RealTime IT News

Ariba Focuses on New B2B Market

Ariba Inc. is looking to tap a new market that it sees emerging in the B2B space that will automate and streamline enterprises' external processes and interactions with trading partners.

Ariba Wednesday raised the curtain on its new Value Chain Management (VCM) solutions, which it said would unlock the "largest untapped source of value in business today."

The new Ariba VCM Platform is an expansion of its existing B2B Commerce Platform. It is intended to help enterprises automate value chain processes like product development, sourcing, direct and indirect procurement, manufacturing operations and sales and fulfillment by enabling real-time interaction between trading partners over the Internet. Ariba said its VCM solutions are complementary to applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain management (SCM) solutions.

Features of the VCM solutions, include:

  • Network-based architecture -- a standards-based infrastructure which can be deployed and integrated across trading partners and business processes (vs. client-server architecture with Web front ends and extensions)
  • Dynamic interaction -- utilizes the Internet for real-time collaboration and transactions
  • Rapid deployment -- standards-based integration and out-of-the-box functionality for most strategic commerce and collaboration processes
  • Back-end neutral -- integration to multiple ERP and SCM systems.

The company also unveiled a host of new strategic relationships building on the VCM focus. It cut a deal with Zeborg, which will allow Ariba to resell Zeborg ExpenseMap in conjunction with Ariba Buyer. Using the combined offering, Ariba's customers will be able to monitor all their indirect purchasing activity, measure and track cost-savings opportunities, create an actionable savings roadmap and quantify returns on investments. It also struck an agreement to resell Syncra Systems' collaborative supply chain planning and inventory management product suite. Finally, it partnered with SeeCommerce to resell a value chain performance management solution it jointly developed with that company.

"With these latest developments, Ariba is now uniquely qualified to help customers quickly derive value from this next frontier of e-business: Value Chain Management," said Larry Mueller, Ariba's president and chief operating officer. "We offer the two 'killer' VCM apps available today -- Ariba Buyer and, with the pending acquisition of Agile, Agile Anywhere -- both proven to quickly bring significant, ongoing ROI to customers."

Albert Pang, ecommerce research manager for IDC, agreed, suggesting there will be a large market for VCM solutions.

"Ariba has a unique focus on this tremendous opportunity for helping companies bridge the gap between their existing enterprise systems and true interactivity with value chain partners," Pang said. "Ariba and Agile are also among the first and very few companies to have delivered highly successful products that specifically automate inter-enterprise business processes using network architecture. These new solutions from Ariba are expected to address many unmet expectations that corporations have been clamoring for in order to fulfill their B2B goals."