MADRID: SAP has revealed new out-of-the-box integration with Ariba, the web-based e-commerce firm it acquired back in May.
The German business software firm made the announcement at its annual Sapphire Now conference.
SAP acquired Ariba for $4.3bn in order to give its customers access to Ariba's buy-seller collaboration networks.
Now, rather than customers having to devise their own strategy to connect to the Ariba network, SAP has established integration points, using its middleware platform Netweaver.
The integration is for those customers using SAP platforms Enterprise Core Component (ECC) for Materials Management (MM), Financials and Controlling (FICO), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and Business One.
Meanwhile, Ariba rapid deployment solutions, which remove the need for integration middleware, are also now available for SAP customers using ECC-MM, ECC-FICO and SRM, with more planned for early next year.
"This is the first formal integration even though many SAP customers are already using the Ariba network," said Ariba chief marketing officer, Tim Minahan.
"We have worked really quickly to develop standardised integration adaptors based on Netweaver, and the rapid deployment solutions."
SAP customers can now more easily take advantage of Ariba capabilities, giving them increased connections with their suppliers and partners, the firm added.
This allows them to manage orders and statuses in real time, with the possibility of them optimising their cash by making early payments.
"Ariba is about eliminating the hassles and cost of collaboration between businesses. We have, for dozens and dozens of customers, extended the value of the SAP footprint by providing companies with a single way to connect and collaborate through a single automated point," said Minahan.
"The network means they don't have to connect with some suppliers this way, and other suppliers another way."
Minahan also suggested SAP may soon integrate the Ariba network with its big data analytics product Hana.
"The Ariba network is a community with 15 years of content that could be dramatically helped with Hana. It would allow buyers, or sellers, or bankers to make decisions faster than ever before," he added.
Ariba operates as a separate unit within SAP, similar to SuccessFactors, the firm's other major cloud acquisition.
Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site LocalGov.tv. Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.