Last year, SAP and Amazon Business announced a new partnership that would expand the corporate purchasing choices available to SAP Ariba customers. Additionally, the partnership would further enhance the SAP Business Network.

“Partnering with Amazon Business is a bold step aligned with our strategy to make SAP Business Network more open so that users can more easily and compliantly buy the goods required to do their work and keep their businesses running,” Tony Harris, SAP global VP of Business Network Solutions, said in a press release. “Customers want choices, and SAP is continually evaluating and onboarding new content sources for our Spot Buy capability to provide the most value to them.”

ASUG recently sat down with Tony to discuss this new partnership and what it means for SAP customers. Here is our conversation.

ASUG: What is Amazon Business, for those who don’t know?

Tony: Amazon Business is a business-to-business marketplace that brings the convenience and ease-of-access of Amazon’s original ecommerce platform to cater especially to businesses. The platform allows companies to purchase from the multitude of product options available on its marketplace, while [also] offering tools helpful to businesses.

ASUG: Can you describe what the partnership between SAP and Amazon Business entails?

Tony: SAP is partnering with Amazon Business to provide employees with access to hundreds of millions of items from trusted suppliers on Amazon Business from within SAP Ariba solutions. This integration allows employees to search for and purchase from Amazon Business directly within the Spot Buy capability in SAP Ariba solutions—all while maintaining compliance with corporate purchasing policies.

ASUG: How does this partnership help SAP customers?

Tony: Through this partnership between SAP and Amazon Business, employees now have one place to go to access even more items than before—hundreds of millions more—and an even more convenient consumer-like purchasing experience.

ASUG: Will this partnership assist in addressing the supply chain issues we’re currently seeing? How?

Tony: With companies and consumers alike feeling the effects of the current supply chain issues, we want to act as a partner in ensuring customers are well prepared[,] and this solution can be a valuable tool in doing so. It is important now more than ever for organizations to ensure they are sourcing products from reliable suppliers and are aware of their inventory levels to be prepared for any future disruptions. By using SAP Ariba solutions, customers have access to a wide variety of products from trusted suppliers and can more effectively mitigate risk.

ASUG: How did this partnership arise? Was this something customers had asked for?

Tony: Aligning spend decisions [with] business strategies is important to customers, and SAP is focused on delivering solutions that will do just that. This integration further expands this capability, as well as aligns with a priority for both companies: [to] make procurement easier for companies of all sizes, in all industries.

Our marketplace strategy has always been to work with the most relevant content partners to address the needs of our customers. This made Amazon Business a natural choice to extend the content currently available, especially for customers in certain countries[,] where we had been receiving feedback that they would like to see SAP partnering with Amazon specifically for non-contracted spend.

ASUG: Why is a solution like this so vital now?

Tony: With organizations facing a variety of challenges as a result of supply chain volatility, SAP strives to make it easier for customers to compliantly buy the goods required to do their work and keep businesses running. SAP continuously innovates to be a procurement partner that companies can depend on. It is vital in today’s climate to increase customer [access] to products while offering a convenient and reliable platform to process their purchases.

ASUG: Can you share a success story of a company that has leveraged the expanded buyer choices afforded by this partnership?

Tony: We are currently working with a limited number of customers in the U.S. on deploying and testing the solution as part of an early adopter program. We will be happy to share details of customer success once the solution becomes generally available.

ASUG: What does the future hold for this partnership? Are there plans for more capabilities?

Tony: We are already discussing other potential innovations between SAP and Amazon Business to deliver even greater outcomes for our respective customers. [We] will share details [about] these at the appropriate stage.

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