Bob Cohen, VP Marketing, Basware North America
The acquisition of Ariba by SAP underscores the growing value the market is placing on cloud-based networks for B2B commerce, as well as the need to simplify complex financial processes.
With virtually every organization buying from and selling to other organizations in a complex web of interactions, transactions and relationships around the world, these critical business processes have become very convoluted, because many organizations still rely on slow, manual paper-based processes — and this doesn’t just apply to suppliers but major corporate buyers alike.
As more and more ERPs vendors and big companies look to expand their B2B commerce offerings – whether through acquisitions or building them on their own, what is key is listening to the voice of the customer and understanding the unique challenges buyer and supplier communities within both large enterprises and SMEs face in this new era of global commerce.
One of the key conduits to a successful global commerce infrastructure is keeping it open. Through industry-wide adoption of the Open Network model – the largest open network worldwide that enables easy connectivity between buyers/suppliers, companies can avoid the increased cost of doing business inherent in ‘closed’ network models.
Those companies that have automated critical B2B commerce functions, through e-invoicing, e-procurement and collaboration on the Open Network have found greater organizations and supply-chain visibility, improved cash flow and greater process efficiency. Given this success, they are expecting current and newly acquired solutions providers to step up to the plate, delivering the innovative as well as open solutions and services that keep pace with a constantly changing world of B2B commerce.
As the world of B2B commerce continues on its frenzied pace – providers must remain single-mindedly focused on the buyer-supplier relationship and helping organizations of all sizes leverage innovative technology to simply complex financial processes – it’s really as simple as that.