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SAP and IBM team up to bring forth Cognitive Procurement

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 June 19, 2017

SAP and IBM are joining forces to change the game of data procurement. The companies will work together to transform and digitize procurement to make ‘procurement awesome’ from the cumbersome process it is right now.

When it comes to procurement, today’s method of automation in itself is obsolete. It provides nothing more than the basics. To hold real edge against competitors, machine learning comes to the fore again and the companies are tapping into that to provide their clients with necessary tools. To make this possible, SAP Leonardo is being used by IBM and Ariba to drive a smarter source-to-settle process for managing all categories of spend. 

”By combining the power of SAP Leonardo and IBM Watson with SAP Ariba, we are leaping existing procurement benchmarks and delivering unprecedented value to our joint clients,” said Ariba in a blog post.

Specifically SAP Ariba will work with IBM’s Watson cognitive team to bring insights from unstructured data using Watson’s machine learning capabilities combined with SAP predictive analytics from SAP Ariba solutions. This will help procurement organizations make faster and smarter decisions across the board including their supply chain and sourcing activities.

“IBM and SAP Ariba will work on a mutual go-to-market plan to attract IBM customers to the SAP Ariba solution platform, where they can benefit from this expanded functionality and the comprehensive source-to-settle offerings that SAP Ariba solutions provide,” said SAP.

SAP has been facing stiff competition recently from the likes of Tradeshift and Coupa. Now with SAP Leonardo working along with Watson, what they have is a powerful cognitive engine that can hold the edge over its competitors. Additionally this partnership will bring in IBM customers to the SAP Ariba platform.

IBM is also benefiting from this partnership. While their Emptories provides a good ground work for launching their procurement service, they lack the network to do so. Instead of betting on their own networking, they found an established company to provide the networking capabilities to their clients.

IBM and Ariba are treading carefully and are focusing step by step to introduce their clients into the world of cognitive procurement. IBM is slowly shifting its BPaaS offerings to the SAP Ariba cloud over a period of time. It looks like IBM and SAP Ariba are opening the doors to an amazing method of procurement which can be immensely successful but the key to this will be taking baby steps and taking them one at a time.

MAGAZINE