Ariba, Softface Partner on Spend Visibility

Combine data cleansing, classification software with analytics to produce clearer picture of spend across multiple ERP systems

Sunnyvale, CA November 19, 2003 Spend management solution provider Ariba is partnering with software company Softface to combine data cleansing and classification capabilities with analytics to provide clearer spend visibility across multiple enterprise resource planning (ERP) and legacy systems.

The two providers already share at least one joint customer, Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries.

Under the providers' agreement, Ariba and Softface will be able to engage in joint sales and marketing activities, and they will provide customers with integration support.

Ariba and Softface said that their alliance would enable mutual customers to use Softface's spend data enrichment and classification software with the Ariba Analysis solution to achieve faster, richer and more precise spend visibility and analysis.

Companies can use Softface's software to automate the process of standardizing, enriching and classifying spend data across multiple systems to provide a richer view of global spend within Ariba's Analysis solution. Ariba said that Analysis provides a single global view with a spend data model, more than 150 pre-delivered reports and integration with other Ariba solutions, giving customers strategic insights to plan and manage their spend across the entire source-to-pay process.

"Working with Softface enables Ariba to provide its customers with an automated approach to addressing the difficult problem of rationalizing and classifying spend data across multiple enterprise systems," said Michael Schmitt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Ariba. "When a customer starts out with the cleanest, most reliable spend data possible, this enhances the power and success of their spend analysis and sourcing efforts and sets them on the right path for enterprise spend management success."

"Procurement professionals need more granular information than what traditional ERP systems can offer today," said Olivier Sermet, CEO at Softface. "Both the Ariba and Softface approaches are very spend-centric, and our complementary solutions enable joint customers to obtain, analyze and use the best possible data from across all information repositories in order to make optimal sourcing and purchasing decisions."

"Spend analysis is the first phase of a successful spend management strategy," said Tim Minahan, vice president, Supply Chain Research, Aberdeen Group. "The combination of Ariba and Softface technologies and services provides an automated and repeatable solution to empower enterprises to capture, cleanse and classify spend data in order to make more informed spend management decisions."

PPG Industries, a supplier of glass, coatings, fiberglass and chemicals, recently selected solutions from both Ariba and Softface to provide a solution for its enterprise spend visibility requirements.

"With over 20 different data sources and $5.5 billion of annual spend, PPG needed a proven solution to structure this information and provide visibility to enable us to better plan and manage our corporate-wide spend," said Jim Polak, director of general purchasing at PPG. "We feel that the combination of Ariba Analysis, the Softface Procurement Intelligence Suite and spend management domain knowledge from the Ariba Solutions Delivery team will provide PPG with accurate spend data and improved visibility allowing us to increase the velocity and savings from our sourcing process."

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