Ariba extends spend management suite

Ariba has unveiled three new enterprise products, Category Procurement, Contract Workbench and Settlement.

Ariba has unveiled three new enterprise products, Category Procurement, Contract Workbench and Settlement.

Lou Unkeless, vice-president of solutions at Ariba, said that the new applications sit in the middle of the process between sourcing and procurement.

"We are continuing to fill in the holes to complete the spend management process, Unkeless said.

Category Procurement is aimed at purchasing indirect goods and services that are not controlled by a purchasing department.

More than 60% of all company purchases come out of this category. The new application will bring as much as 80% of total spend under management, Unkeless said.

The Category Procurement module will be deployed and used by the various departments within the enterprise.

It will include pre-configured workflows that accommodate the unique ways in which these departments procure products and services. The major types of indirect spend categories templates included are for project-based, time-based, third-party, travel and catalogue purchases.

Ariba Contract Workbench focuses on accelerating the negotiation, assembly, and collaboration around contracts. It will monitor compliance issues around contract criteria and approval cycles.

The third module, Ariba Settlement, will automate the invoicing and payment process.

The big challenge for Ariba will be to convince the enterprise market that a best-of-breed solution - as opposed to a solution from the big ERP suppliers - is the right choice, said Jon Derome, senior analyst with the Yankee Group.

Ariba Category Procurement, Workbench and Settlement will ship in May.

Ephraim Schwartz writes for Infoworld

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