step aligned with our strategy to make SAP Business Network more open so that users can more easily and compliantly buy the goods required to do their work and keep their businesses running,” said Tony Harris, global vice president, business network solutions, SAP.

The customer is always king – and queen

Harris says that customers want choices, so SAP is continually evaluating and onboarding new content sources for our Spot Buy capability to provide the most value to them.

This new integration will utilise a real-time search API so users of guided buying can search for items and receive results from Amazon Business, along with other online stores, e-commerce providers and direct sellers, directly within the SAP Ariba solution. Amazon Business items selected for checkout will be transferred to the shopping cart for automatic processing within the SAP Ariba solution.

“Employees continue to expect the convenience of online shopping to spill over into their work lives,” said Nick Heinzmann, analyst team lead at Spend Matters. “They want more than just a familiar interface: end buyers also want the experience of being able to find ‘everything’ in one place. The Spot Buy capability within SAP Ariba solutions is moving toward exactly this kind of experience in B2B, building on top of its current global integrations for external content to now include Amazon Business.”

Heinzmann talks of this new connection as a means of allowing end buyers to find and select Amazon Business content in the same native shopping experience they use for their internal catalogues. He thinks that this is a logical step toward delivering the needed balance between the consumer-like experience today’s employees expect and helping improve the compliance and financial results that procurement can deliver. 

SAP says it is focused on delivering solutions that help customers align spend decisions to business strategies in the networked economy. SAP plans to roll out the integration to customers globally, starting with early adopters later this year.