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.”

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