What do you like best?
I like the visibility of all transactions, the reporting features, how easy it is to remain compliant based on monetary release authority, as well as the fact that vendors can submit their own invoices against SOs.
Ariba is user-friendly for the most part. I have trained over 500 external users and they don't face many problems. After submitting a couple of invoices they feel pretty confident.
What do you dislike?
I dislike the fact that escalation rules are based on partition instead of Business Unit rules.
I wish we could open different tabs in Ariba instead of having to create a new session if we want to multi-task without leaving the screen we are working on.
I wish the ERP Push errors were more clear. Sometimes they make no sense to the common user, forcing the business to rely on ePHelp Desk more than they should.
Ariba has a lot of compatibility issues with browsers and many times I had to ask external users to either switch browsers or adjust their compatibility preferences.
I wish we could approve transactions through mobile phone (unless this is a limitation that my company imposes).
Recommendations to others considering the product
Before implementing, do a complete assess of the local business requirements to ensure that you enable all the necessary fields. At the same time, avoid many customizations, which may become a complexity when it's time to update the system versions.
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We moved vendors who used to submit invoices to be entered in SAP by us, instead now they are Ariba Full engaged and they can enter their own invoices, taking this work off our hands and at the same time allowing them to have full control of their timing. It's a win-win.
I have facilitated the implementation of Ariba in other countries that moved from a totally manual process now to completely online. With Ariba there is no need to save paper documents for audits. Auditors have access to the system and all supporting documentation can be attached to transactions.