Thursday, October 7, 2010

Accenture Acquires Parts of Ariba

This morning I read in EEIPlatform  some very interesting news.  Accenture is acquiring some of Ariba's BPO and managed services business.  It seems Accenture is growing their managed services and BPO services for sourcing and procurement services, while Ariba is leaving that area and focusing more on their technology solutions.  Here is an excerpt from the article:

Accenture is enhancing its sourcing and procurement services by agreeing to acquire the sourcing services and business process outsourcing (BPO) services assets of Ariba, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARBA), the leading provider of collaborative business commerce solutions. Under the terms of the agreement, upon the closing of the acquisition, Accenture will take ownership of these assets, which include Ariba’s category expertise, sourcing process expertise and strategic sourcing execution resources, strengthening Accenture’s position as a leading provider of sourcing and procurement consulting and outsourcing services.

It appears that Ariba sees their core strength in their network, databases and technology, and not as much in BPO (business process outsourcing).  Here is another excerpt:

In divesting our sourcing services and BPO assets and expanding our partner ecosystem to include world-class organizations like Accenture, Ariba can deliver on its strategy to provide companies with access to network-based solutions that allow them to more efficiently and effectively buy, sell and manage their cash,” said Kevin Costello, president, Ariba. “We remain committed to delivering innovative technologies – including sourcing applications – that enhance the entire commerce process.

I thought managed services and BPO services were big growth areas.  It will be interesting to watch how Ariba walks the line between technology provider and services provider.  Crossgate, which is co-owned by SAP, is rapidly growing their BPO services to support worldwide e-invoicing requirements.  In fact countries like Mexico and Brazil are mandating increasingly challenging requirements that are making e-Invoicing service providers like Crossgate more attractive.

Read here for an example of the recent requirements for Mexico e-Invoicing to get an idea of the work required.

Kevin R Benedict SAP Mentor, SAP Top Contributor, SAP Blogger
Independent e-Invoicing and EDI Analyst and Consultant
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*Full Disclosure: I am an independent consultant that has worked with and for many of the companies mentioned.

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