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Ariba Network to Move to SAP HANA

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: April 30 2014

In keeping with its strategy to move everything to the cloud—and to the in-memory SAP HANA platform—SAP recently announced plans to move the Ariba Network to HANA by the end of 2014. With 1.5 million companies in over 190 countries conducting over half a trillion in commerce on an annual basis, the Ariba Network is by far the largest and most global business-to-business (B2B) trading platform in the world. And with the move to HANA, it is expected to become the fastest and most powerful.
 
SAP started the transition to HANA with Ariba Spend Visibility. The release was the first major Ariba upgrade that was deployed on HANA and it was pushed to 2,200 customer realms and 4.7 million buy-side users instantly with zero downtime.
 
The vendor is now shifting the Ariba Network to the real-time computing platform, which will enable participants in the B2B trading community to gain new insights into their operations and act on them more quickly. Companies will be able to glean predictive intelligence on risks, performance, capabilities, rates, and more from the 15-plus years of transaction and relationship data and community-generated content that resides in the business network. New available data will include structured data on production, marketing, sales and pricing, HR, finance, facilities and operations, as well as transaction-level data from supplier, customer and partner relationships, and unstructured data such as blogs and tweets.
 
Due to SAP HANA enabling data loads 30 times faster, once a sourcing project, contract, or invoice is initiated on the network, companies will be able to immediately perform more complex analyses based on an expanded set of variables, including cost centers, purchase price variances, and micro regions, and receive results in real time. Leveraging the SAP Lumira visualization software, they will also be able to see and interact with their history data in new ways and outline more informed strategies that advance their business goals.
 
With the Ariba Network on SAP HANA, one now has the co-location of transactional information, communication that supports those transactions, and the ability to quickly analyze and make decisions based upon that, all within one central location. The new capabilities, which can be added on an “opt-in” basis, will be previewed at the upcoming SAPPHIRENOW 2014 conference in June. (To hear Ariba’s Chris Haydon discuss the company’s 2014 product road map, check out the Briefings Direct podcast).
 
Still, my prediction is that with the best case scenario perhaps 90 percent of Ariba’s entire functional scope will be on HANA in 3 years. Ariba wants to prioritize on delivering new functionality rather than to simply port to HANA for the sake of porting. Thus, the re-platforming and/or leveraging of HANA across the full array of Ariba solutions will be a careful procedure, as Ariba wants to make sure that all of the valuable 15-plus years of financial transactions data (aggregated and not) does not get lost or corrupted in the process of porting. 
 
 
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