Before the advent of cloud services, financial data and contracts were collected and stored in boxes piled on top of one another in storage rooms and spare offices.
If you were to walk into one of those rooms, now filled with servers, what would you expect to find? Ghosts of accounting and procurement past lurking in dark corners? Or something more nefarious? Flip on the light, and you might uncover risks and challenges hidden in plain sight…in your financial data and contracts.
Shedding light on critical information buried in company contracts and financial statements can mean the difference between success and failure. Two new SAP Ariba application extension partners, Seal Software and CXO Nexus, are laser-focused on mining data to allow customers to analyze those risks and realize opportunities.
Over the past month, I had the pleasure of attending two conferences: The Financial Times (FT) CFO Dialogues and Seal Software Insight 2019. Both events focused on how companies can gain greater insight from their existing business data by applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.
These new application extension partners do just that. CXO Nexus provides companies with real-time visibility into vendor spending across the C-suite and Seal Software helps organizations gain visibility, control, and mitigate risk through contract discovery and analytics. By leveraging SAP Ariba software to extend, integrate, and optimize solutions, CXO Nexus and Seal Software are delivering higher levels of insight to customers of SAP Ariba Procurement solutions.
Ken Male, CEO of CXO Nexus, spoke on the panel, “The role of the CFO in effectively owning data,” at the FT event and discussed how executives across the C-suite are working more collaboratively than ever before. Male reinforced that data no longer lives in silos.
Seeing this as an opportunity, CXO Nexus has partnered with SAP Ariba to enable companies to act with their vendor spend data by delivering real-time, intuitive dashboards for the CFO, CIO, CMO, and CPO. By classifying and categorizing data via AI and machine learning, CXO Nexus gives C-level executives a bird’s-eye view of company performance, visual insights into trends, and progress toward goals. That visibility helps reduce costs and ultimately allows leaders to reinvest toward innovation.
Contracts represent another repository of critical information. Seal Software has made its mission to provide contract analytics to support the extraction and analysis of key terms, clauses, and entities using AI and machine learning techniques. At the Seal Software Insight 2019 conference, Dan Daehler, vice president of Alliances at Seal Software, spoke about how Seal Software’s application extension with SAP Ariba allows users to locate contract terms quickly, aggregate ongoing contract intelligence through predefined analytics, address concerns about a lawsuit or data breach, or conduct a routine portfolio search for payment terms or provisions.
Though executives typically think of the legal department when talking about contracts, Daehler shared that finance, procurement, and sales operations professionals that are tasked with driving contract management also benefit from having greater insights into all types of agreements — including procurement, sales, and internal contracts.
Application extension partners play a unique role in the overall partner ecosystem for SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass by delivering additional value with SAP solutions. Both CXONexus and Seal Software present customers with the opportunities to uncover hidden risks, leverage their options, and gain insight that can be reinvested in innovation. This reminds us that information and insight is power.
Bob Baker is the global vice president of SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass Application Extension Partner Ecosystem at SAP.