Accelerate Digital Transformation in Procurement with Application Extension Partners


Employees and business leaders have come to understand that digital adoption is not a linear process. A “set it and forget it” approach is rarely appropriate when implementing leading-edge digital technologies.

With the growing complexity of business processes and the need to minimize risk in times of economic uncertainty, SAP customers require future-proofed technologies that can support their unique needs.

Global procurement is complicated. Each day, more and more SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass customers are turning to application extension partners to add value and achieve efficiencies at each stage of their source-to-pay process. SAP evaluates and certifies these third-party solutions to help ensure they complement existing SAP solutions for procurement and extend functionality beyond core SAP offerings.

For enterprises committed to digital transformation, application extension partners fill the gaps created by company, industry, or geography-specific requirements. Each partner brings its own unique blend of expertise, skills, and services to deliver solutions SAP customers need. They enhance customer experiences by speeding time to value and the delivery of innovations across the entire procurement portfolio.

Compliance and Risk Management

The global supply chain compliance landscape is more dynamic today than ever before. As companies continue to focus on compliance and reducing supply chain risk, there is a greater demand for visibility and transparency, communication and collaboration, and compliant business execution. Application extension partners deliver solutions to help identify, assess, and control risks arising from operational factors. Using key performance indicators (KPIs) and predictive analytics, customers can make better decisions that balance risk with any associated benefits.

Analytics and Intelligence

The increase in the amount of data available has opened doors to new technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Application extension partners extend and accelerate the output of these intelligent technologies to help SAP customers make better business decisions. For example, AI and machine learning are used to support the extraction and analysis of key terms, clauses, and entities from various contracts, which allows users to locate contract terms quickly, aggregate ongoing contact intelligence, and address concerns about lawsuits or data breaches.

Efficiency and Savings

Effective supply chain management is crucial to long-term business growth. Organizations are thinking more strategically about spend — investing in spend management strategies that not only identify new areas for savings but also create revenue-driving opportunities. They are also taking a closer look at business processes to understand those that work well and those that do not, which can lead to compliance problems or increased costs. Application extension partners offer solutions that empower finance, lines of business, and procurement leaders to do their jobs more effectively by providing visibility into business processes and spending.

External Workforce Management

To thrive in the digital economy, organizations are increasingly leveraging external talent. Many of the skills needed to compete in today’s ever-changing business environment are not available in the traditional workforce market. Moreover, many organizations struggle with how to find and source the right talent and how to manage the full life cycle of that talent. Application extension partners offer solutions that provide access to unique talent groups, improve employee experience, offer total workforce visibility, and streamline project and investment tracking for projects that utilize contingent labor.

The SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass ecosystem of application extension partners is growing. SAP is committed to supporting partners as they invest in additional areas of innovation to bring our customers the unique solutions necessary for success in the digital economy.

Learn more about application extension partners and browse available solutions on SAP App Center.

Bob Baker is global vice president, Application Extension Partners, SAP Procurement.