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SAP Ariba, IBM partner to explore blockchain applications, launch hub for cognitive procurement

SAP Ariba, market leader in enterprise application software, has joined hands with IBM and announced the launch of a Cognitive Procurement hub to further the development of intelligent procurement solutions and services, working along to explore blockchain technology applications.

The partnership has also announced a global strategic alliance to deliver cognitive procurement solutions, which will redefine the source-to-settle process. The solutions will leverage SAP Leonardo, IBM Watson technologies and SAP Ariba in order to bring intelligence from procurement data along with predictive insights to enable improved decision making across supplier management, contracts and sourcing activities.

“We’ve built a cognitive procurement platform trained specifically to understand procurement transactions and unstructured data such as weather, non-standard part numbers in contracts and complex pricing structures,” Jesus Mantas, General Manager, Cognitive Process Transformation, IBM Global Business Services. “By combining the power of IBM Watson on the IBM Cloud with SAP Ariba, we are leaping existing procurement benchmarks and delivering unprecedented value to our joint clients.”

SAP Ariba and IBM will be using data insights to empower procurement professionals to make smarter, faster decisions across their supply chains. The new blockchain applications can impact the entire procurement process from improving spend visibility to assisting buyers and enriching content management, the announcement said.

The partners will also explore powering the extraction of contract terms as well as summaries to help customers ensure compliance in next-generation procurement.

“Today marks a major milestone for procurement. With the deep horizontal integration capabilities native within SAP Ariba’s mature platform and the innovative capabilities of SAP Leonardo and IBM Watson delivered by the industry’s most experienced and trusted providers, companies can realize an even more intelligent source-to-settle process for managing all categories of spend that creates value across the entire business,” Alex Atzberger, President, SAP Ariba, stated.

SAP has also launched a Blockchain-as-a-Service product as part of its Cloud portfolio. The technology is based off the Hyperledger open source blockchain platform, which SAP joined as a premier member in 2017. The launch will enable developers to start building blockchain extensions for existing apps, while the company also has plans to extend the reach of this service to other products.

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