During Amazon Business’ first in-person Amazon Business Reshape event in Scottsdale, AZ, Amazon Business’ Senior Manager of Solution Architecture Oloyede Olumide, Amazon Business’ Principal of Partner Management Dr. Johannes Lux, Amazon Business’ Senior Solutions Consultant Foster Maki, and SAP Ariba’s Senior Director, Solution Manager of Marketplace and Content Robert Calvert discussed how integrations help create smart business buying experiences for organizations of all sizes.
“One of our key leadership principles at Amazon is customer obsession. We want to invent on behalf of our customers. We can achieve this by being able to connect to your e-procurement systems, allowing you to have a secure and easy access to products on Amazon Business,” said Olumide.
Olumide provided an overview of Amazon Business integrations:
With these integrations, a few consistent benefits can include saving time and money, helping drive compliance with your organization’s buying policies, and increasing spend visibility.
“One of the exciting things about Amazon Business is you can start with a couple of clicks right on the Amazon Business website without ever having contacted an Amazon Business representative. You don't need to necessarily reach out to anyone from Amazon Business, although we do recommend using our professional services resources to guide you through that process. We find that customers get a really deep and rich engagement with our professional services team when they have these types of goals,” Maki said.
As of May 2022, customers with SAP Ariba solutions can use Amazon Business’ Integrated Search functionality to access hundreds of millions of products on Amazon Business from their SAP Ariba environment. In a Q&A, Dr. Lux and Calvert discussed the benefits of this integration.
To highlight why Amazon Business is a fit for SAP Ariba’s e-procurement needs, Calvert shared that the essence of what SAP Ariba is selling is automated process and an infrastructure for buying. The organization recognized a need for “day one” content from suppliers for buyers.
“So part of this venture was to identify a best in class partner that could come in. When we bring in a brand-new customer, when we're expanding an existing customer, a customer entering a new country like Japan, we wanted to be able to give them content that they could purchase from,” Calvert said.
In addition, SAP Ariba strove to help customers find goods that they’re looking for the long-tail and nonstrategic.
“For the example of Japan, if you're a multinational company with 300 people there, you want something that can satisfy all of it or most of your needs without having to enable lots of suppliers. That's why we partnered with Amazon Business to do that because it gave us that ‘day one’ content kind of approach,” Calvert said.
Regarding the appeal of Integrated Search, Calvert emphasized that content is key.
“We have a search engine. We have catalogs. But if you were to look in the industries among a handful, Amazon's in the top list of best search engines. So what we did is capitalize on that with this integration.
“If someone searches for a red hammer in their SAP Ariba solution, Amazon Business can come back with a list of red hammers, and it fits into whatever their profile is and in terms of what they want to see and not see. You select it, you punch out, you add it to your shopping cart and place the order. But that search is real time, pulling back real time availability, real time price without the maintenance, that catalogs tend to cause over time,” Calvert said.
Dr. Lux asked about the level of effort for a SAP Ariba customer to actually manage or configure a global rollout.
“No global rollout's easy. But we work together,” Calvert said. “I’ve got to be honest – we worked together to build out a model that makes this enablement easier. Once you've turned on an Amazon Business integrated solution, adding this integrated search is click buttons.
“You come into the UI, as long as you've done your pre-work and you have the right user login, and the admins doing the functions, it's relatively simple. I'm going to enable the German marketplace, a German hub. Now all of a sudden from the German hub, I'm going to enable these five countries around Germany that'll be fulfilled out of and it's click buttons. So it is relatively easy, especially given the nature of a global rollout.
“I think the partnership here made it. It was very important to us to make it easy. I think given the nature of Amazon Business, we work together very well in that,” Calvert furthered.
Dr. Lux asked Calvert if he could walk through an example of setting up Integrated Search for customers.
“We went through an early adopter stage and then we went to general availability of the functionality,” Calvert said. “So in many cases, it's a 30-minute customer phone call, especially if you're just doing the US or one country. Little bit of multiplier if you're doing multiple countries, but it isn't necessarily 10 countries times 30 minutes.”
“They typically like to test it first before going to production. We're on the call with the customer and it's like we're turning it on in their test environment, and we're done. A 30-minute call and five minutes in, we're done. Test is there, the guy's playing with it. ‘This is really nice. Can my people see it now?’ I said. ‘You want to turn it on production?’ They said yes.
“Another five minutes we were up, and we were chatting. Their users were immediate. He goes ‘You know what? They'll just find out it's live.’ Once again, you don't have to do it that way, but that was a great storyline of the fact is he saw the benefit and goes, ‘I want him to have it now. I don't want to wait.’”
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