Ariba is focuising on business services with the next release of its applications, arguing that as much as a third of corporate IT budgets goes on business services.
The new versions of Ariba Buyer, Ariba Enterprise Sourcing and other business applications are intended to assist with the purchasing of advertising, travel and similar services.
A new component will be "collaborative invoicing" which will allow business service providers direct access to their customer's Ariba system in order to create an electronic invoice. The invoice automatically refers to specific terms of their contract, which is also stored in the system. According to Ariba, the collaborative invoicing product reduces data entry tasks for the Ariba customers and also ensures that services rendered are within the terms of a contract.
Another element will be ?supplier performance management," which periodically asks employees to provide feedback on business service providers. The feedback can be used by purchasing managers in negotiating new contracts with suppliers.