Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Corey Roth, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Article

Getting a Handle on Spot Buying

SAP’s Ariba teams with eBay to improve rogue B2B procurement for buyers, sellers and enterprises

It remains one of the last bastions of enterprise spend over which companies have little or no control. Yet companies have been loathe to tamper with how their employers and managers buy ad-hoc goods - known as indirect spend, shadow purchasing, or "spot buying."

Now, SAP's Ariba cloud is bringing the best of flexible, innovative spot-buying practices into a more controlled and sanctioned process by teaming with eBay and its B2B marketplace for an integrated, yet dynamic, approach to those indirect purchases not covered by contracts and formal invoicing.

Such scattered, and often unmonitored, spot buying amounts to 15 to 20 percent of a typical enterprise's total purchasing. And so it provides a huge opportunity for improvement, the type that cloud, big-data analytics, and a marketplace of marketplaces approach can best solve. [Disclosure: Ariba is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

The Ariba Networks Spot Buy service was announced today in Orlando at Sapphire by SAP CEO Bill McDermott. "The most intractable CEO issue of our time is complexity," McDermott said in a keynote address Tuesday. "It's getting worse and worse. We see a dream for a simpler SAP, and a simpler customer experience."

Long before the Web, the Thomas Register or vertical industry buyers' catalogs were the mainstays for how many business goods were discovered and procured. There were often done with no contracts, no bids, and no invoices. A material or product was needed, and so it was bought and paid for - fast.

The Web -- and especially Internet search - only increased the ability for those workers in need to find and buy whatever they had to to get their jobs done. Because these buys were deemed "emergency" purchases, or amounted to smaller total amounts, the rogue process essentially flew under the corporate radar.

Under the new Ariba Networks Spot Buy service, major and public online marketplaces are brought into the procurement process inside of SAP and Ariba applications and services. eBay is the first, but Ariba expects to extend the process efficiency to other online B2B markets, said Joe Fox, Vice President of Business Network Strategy at SAP.

Pilot program

The new indirect procurement approach, which will operate as a pilot program between August and December this year, before general availability, will allow those buying through the integrated Ariba Network's Spot Buy services to use eBay's PayPal service to transfer and manage funding, said Fox.

Consistently updated content about B2B goods (services support will come later) will be available to users inside of their existing procurement applications, including Ariba, SAP and later third-party enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, explained Fox. The users can search inside their Ariba apps, including soon-to-be-delivered mobile versions, alongside of their traditional purchasing app services, he said.

"It's consumerizing business," said Fox, adding that users gain convenience and access inside of procurement apps and processes while enjoying ad hoc flexibility and one-click, no-invoice payments from converged markets, catalogs and sanctioned search. Enterprises, on the other hand, gain a new ability to monitor spot buying, analyze it, and provide guidance and curation of what goods should be available to buy - and on what general terms. "It's the best of Web-based buying but with some corporate control," said Fox.

We are facilitating access - with controls and filters - to all the public and third-party content from various markets. It's basically unlimited appropriate content for buyers and seekers.

Eventually, as multiple marketplaces become seamlessly available to procurement apps users, deeper analysis - via SAP's HANA big-data infrastructure on which all Ariba apps and cloud services are being deployed - will allow business to determine if redundancy or waste indicates that the sourcing should be done differently.

The net net, said Fox, is that more unmonitored spending can fall under spot buying, even as some spot buying can move to more formal procurement where bids, negotiation and payment efficiencies such as dynamic discounting can play a role. What's more, analytics can be applied to a whole new area of spend, amounting to higher productivity over many billions of dollars of B2B spending per year worldwide.

"We are not going to build any marketplaces," said Fox. "We are facilitating access - with controls and filters - to all the public and third-party content from various markets. It's basically unlimited appropriate content for buyers and seekers."

These marketplaces will also allow those selling goods and products to gain improved access into the B2B environments (such as the SAP installed base globally) as a new way to go seller-direct with information and content about their wares. New business models and relationships are no doubt bound to develop around that.

Fox said no other business app or procurement services providers have anything like the new offering, one that targets rogue and unmonitored buying by workers using open and aggregated mainstream markets for B2B goods.

You may also be interested in:

More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
The Founder of NostaLab and a member of the Google Health Advisory Board, John is a unique combination of strategic thinker, marketer and entrepreneur. His career was built on the "science of advertising" combining strategy, creativity and marketing for industry-leading results. Combined with his ability to communicate complicated scientific concepts in a way that consumers and scientists alike can appreciate, John is a sought-after speaker for conferences on the forefront of healthcare science,...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
Detecting internal user threats in the Big Data eco-system is challenging and cumbersome. Many organizations monitor internal usage of the Big Data eco-system using a set of alerts. This is not a scalable process given the increase in the number of alerts with the accelerating growth in data volume and user base. Organizations are increasingly leveraging machine learning to monitor only those data elements that are sensitive and critical, autonomously establish monitoring policies, and to detect...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, discussed how they built...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settl...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, examined the regulations and provided insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence arou...
Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...