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Catching up....

When I put my first post on the expansion of the SAP Procurement / Ariba Skill-set, I never realized how important the readers felt until I saw their concerning & intuitive remarks / comment sections on the blog that went something like “eye opening” or “thanks, I never knew” kind of sentiments, I will start working on it now etc.

Now that you have read my first post on the skill-set empowerment for an SAP Procurement consultant, it becomes all the more important to probe into the sequels topics to discuss in detail, ask questions and have potential approaches on “How to get there”, what to do, how to engage etc. The idea is to DRILL DOWN and come-up with an action item and approach taking the new dimension of solution fitment in the mix of the discussion.

In this blog we will drill down on the skill-set hierarchy on the basis of the Procurement area and chart out all the SAP / Ariba Software components supporting the quadrants of procurement. I wont make this generic by giving you Certification aids / RKT / OKP related redirects, that’s not my intent, the intent is towards “understanding the truth, the gap and what you need to work on: for the immediate need and the future direction.

The below Info-graphic would be the basis of all discussions in the blogs to come in the next few weeks, we will go set area by area under the Supplier Relationship management heat-map to compare the skills that will go hand in hand with the software that exists on both platforms and understand the best fit for a stand-alone SAP or Ariba or a Hybrid landscape.


If you are clear on this topic / a comparison expert / you’ve already done this, don’t waste the time, jump to the other blogs in the days to come that discuss a different PROCUREMENT SET AREA.

Always remember, “Customer will have a mutually exclusive option to on-board either the SAP/ Ariba platform for Operational procurement”. The only piece that can be leveraged in a hybrid option for Operational Procurement is the Catalog Content Marketplace from the Ariba Network.

The best way would be to slice the pie to help compare with the identical functionalities and the procurement area that point to the Ariba side from the SAP side.

The Hybrid Matrix surrounding the info-graphic: envisions skill set v/s procurement set area

Note: This matrix is based on my experience, it is not an SAP recommended SAP / Ariba direct solution comparison. Idea was to map the features and functionalities that are used most commonly by customers and always asked as a mandatory question on potential RFP’s that lead an SAP / Ariba consultant to try and fit / suggest a potential road-map with the mix from the Ariba / SAP cluster in the area of OPERATIONAL Procurement

…Moving on, we mentioned earlier that today’s blog features exclusively the OPERATIONAL PROCUREMENT piece that’s addressed by the SAP / Ariba platforms.

While doing this comparison, the consultant needs to bear in mind that each of these platforms emphasize the concept of operational procurement fitment based on the Indirect / Direct Material Procurement alignment.

As a consultant on the ground, I’ve always seen that if the procurement is more BOM and direct material related, the focus is more on the compliance, schedule and the ATP aspects, tightly coupled with the MRP system generating the requests.

If the need is for indirect procurement, the odds lean heavily towards a best price, best match, contractual, WYSIWYG, catalog based, externally managed scenario.

OCI 5.0 is the latest that brings with it some, very important features for Punch-out catalogs. Coupled with the SRM 5.0 add-on, it allows the cross catalog search across Internal MDM Catalog, Material/Service Masters, Punch-out catalogs, that are like a one fuzzy search yielding great near to match results.

You can read more about the OCI 5.0 here and also download the guide that explains, “What’s New”?

What’s in Operational Procurement / Self Service Procurement that consultants typically configure for Customers?

  • Create Shopping carts from an internally / externally managed catalog
  • Approval of Shopping Carts via the workstation / Mobile platform
  • Shopping Cart follow-on documents like PO / GR / Confirmation / Invoice etc
  • Route requisitions from an external system for collective processing in SRM / ECC.
  • Configuration of the SRM MDM Internal Catalog – for the SAP SRM platform
  • Implement custom scenarios for Shopping Features, Catalog Content or any other specific Shopping Cart enhancement
  • Punch-out enrichments wherever custom Punch-out requirements don’t suffice
  • UNSPSC related enhancements to help standardize the procurement transactions and help empower catalog content with standards based procurement

…These pointers are a mere illustrative in the routine life of an SAP SRM consultant / any Procurement consultant that is implementing operational procurement on the ground, this list could be endless, but based on my experience, have laid out what is mostly configured for a customer.

Ariba Procurement Content / Commerce Catalog

To understand more about the Ariba Catalog Marketplace content, download the data-sheet from this link, see it in action and also register for a live demo



On this blog, we have seen the overall hybrid landscape from both

       a) Skill-set stand-point for operational procurement coming in from both the SAP/Ariba Platforms

       b) Leveraging the Ariba Commerce Catalog Procurement content as common ground to benefit SRM / ECC integration to the Ariba

           Catalog content

       c) The Hybrid skill set/ procurement set area solution comparison

What to look forward in the future blogs

a) other procurement areas and the solution fitment and the continuation to the SAP/Ariba procurement together skill-set story

b) Fit your solution and look back at your skill-set gaps with the other procurement set areas

3) strategize your learning curve and learning plan for the SAP / Ariba Together story

SAP Procurement and Ariba: The Social Outreach

Engage with the SAP Procurement and Ariba via these channels and join the conversation