Integration: The Key To Digitizing Procurement Processes

Vasudha Karanam

People in procurement, supply chain, and finance functions often choose the best software for their individual responsibilities so they can take advantage of the innovative capabilities it has to offer. However, this creates challenges for IT – with different systems for different but related functions across the organization.

What’s more, IT is also increasingly dealing with transitions from on-premise to cloud solutions, along with the need to manage multiple cloud or hybrid infrastructures. Add in the rapid adoption of business networks to extend procurement processes for collaboration with partners and suppliers, and the IT challenges become even more complex.

For IT staff, all of this can seem daunting, as they must deal with fragmented data; disrupted, inefficient processes; multiple sources of truth; and inconsistent communication. So what’s an IT organization to do?

Striving for excellence, despite the challenges

IT departments work diligently to integrate disparate solutions into their existing infrastructures so they can provide a unified user experience.

This also holds true for companies that want to truly realize the benefits of digitizing procurement processes, and in particular, business networks. A seamless integration between cloud-based solutions and existing infrastructures is key to driving performance, speed, agility, visibility, and control.

Simplifying the path for business networks

For procurement, supply chain, and finance functions, business commerce networks have become an integral part of how companies manage their buying, selling, and supply chain management processes. With more and more buyers and suppliers joining these networks, IT must find an integration path that is scalable and empowering. The optimal option is an underlying integration process that provides self-service capabilities which are simple enough for organizations to quickly navigate on their own.

In fact, simple, self-service, and fast are three core requirements for innovative, best-in-class integration solutions. Here’s why:

  • Simple: Buyers and suppliers want an easy-to-use integration setup that guides them through the process step by step with a single sign-on.
  • Self-service: People who use business commerce networks regularly want a user-friendly interface so they can configure, test, and deploy the solution quickly, without any need for outside help.
  • Fast: Speed is also key for users that want to get into production rapidly. Integration that can be completed within hours is ideal.

Solutions with these advantages allow suppliers to interact with multiple customers by connecting just once, with a single configuration for all customers. With greater visibility into a single source of truth, suppliers can make more informed and confident decisions.

Ultimately, this leads to a faster market-to-cash cycle, greater order and invoice accuracy, lower processing costs, and higher customer satisfaction. And integration processes like this alleviate the burden on IT, which saves time and money for the organization overall.

To learn more about how to digitize and integrate your procurement processes, join SAP for an informative Webinar on simplifying integration on June 29. You’ll also hear from our customer, Devon Energy, on the benefits of integrating procurement, supply chain, and finance operations into a single source of truth. Register now.

Vasudha Karanam

About Vasudha Karanam

Vasudha Karanam is an IT/Platform product marketer with SAP Ariba. With over 11 years of experience in IT, she has spent the last 8 years focused on the procurement solutions sector. She is actively involved in creating product marketing strategies for IT/Platform solutions. She is responsible for integrated marketing plans, growth initiatives, and go-to-market plans for IT/Platform solutions from SAP Ariba. Vasudha was previously responsible for various roles including marketing release readiness and business analytics for SAP Ariba sales and marketing. She holds an MBA from Birmingham City University, UK.