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'Procurement with a purpose' touted at SAP Ariba Live 2018

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In this podcast, our editors discuss SAP's push toward 'procurement with a purpose,' which is the idea that procurement can be a driving force for good in a company.

The SAP Ariba Live conference served as a vehicle to push a message of "procurement with a purpose," or the idea that procurement can be used to drive a higher purpose in a company. In this podcast, SearchSAP Executive Editor David Essex and News Editor Jim O'Donnell discuss what this effort means for companies and how SAP promoted this message throughout SAP Ariba Live 2018.

One area where this idea could come into play is supplier risk. An example provided at SAP Ariba Live 2018 focused on the ability to monitor how suppliers comply with an emerging set of regulations against forced child labor.

A dashboard in the SAP Ariba user experience (UX) enables companies to monitor their supply chain in four risk categories: environmental and social, regulatory and legal, financial and operational. In addition, the SAP Ariba Supplier Risk module may make it possible to discover suspect companies in a supply chain. 

Part of the conference's "procurement with a purpose" message was the idea that good ethics make good business. For example, a socially responsible company may see increased sales, higher stock values and more top-end talent, as younger employees tend to want to work with companies that are doing good in the world.

For example, a socially responsible company may see increased sales, higher stock values and more top-end talent, as younger employees tend to want to work with companies that are doing good in the world.

SAP Ariba Live 2018 also teased out some interesting hints at SAP's future direction. The SAP Business Network unit intends to take data flowing through the company and its various cloud entities and create new applications and business models. Similar to the way SAP Ariba Network uses data about all the companies within it, SAP Business Network will consolidate and try to monetize data from SAP systems and the company's cloud applications, including SAP Ariba, SAP Concur (travel and expense), SAP Fieldglass (external workforce management), SAP SuccessFactors (HR management) and SAP Hybris (CRM).

Ultimately, all of these cloud applications may reside under one unified UX, with a single presentation layer that sits on top of a complex network of interactions between the applications. It's still in the early stages, but Essex and O'Donnell note that it will be interesting to see where all of this integration leads.

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