Ariba Inc.s new Supplier Connectivity Adapter is geared primarily toward users of SAP AG and Oracle Corp. ERP (enterprise resource planning) software who would like to connect into Aribas Supplier Network, but who are not standardized on Aribas Buyer platform.
Buyer users become members of the Ariba Supplier Network, a transaction hub that connects about 120,000 suppliers in 115 countries with buyers.
The Ariba Supplier Network provides global supplier directories that enable users to manage trading partner relationships.
Suppliers can register their capabilities, post and manage their catalogs on the network, and electronically manage their transactions with buyers.
For transaction management, the network enables buyers to send purchase orders, change orders and order cancellations through the network to be routed to the appropriate suppliers, who can submit acknowledgements, invoices and other workflow information in return.
The Supplier Connectivity Adapter—the actual interface between a companys ERP system and the Ariba Supplier Network—builds on Aribas Supplier Connectivity Program.
Announced last April, the program essentially provides a hosted service that enables non-Ariba users to integrate with the Supplier Network—with a couple of caveats. To truly get access to the network, would-be users either had to buy an Ariba product or build their own adapters into the network.
This weeks release now provides the actual adapter, though buyers still have to purchase the Supplier Connectivity program to get access to the adapter.
One key feature of the adapter is the conversion of ERP documents to cXML documents, which lets buyers and suppliers more easily share information on the network. The adapter can be customized to meet users specific system requirement, and testing and certification services from Ariba are in place to help the customizations function correctly, officials said.
The Ariba Supplier Network is available in two phases to non-Ariba users. The order management capability, which includes purchase order routing, is currently available. An invoicing capability that enables electronic invoicing and settlement between buyers and suppliers will be available in September.
Ariba, of Sunnyvale, Calif., has been struggling recently. In its latest third quarter earnings report on July 21, the company posted a revenue loss of about $289 million, with license revenues for the quarter coming in at $10 million, versus $15.5 million for the same year-ago quarter. The decoupling of the Ariba Supplier Network from Aribas core Buyer suite is part of the companys overall growth strategy for 2005, officials said.