Senior Leaders from SAP Meet with IT Procurement Working Group
Members of SIM’s IT Procurement Working Group (ITPWG) gathered on October 24 and 25 for their fall meeting.
This meeting was uniquely impactful.
Less than a month before the meeting, one ITPWG member sent an email to the group outlining concerns with SAP Ariba, a collaborative procurement software solution. The member’s company was experiencing an increase in system problems, along with customer service challenges. The member wanted to know if others had encountered similar issues.
It’s not uncommon for members to raise these kinds of issues. ITPWG’s purpose is to raise the maturity of the IT Procurement profession, which is often done by creating a culture for members to share successes and challenges when engaging suppliers, all within the confines of each company’s confidentiality commitments with suppliers.
The email about SAP Ariba generated some chatter. About five other companies reported having similar experiences.
ITPWG leaders sprang into action by inviting SAP Ariba directly to participate in the upcoming fall meeting. Leigh Tangretti (Global VP-Customer Support) and Peter Torrenti (Senior Vice President and General Manager-North America) participated in a one-hour dialogue with ITPWG members.
Feedback from ITPWG members was that the discussion was extremely productive. SAP Ariba’s representatives actively listened to the product and service issues and concerns raised by ITPWG members and provided explanations about the underlying causes. Plans to resolve the problems were shared with meeting participants. ITPWG members were assured their feedback would be shared with key SAP Ariba stakeholders and senior leaders.
“It was constructive because the companies that were having issues got to hear directly from SAP,” said Randy Roth, President of Seprio, who serves as co-chair of ITPWG.
SAP Ariba was likely so responsive because of ITPWG’s influential membership -- which includes almost 40 representatives from Fortune 500 companies. “Because most of our membership is made up of large companies, we can exercise sway over various vendors and get them to pay greater attention than a single company might be able to do on its own,” Roth noted.
Roth said the ITPWG plans to invite SAP Ariba back to the group’s spring meeting -- held in conjunction with SIM Connect Live -- so that members and company leaders can review and discuss progress.
For more information on ITPWG or to join, contact Randy Roth or ITPWG Co-Chair Gregg Fouch.
About the Society for Information Management (SIM)
The Society for Information Management (SIM) (http://simnet.org) is the world’s premier organization for IT leaders. Since 1968, SIM has inspired the minds of the most prestigious IT leaders in the industry — including CIOs, senior IT executives, prominent academicians, consultants, and other IT leaders. Today, SIM is comprised of more than 5,000 members who come together to share, network and give back to their communities through the collaboration of SIM’s 44 local chapters.