Just last year, SAP celebrated the 25th anniversary of the founding of Ariba. A few years after the company was founded, Ariba Network was launched. The concept was both simple and revolutionary: digitize the paper documents companies send, like purchase orders (POs) and invoices, and enable communication via a common digital language.
Innovation That Changed Procurement Forever
When it was introduced in 1998, Ariba Network took the exchange of procurement documents far beyond the realm of PDFs and e-mails. This was true data exchange. Overnight, companies gained the ability to send and receive POs and invoices electronically – system to system. And with digital versions of their documents, they saved time and money by delivering accurate invoices via three-way document matching (POs, invoices, goods receipt notices). This was a game changer that helped companies wrangle procurement spend and increase efficiency.
Over the years, Ariba Network has been trusted to connect millions of companies, drive commerce, and ensure compliance while achieving maximum efficiency. As the needs of businesses evolved, so did Ariba Network. For example, in 2017 we introduced new innovations in forecasting, quality control, and inventory management to address critical supply chain collaboration challenges.
Taking the Next Step in Revolutionizing B2B Collaboration with SAP Business Network
The past two years of the pandemic have shown how essential the connection between procurement, supply chain planning, logistics, and plant maintenance are to delivering products to the right customers at the right time.
In the midst of global supply chain disruption brought on by the pandemic, SAP introduced the bold concept of a unified, open, and intelligent business network that would result in a network of intelligent enterprises. Last year at SAPPHIRE NOW, this concept became a reality with the launch of SAP Business Network. Designed to solve the most pressing supply chain collaboration challenges, SAP Business Network began as the convergence of Ariba Network with SAP Logistics Business Network and SAP Asset Intelligence Network.
Since then, we’ve made great strides to empower companies to unlock capital across their supply chains with our recent acquisition of Taulia, a leader in working capital management solutions. Taulia will be integrated directly into SAP Business Network. We are also providing a new level of transparency within the supply chain through innovations in product genealogy, supplier assessments on human rights, and working with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) providers like EcoVadis.
The Evolution of SAP Business Network
SAP Business Network is now one solution portfolio that can help customers achieve transparency, resilience, and sustainability across their supply chains. To reflect the key processes addressed by SAP Business Network, we introduced the following solution area brand names:
- SAP Business Network for Procurement (formerly Ariba Network)
- SAP Business Network for Supply Chain (formerly SAP Ariba Supply Chain Collaboration)
- SAP Business Network for Logistics (formerly SAP Logistics Business Network)
- SAP Business Network for Asset Management (formerly SAP Asset Intelligence Network)
This is not just a name change. It is the next phase in SAP’s strategic vision to help businesses gain more transparency, resiliency, and sustainability within their supply chains. It is a logical step in how we’re evolving our solutions to enable businesses to connect their most critical functions to their network of trading partners across procurement, supply chain, logistics, and asset management. This empowers businesses to deliver products to market when and where their customers need them.
You may wonder what this means for the SAP Ariba brand. Rest assured, there is no impact on the SAP Ariba brand and we remain committed to investing in our portfolio of procurement solutions.
Tony Harris is SVP and head of Marketing and Solutions for SAP Business Network.