SAP Customers Continue to Solve Their Toughest Business Challenges with Spend Management Solutions


Businesses have been through a lot in the last few years. Last year brought a whole new set of unexpected challenges.

SAP has certainly not been immune. We’ve felt the effects on our own business. But more importantly, we’ve seen firsthand how our customers are struggling to succeed in the face of the most daunting challenges of our times.

Since the start of this year, I’ve been meeting face-to-face with customers around the world to hear what’s on their mind. Many are urging us to play more of a consultative role and to help them “find their problems” rather than just “solving” them.

From our conversations, it’s clear that beyond day-to-day business pressures, our customers are being pressed by investors, consumers, and governments to:

  • Find new ways to cut costs in the face of rising interest rates and inflation
  • Make their supply chains more agile, efficient, and resilient
  • Manage risk
  • Address the scarcity of skilled workers
  • Comply with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards

ESG is especially problematic because it can be defined broadly. In our conversations, customers called out some of their top concerns. These ranged from scope 3 emissions and green energy; to supplier development, diversity, and codes of conduct; to human rights and worker safety.

But I’m not here to complain about all that needs to be done – quite the opposite. I am grateful for the opportunity to consult with businesses around the world and to provide tools and expertise that help them address ongoing disruption and external pressures. SAP offers a comprehensive set of solutions – including SAP Ariba solutions, SAP Fieldglass solutions, SAP Concur solutions, and, of course, SAP Business Network – to help our customers succeed.

We know solving business challenges requires foresight and innovation. As my colleague Salvatore Lombardo noted recently, we don’t intend to rest on the accolades we’ve earned for our procurement solutions. Same goes for our external workforce, travel and expense, and business network offerings. We intend to continue to lead the market in ideas and innovation that drive our customers’ success.

Our Customers Have Spoken Again

Last week, TrustRadius announced that SAP is the winner of 10 Winter 2023 “Best Of” awards. This includes the three flagship offerings in our spend management portfolio:

Each received first place in multiple categories: Best Relationship, Best Feature Set, and Best Value for Price.

These awards represent the voice of our customers. As Vinay Bhagat, TrustRadius founder and CEO, said in the announcement, “These aren’t pay-to-play awards. We recognize the products with genuine positive feedback from real customers. It’s the key to providing buyers with trusted information so they can make an optimal technology decision.”

I am also happy to announce that SAP Concur was recognized as a Great Place to Work in Japan for the sixth year in a row.

SAP Helps Solve Customers’ Toughest Business Challenges

In the fourth quarter of 2022, hundreds of SAP customers worldwide – including Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos S.A.S., Aiko Solar, Technical University of Munich, and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) – engaged with SAP either for the first time or by expanding their footprint to leverage our market-leading procurement, external workforce, travel management, and supply chain solutions.

Here are their stories:

  • Cenit Transporte y Logística de Hidrocarburos S.A.S. (Colombia, Oil & Gas) is an oil transportation company that relies on SAP as a strategic ally to transform its procurement strategy. With SAP Ariba solutions and SAP Fieldglass solutions, the organization that is part of the main Colombian petroleum company Ecopetrol can efficiently manage its purchasing processes and external labor, reduce costs, minimize risks, and digitize its entire procurement platform for a unified vision of expenses.
  • Aiko Solar (China, High Tech) is a major provider of PERC cells across the globe, covering business in R&D, production, and sale of solar cells. The company is facing challenges of globalization, with the rapid growth of its business. Aiko adopted SAP ERP and SAP Ariba solutions to build a unified digital management platform to help eliminate data silos, reshape business processes, establish global supply chain management system, and improve business operation capabilities.
  • Technical University of Munich (Germany, Public Sector) is a public research university specializing in engineering, technology, medicine, and applied and natural sciences. It has purchased SAP S/4HANA and SAP Ariba solutions.
  • Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. – Petrobras (Brazil, Oil & Gas) embarked on a digital transformation journey with SAP to expand technology adoption and innovation to become an intelligent enterprise. By going live with SAP Ariba Buying and SAP Business Network, Petrobras can collaborate with its 6,700 suppliers, working to ensure transaction traceability, transparency, and compliance. Objectively, this phase allows the receipt of invoices from suppliers.

Like the customers mentioned here, we want to help you write your success story. You bring the challenges. We’ll bring the ideas and innovations to take them on.

Jeff Collier is chief revenue officer for SAP Intelligent Spend and Business Network at SAP.