Ariba Spending Spree Continues

Ariba, which makes software that manages how money is spent within an organization, added a content manager component to its product portfolio Wednesday afternoon by purchasing Softface.

Softface is a privately-held maker of enterprise spend management performance applications based in Walnut Creek, Calif. Financial terms of the deal, which officials expect to close in early April, were not made public.

Should the deal succeed, Sunnyvale, Calif.’s Ariba will acquire and integrate software that takes unrelated data like invoices and orders and analyzes what has been spent, where money has been spent, as well as to whom purchases were made.

This “spending ledger,” as they put it, provides a transparent view of what has been purchased. Ariba intends to marry Softface’s assets to its own spend
management product line, culling the data from the entire network.

“Combining Ariba solutions and domain expertise with Softface technology,
Ariba can provide an automated, repeatable approach that allows customers to
begin with the cleanest, most reliable spend data possible – information
that is essential to successful spend analysis and sourcing efforts,” said
Michael Schmitt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, in a

The two companies have been partners since July 2003.

Ariba has been on a tear in recent months, in a growth-through-acquisition
strategy that netted the company FreeMarkets
and Alliente
in January.

While officials won’t disclose the amount of
the Alliente and Softface deals, they say they’ve spent more than $500
million for the three acquisitions combined; the FreeMarkets deal alone cost
$493 million.

Officials would not say whether the spend management company will continue
its acquisition spree.

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