With SAP Ariba, the Sunway Group is now empowered to effectively manage sourcing processes that are easily accessed and shared across functions, divisions and geographies

The Appeal of Ariba


Malaysian businesses need to embrace the latest technologies to ‘future proof’ their core businesses against the wave of disruption sweeping the world today.

At the “Gamechangers: Tech Trends for 2019” conference held in Kuala Lumpur recently, SAP Malaysia managing director Duncan Williamson encouraged local companies to make the transition into becoming “Intelligent Enterprises” to unleash innovation and stay ahead of disruption and the competition.

Williamson was sharing his views at a panel discussion which also featured CIO Academy Asia CEO P.Ramakrishna, Microsoft Malaysia National Technology Officer Dr Dzahar Mansor and Nutanix Chief Evangelist (Asia-Pacific and Japan) Paul Serrano.

He explained that an Intelligent Enterprise comes from a position of strength whereby it can “reimagine the business” to generate new markets and revenue streams.

“It is about maximising the value of an enterprise’s data assets and turn the data into precious insights that is able to empower employees to operate with increased visibility, focus and agility. By becoming an Intelligent Enterprise, businesses are also better able to respond to individual customer needs, engage talent in new ways and create disruptive business models that are critical industry imperatives,” he said.

It is about “innovating with purpose”, added Williamson (file pic below).

Duncan Williamson

For organisations to be able to transform into becoming Intelligent Enterprises, there are three main components. Firstly, there is the Intelligent Suite, whereby intelligent, integration-ready applications can help companies better manage customers, supply chains, networks, employees, and core processes.

Then there is the employment of Intelligent Technologies, where Machine Learning and Algorithms are employed to pave the way for Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Analytics.

Finally, there is a need for an open Digital Platform to manage data from any source, in any format – and rapidly develop, integrate, and extend business applications

Citing the area of network and total spend management as an example, Williamson said that, with the latest technologies, local companies could realise greater efficiencies by simplifying travel, expense and invoice management.

“What’s more, companies can then better manage and engage the external workforce for greater visibility, employee empowerment, cost control and risk reduction,” he said.

“With SAP Ariba, SAP Concur and SAP Fieldglass solutions, SAP delivers the most powerful networks with a best-in-class user experience across sourcing and supplier management, travel and expense, and workforce management,” he further said.

Williamson explained that the SAP Ariba Network is the largest business-to-business network in the world with over 3.6 million connected companies in over 190 countries.

“On the network, more than US$2.28 trillion in commerce is conducted annually — more than three times that of eBay, Amazon and Alibaba combined,” he emphasised.

This is because SAP Ariba Intelligent Spend Management can help companies understand and use their data appropriately, transforming it from information into intelligence, and intelligence into value.

Williamson added that, to date, numerous Malaysian companies have benefitted from SAP Ariba, one of them being the Sunway Group, a property-construction powerhouse with a 13,000-strong employee base which had successfully transitioned to the cloud to drive procurement business-process transformation.

Sunway had turned to SAP Ariba for solutions that will enable it to drive standardisation and best practices across its procurement operations.

SAP Ariba then empowered the Sunway Group the scalability to expand and consolidate, improve transparency and create a metric-driven approach to sourcing that can deliver exponential savings and sustainable competitive advantage.

“By delivering their solutions in the cloud, SAP Ariba makes it very easy for us to accomplish our goals. All of the tools we need to effectively manage our sourcing processes can be easily accessed and shared across functions, divisions and geographies,” the company had reportedly said.

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