Partner News

With great power, comes great responsibility

by Helen Harvey / August 2020

“With great power, comes great responsibility.”  It is a proverb that dates back through history, but many of us know it better as the Peter Parker principle, made popular through Stan Lee’s Spider-Man comics and movies. The concept that those entrusted with considerable resources have a duty to utilize them wisely.  At SAP Ariba, we recognize our position as leaders in the procurement market and fully embrace our responsibility to help the world spend better. 

In the past year, we had a fantastic opportunity with our customer, Insurance Australia Group (IAG), Australia and New Zealand’s largest general insurer, to enable the development of a business-to-business diversity channel of social enterprises and Indigenous and women-owned businesses.  In collaboration with SAP Ariba, IAG created an internal diversity marketplace to enable its employees to channel their spend to make a positive impact on local communities. With IAG’s drive and focus, SAP Ariba expanded its supplier community connected to the Ariba Network in Australia with suppliers from diverse backgrounds that will be available to all local and regional buyers using SAP Ariba Buying in Australia.  

Under this diversity initiative, IAG innovated utilizing tools within its SAP Ariba cloud solution to meet its business needs and growing demands for purposeful spending, creating a pathway to invest in community-driven suppliers. IAG and SAP Ariba worked closely with key supplier intermediaries across Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and women-owned businesses and social enterprises such as Supply NationMums & Co and Social Traders to help identify diverse suppliers ready to transact on Ariba Network. By expanding the supplier pool, the diversity marketplace helps IAG employees make more informed decisions before purchasing. Equally important is the ability to provide social enterprises, Indigenous and women-owned businesses better access to markets and corporate spend, allowing them to go from your friendly neighborhood Spiderman (or in many of these cases Spiderwoman!) to full-fledged Avengers-level superheroes.

Also read:  From funding to income:  How White Box Enterprises is supporting social enterprises to start and grow in Australia, while also generating revenue 

By working together towards this end and encouraging more programs like IAG’s diversity marketplace, we will build a more inclusive, more equitable and more sustainable economy – and enable organizations of all sizes and industries to find a better way to grow. Initiatives such as these benefit buyers and suppliers alike. For buyers like IAG, they elevate the role of procurement beyond cost reduction by allowing their employees to spend better and make a social impact in the community. For small, indigenous suppliers, we are growing their businesses by giving them access to the largest business-to-business network in the world. The collective power and purpose of our profession to build a community and figure out ways that we can work together to improve people’s lives and create a level playing field for everyone is as gratifying as it is impactful.

As the world’s largest business-to-business commerce network, with more than 4.2 million connected companies transacting nearly three trillion US dollars annually, the impact of SAP Ariba on the global economy is undeniable and growing. This community of buyers, suppliers, partners and business leaders has the power to make a positive impact on the world and it is truly our responsibility to utilize our “spidey senses” to benefit the greater good.

We invite you to follow Pat McCarthy on LinkedIn or join him online for his monthly PAT Chat series to learn more about the latest in procurement and technology.

About SAP:

SAP is the market leader in enterprise application software, helping companies of all sizes and in all industries run at their best. For more than a decade, SAP has worked to build trust and add value to the social enterprise sector. In addition to the partnerships mentioned above, efforts in this field focus on inspiring early stage innovation and new ventures, to accelerating and scaling mature social enterprises. With a global network of customers, partners, employees, and thought leaders, SAP helps the world run better and improves people’s lives. Join SAP at Social Enterprise World Forum – Digital on Thursday, September 24 at 5:00 p.m. CET to hear Adaire Fox-Martin, SAP executive board member and head of Customer Success share more about SAP Ariba and the procurement with purpose journey.

Helen Harvey is SEWF's Event Director