SAP Ariba, was one of the first major internet software and service companies to bring the procurement process online. Until then, procurement was primarily an offline task, involving mountains of paperwork and hours of wasted time shopping around for the right seller.
Today, SAP Ariba has become more than just a tool. It’s a community of companies all using its proprietary procurement software to make inter-enterprise commerce simpler and cheaper.
But where SAP Ariba has succeeded in building an easier, more affordable enterprise marketplace, others are starting to explore ways to make the procurement process faster.
As the first qualified communications supplier to launch a corporate communications program fully integrated with SAP Ariba, we’ve discovered how to do just that––cutting launch times from weeks and months to just days.
In the spirit of Ariba Live 2016, here’s a brief rundown of how we teamed up with SAP Ariba to deliver communications faster than ever before.
Bringing advanced asset ordering tools to SAP Ariba
SAP Ariba’s popularity exploded for one simple reason: It gives companies the ability to find everything they need in one place.
For most products and services, that’s all you really need. But for others, things aren’t so simple.
Take communications, for example––both printed and digital. Unless you print in-house and have a dedicated digital marketer on staff, chances are you rely on vendors to produce and distribute marketing and internal business collateral like mailers, posters, flyers and business cards.
But as with any kind of large-scale production, there’s a big bloated marketing supply chain just waiting to break. With so many moving pieces involved, what service can give you the flexibility and access you need to build great campaigns and communications?
The answer: Access communication ordering tools directly inside SAP Ariba’s system.
Using SAP Ariba’s PunchOut tool––a way to let our own software communicate with SAP Ariba––we integrated our powerful business communications platform, U.Connect, directly within SAP Ariba. This gives users access to both static and variable execution tool that dramatically reduces time to market to just a few days.
The advantages of procurement integration
Wondering what makes the U.Connect/SAP Ariba combination is so powerful?
Here are the four big advantages of integrating the two into one:
1. Automated ordering with built-in approval
Unlike other distributed marketing systems, you don’t have to cross your fingers and hope your team is ordering the correct materials. Using U.Connect via SAP Ariba gives you the same powerful corporate review and approval capabilities you’d receive through the standalone system.
Every order request can be routed for review and approval to ensure collateral adheres to brand standards before being sent on for production.
2. Connectivity through the SAP Ariba system
If you’re already an SAP Ariba user, U.Connect’s integration allows you to enjoy the benefits of our advanced ordering system through the same simple interface companies have grown to love from SAP Ariba.
3. On-time automated invoicing and billing
If you’re familiar with supply chains, I probably don’t have to remind you that invoicing and billing can be a management nightmare, especially when project budgets are tight.
Using U.Connect through SAP Ariba offers the best of both worlds––powerful ordering tools along with SAP Ariba’s excellent invoicing and billing system.
4. Automated monthly reports through SAP Ariba
In addition to benefiting from SAP Ariba’s invoicing and billing tools, our integration also allows existing SAP Ariba users to get access to monthly reporting on ordering actions.
While U.Connect provides some reporting on its own, SAP Ariba’s analytics offer data as you’re already used to seeing it within their platform.
Want to learn how our integration with SAP Ariba helped launch corporate programs faster? Click here for our free case study and sign up for our free upcoming webinar: The OneTouchPoint Model: Helping U.Connect with Customers & Prospects.