Welcome to #SAPAribaLive
It’s been an eventful first few hours in Amsterdam on Day 1 of SAP Ariba Live and it’s not just the sun that turned out in fine form upon the City as Europe’s leading Procurement and Supply Chain conference records it’s largest ever turn out. A clear indication that SAP Ariba has a massive part to play in the future of procurement and that digital procurement is a hugely popular topic which companies are ever more keen to explore.
Hosted at the RAI in Amsterdam, the venue is grand and the options available to attendees to learn more about what SAP Ariba has to offer is extensive. All the major players are present and in part responsible for enabling this event to be as successful as it is; from Diamond and Platinum Sponsors IBM and Deloitte through to every other company involved there has been a great presence and it’s been insightful to visit the numerous businesses helping to promote the benefits of SAP Ariba solutions to prospective customers.
For those in attendance day 1 has largely been about meeting existing contacts and networking with new ones. The SAP Ariba Market Place has been a roaring success and provided an excellent medium to learn more about the full remit of what SAP Ariba has to offer… from the Ariba Network & Supplier Success to Ariba SNAP Solutions there are pods set up to understand the benefits offered and opportunity to talk to experts in the field.
Kicking Off with the Main Session – Barry Padgett (SAP Ariba President)
The highly anticipated welcome from this years’ newly appointed SAP Ariba President Barry Padgett certainly lived up to expectations with the thought leader arriving in true Dutch form on a traditional bicycle! Much to the approval of the packed out auditorium. He proceeded to deliver a clear message that SAP Ariba is growing at an impressive rate, and that through utilising the “power to dream” we have an ability to change the world by virtue of driving changes in procurement in order to source more ethically and thus eliminate forced labour.
Padgett also honed in on the importance of improving the Ariba network and interactions between buyers and sellers. This network is already a huge one, and continues to add a new member every 60 seconds.
“3.3 million buyers and suppliers – $1.6 trillion in commerce annually”
Ashley Bates (VP of CP Operations at Shell)
Following on from Barry Padgett was Vice President CP Operations for Shell, Ashley Bates, who spoke about the vision he has for reducing the carbon footprint of the business by 50% before 2050… a long term vision that he feels passionately about, and that in part will be contributed to by Shell’s adoption of a digital SAP Ariba procurement solution. Shell are currently operating at around 3.2 million invoices a year with a $45 billion 3rd party spend and have 27,000 active contracts and 34,000 suppliers. That makes for one incredibly complex supply chain.
Through what Bates has termed the SHARP initiative (Shell SAP Ariba Procurement), Shell aim to solve their single biggest challenge, complexity and scale; via utilisation of the network for smooth flow of information and to make processes as user friendly and easy to adopt for new customers / suppliers as possible. Bates was able to round his presentation up nicely by referring back to Padgett’s earlier comment in his wish for it “to take him 60 seconds to get the supplier” he wants through the SAP Ariba Network.
Dream Bigger – Jim Ridgwick (Global Head of Procurement at Save the Children)
The final talk of the session was delivered by Jim Ridgwick, Global Head of Procurement at Save the Children. His message was aimed at the role in which technology can play globally in making a difference to the world, and about how we can all have a positive impact no matter what our role or company we work for.
From an S2P journey perspective, Ridgwick suggested that simplicity is the key. Complexity can at times be paralysing, and change is often just about getting started in the first place. Save the Children were able to reach close to 50 million children in over 60 countries last year and Ridgwick urged everybody in attendance to focus on having an impact in their own role.
“Strengths x Values x Passion = Impact”
At Save the Children Jim is doing this by maximising the impact of procurement through programs and operations managing procurement risk, achieving cost efficiency targets, driving operational performance improvements through supply chains and investing in procurement capabilities at all levels.
Events and Sessions
Following on from the main talk attendees then had the opportunity to select from a vast array of specific sessions that served to focus on dedicated areas such as digital transformation in procurement, disrupting procurement, recent innovations, cognitive procurement, etc.
These sessions will continue to take place across Tuesday and Wednesday too and in total SAP Ariba have put on over 90 sessions catering to all levels of understanding. In particular I am looking forward to Tuesday’s 2 hour session exploring the complete roadmap for SAP Ariba’s portfolio of solutions delivered by Vasee Ryan, Jason Brown, Hong Xu and Dan Pouliot and Wednesday’s session on the future of procurement hosted by Marcell Vollmer and Amina Anderson which will look into why it is so important to begin the digital transformation journey right now.
SAP Ariba – bluewaveSELECT
If you are planning on beginning your own digital transformation journey and implementing SAP Ariba procurement solutions then it’s important you get it right from the very start. And whether it’s a 12 week low cost out of the box SNAP solution, or a complex fully customised SAP Ariba end to end S2P solution you’ll need to ensure you have the best possible team in place to deliver your project.
At bluewaveSELECT my role allows me to focus solely on sourcing SAP Ariba experts globally. I’ve been fortunate enough to develop relationships with a strong network of the very best SAP Ariba Consultants on the planet and am perfectly placed to help you attract the right people to your own project teams, helping you do this quickly, efficiently and at a low cost to the business.
As such, please feel free to get in touch with me directly for a chat about your needs. Whether you are looking for a complete project team, an individual with a specific niche skill set, or even if you are a consultant yourself looking for your next role or project, I am always happy to network and help #MakeProcurementAwesome
Tyler Watts (SAP Ariba Specialist at bluewaveSELECT)
+44 (0) 1423 559 559 / +44 (0) 7738 566 539 / firstname.lastname@example.org