Spend management software developer Ariba Inc. has made a name for itself with its Supplier Network, an e-business hub that has 110,000 buyers and suppliers electronically transacting business. Now the company is taking the network mainstream.
Ariba will announce at its Live user conference in Orlando, Fla., this week that under its Supplier Connectivity Program, the ASN (Ariba Supplier Network) will be decoupled from the Ariba Buyer suite and be available to any company wishing to set up a supplier network. The stand-alone ASN offering is geared to ERP (enterprise resource planning) users.
"We get the most requests from SAP [AG] users, but Oracle [Corp. users] as well," said Michael Schmitt, executive vice president of strategy at Ariba, in Sunnyvale, Calif. "SAP, like most ERP vendors, takes a very internal view of transactional processes, whereas spend management takes an enterprise view. Our hallmark has been our network and leveraging the Internet to help buyers and suppliers improve [buying] processes."
The ASN provides global supplier directories that let users manage trading-partner relationships. Suppliers have the ability to register their capabilities, post and manage their catalogs on the ASN, and electronically manage their transactions with buyers.
For transaction management, the ASN lets buyers send purchase orders, change orders and order cancellations through the network to be routed to the appropriate suppliers, which can submit acknowledgements, invoices and other workflow information in return.
Ariba will provide the ASN in two phases, as a hosted service. The order management capability, which includes purchase order routing, is available. An invoicing capability that enables electronic invoicing and settlement among buyers and suppliers will be available in September.
Those companies using the ASN without the Buyer software suite will have the capability to manage transactions from order to payment and to collaborate with trading partners.
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