It’s been a few weeks since I returned from SAP Spend Connect Live, and I’m still riding the post-event wave.

Having so many brilliant customers, partners, and colleagues in the same place at the same time is incredibly special. What’s doubly special is how my own enthusiasm was often eclipsed by our customers about our latest developments in artificial intelligence (AI).

New Intelligent Spend Management Solutions from SAP

At SAP Spend Connect Live, we showed how SAP is infusing generative AI technology into our suite of spend management solutions. This includes SAP Ariba Category Management, which became generally available to customers in August.

Explore the virtual experience for SAP Spend Connect Live

SAP Ariba Category Management can empower category managers to use data insights strategically to help identify trends, develop and implement strategies, and evaluate success relative to tangible business metrics. And with the upcoming integration of large language models through SAP Business AI, it can empower procurement professionals to jump-start category strategy development and planning.

Speaking of new solutions, Expense Payment Manager from SAP Concur launched in September. It helps automate the reimbursement process so you can securely, accurately, and quickly pay corporate cards or employees directly. This efficient service can free accounts payable teams to focus on high-value activities while helping to reduce the errors that accompany repetitive, manual tasks. With economic uncertainties like inflation and the slowdown of global growth, Expense Payment Manager can help ensure your dollars work on your terms.

Hear from Our Customers

Also at SAP Spend Connect Live, an amazing lineup of customers demonstrated the power of effective spend management. I’d like to share stories from two of our customers, Save the Children International and Medical Procurement of Ukraine, that were featured in the keynote:

Save the Children International (SCI) is working to build a world where every child can thrive, grow up healthy, educated, and safe, and look forward to a future full of promise. Working in the world’s most challenging environments, the quicker and more efficiently it responds, the more lives it reaches. SCI transformed its operations from spending US$400 million a year for procurement using Microsoft Excel and paper to having 100% supplier visibility and a 30% reduction in procurement lead times with SAP Ariba solutions.

Medical Procurement of Ukraine (MPU) is a state-owned entity responsible for centralized procurement of medical supplies and equipment on behalf of the Ministry of Healthcare of Ukraine. It uses digital procurement solutions from SAP to help rapidly source medicines and medical supplies through a challenging supply chain impacted by war. SAP Ariba solutions provide access to a huge international market, allowing MPU to cooperate with manufacturers of the latest high-quality medical products. It is doing all of this while ensuring compliance with international standards, including anti-corruption, which is an important driver for MPU.

I’d be remiss to not share two more customer stories that showcase the potential for organizations of all sizes to achieve significant improvements in their operations:

The Latest Innovations in Spend Management Revealed at SAP Spend Connect Live

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and paper receipts are now a thing of the past at Medical Research Network (MRN). This UK-based, market-leading clinical trial support organization wanted a single solution for expense and invoice management processes. Before implementing SAP Concur solutions, it used to take two to three working days a month for a team of five people to process invoices manually. Now, MRN has halved the amount of time spent on this process and can focus more on strategic activities.

Global science and technology company Merck knew it was time to adopt advanced technology capabilities in its business to address growing customer expectations and increasing business complexities. In the 12 months since implementing SAP Business Network and SAP Ariba solutions, Merck has seen a 40% uptick in sales in B2B channels. It has also increased the share of its digital channels by 15%, helping reduce operating costs. With SAP as its technology centerpiece, we make Merck run better.

We Are Honored

Out of all SAP solutions, SAP Ariba is reaching Meryl Streep-status when it comes to winning awards. Last quarter, Procurement Magazine placed us as either No. 1 or No. 2 in the following lists:

Congratulations dsm-firmenich!
Sourcing Industry Group, the premier global sourcing association, recently awarded SAP and our customer dsm-firmenich the Innovations in Sustainability Award at its Future of Sourcing Awards celebration. This prestigious award honors our work with them in building a cutting-edge procurement process that champions sustainability.

G2 Leaders
SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass joined SAP Ariba as G2 Leaders in its fall 2023 awards.

  • SAP Concur is named a leader in Expense Management, Invoice Management, and Travel Management.
  • SAP Fieldglass is named a leader in Vendor Management.
  • SAP Ariba is named a leader in Procure-to-Pay, Strategic Sourcing, Purchasing, Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM), Contract Management, Invoice Management, Supplier Relationship Management, and AP & Spend Analysis.

TrustRadius Corporate Social Responsibility Honor
I’m also thrilled that SAP Concur is this year’s TrustRadius Tech Cares award winner, which is only awarded to companies that have an outstanding commitment to corporate social responsibility in the tech industry.

Take Advantage of the Virtual Experience!

SAP Spend Connect Live was only the beginning! By registering for the virtual experience, you can receive on-demand content available through the end of the year. This is your opportunity to see what’s on the horizon for intelligent spend management solutions from SAP and SAP Business Network with full keynote presentations, more than 20 breakout sessions for those interested in procurement, supply chain, or external workforce management, and additional on-demand learning opportunities.

The best part is that it’s completely free, so use this resource to your advantage.

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

Receive our newsletter to get the latest SAP news in your inbox