Ariba, PeopleSoft Target Spending

Apps to help companies manage their finances.

Ariba Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc. are readying spend management software to help companies exert stronger control of cash flow.

Ariba, of Sunnyvale, Calif., this week will announce Ariba Category Management 1.0, a suite that can improve strategic sourcing for customers by enabling users to capture category knowledge.

Ariba Category Management 1.0, the culmination of Aribas Project Colorado, includes a Process Management application that provides a management team with visibility into spending categories through tools and forms.

The Pure Knowledge Management application captures the most recent supply information and provides a place for collaborative consultations about that information. This breaks down into a dashboard component that brings user-specific information into a calendar so that all activities on a day-to-day basis can be clicked through and drilled down to, accessing other Ariba modules where applicable.

As for collaboration, the tools do not support real-time meetings but do support document versioning, officials said. Category Management 1.0 is slated to be generally available by the end of next quarter.

Ariba Sourcing 4.0 will bring with it a new focus on category coverage, with enhanced functionality for modeling optimal business processes with support for more than 1,000 line items and tiered pricing.

Jeff Hoover, strategic sourcing manager with Air Products and Chemicals Inc., uses Ariba Sourcing 3.2x to manage high-value sourcing in the procurement of goods.

"I cant wait to get to 4.0," said Hoover, in Allentown, Pa. "The user interface is so much more intuitive and easier to use than the old version."

Version 8.0 of Ariba Buyer offers a new catalog search engine to provide better and faster search capabilities. At the same time, a multiserver architecture has been added to help with load balancing and more scalable deployments.

Currently a hosted model, Ariba Workforce, will be available on CD in the first quarter of next year with Version 5.0.

Separately, PeopleSoft, of Pleasanton, Calif., is readying two new products and an upgrade to its SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) 8.8 release that encompasses spend management.

Next month, PeopleSoft will release its SRS (Supplier Rating System) module, which enables a company to compare spending with various risk factors, such as supplier quality, on-time delivery status, financial viability and purchase price variability.

The SRS module will essentially aggregate internal risk factors and compare those against market data from Dun & Bradstreet Corp., as well as other assessments, to come up with an overall analysis and rating of suppliers and tie that information back into the sourcing process.

PeopleSoft also next month will announce a Catalog Management module that came with its Cohera Inc. acquisition last year.

During the second quarter of next year, PeopleSoft will announce Strategic Sourcing 8.8, which will enable sourcing teams to collaborate around a single sourcing event.