P2P suites are expanding their capabilities towards S2P and occupy a crucial place for finance operations and streamlining the procurement processes. In the P2P suites market, SAP Ariba stands out as one of the market leaders. It offers a monolithic solution in P2P automation that can be augmented with its other applications. Yet, due to various requirements (e.g. higher levels of AP invoice automation targets), businesses may prefer other solutions.
Switching to a new P2P suite can be complex. Instead, businesses can rely on plugins to complement their P2P suite. Case studies on use of AI in P2P reveal that there are other solutions like APAI to add more capability to P2P solutions and solve business problems without a long migration program. For businesses considering deploying SAP Ariba or reconsidering their installation, here is a list of SAP Ariba’s top alternatives.Comparison of SAP Ariba & 5 Alternatives
|Number of Reviews
|Up to 4 documents/year
|Zycus Source to Pay
Note:This table includes P2P suites that can manage and automate all or most of the processes that are part of the P2P cycle.
*Ratings and reviews are based on Gartner Peer Insights, G2, Capterra and TrustRadius. Vendors who received more reviews are ranked first.
SAP Ariba overview
SAP’s procurement solutions are made available via a multi tenant cloud architecture. Ariba works in integration with SAP Fieldglass and the SAP Business Network. For monolithic spend management across several categories and channels, SAP’s P2P suite is a good option.
Overall capabilities in procurement:
- Procure to pay: Through Ariba, you can automate your entire procurement cycle and give users one place to search for goods and services.
- Catalogs: Ariba provides advanced tools to organize and improve catalog content, making purchasing easier for employees.
- Guided buying: Ariba directs employees towards favored suppliers and practices, leading to increased usage and adherence to spending guidelines.
- Spot Buy: Ariba provides a cost-effective solution for indirect items, streamlining occasional or urgent purchases that are expensive and lengthy to obtain. 1
- According to a recent Gartner report, SAP scores in the top quartile in most of the services such as e-purchasing. 2 The services include Fieldglass functionalities such as report services and external workforce spend.
- Customers can reach full support for POs, work orders, inventory management, and integrations with PLM and other support systems.
- Although SAP is considered as a mature vendor in the market, it offers integration to a large partner ecosystem.3
- We mentioned that SAP Ariba has a monolithic structure that covers a significant part of the procurement cycle. Users also note that Ariba provides visibility during the streamlining of processes such as requisitions (Figure 1). 4
- Ariba offers in-software analytics features that help customers in reducing costs by usage of data; monitoring and predicting the upcoming costs.5
- Users claim that Ariba requires an extensive training. As the range of services it offers is wide, the app’s interface can be quite complex for users, resulting in significant time loss (Figure 2). 6
- Several users emphasized that Ariba can be quite costly. The software can ask for payment per transaction which makes it unmanageable for small & mid-sized businesses.7
- SAP can integrate with OCR technology in invoice automation. However, as a recent report discusses, the accuracy depends on the service provider.8
- Also, since OCR technology cannot extract the information on the invoice in all cases, it may require manual intervention in cases of deviations. This can lead to serious time loss. Users can solve this problem through APAI software that provides autonomous automation with feedback and continuous learning, where the information on the invoice is also extracted & used.
GEP Smart overview
One of the standout advantages of working with GEP Smart is its one-stop-shop end-to-end procurement solution. GEP Smart covers all key aspects of the procure-to-pay process such as:
- Contract management
- Supplier management
- Invoice processing
This means that finance teams can benefit from having all procurement processes integrated into one cloud platform.
- As your business grows and evolves, GEP Smart can scale alongside it, accommodating the changing needs of your procurement processes. This flexibility allows for seamless expansion and ensures that GEP Smart can continue to meet your evolving requirements (Figure 3). 9
* In terms of customer support, GEP Smart offers reliable system performance and responsive user support. This means that you can rely on the system to be available when you need it, and any issues or questions can be promptly addressed by the GEP Smart team.10
- The software offers manuals only in English; and users point out the issue that when another language is set, the translation is of poor quality.11
- The services offered by GEP Smart sometimes lack flexibility. The services offered by GEP Smart sometimes lack flexibility. The flexibility demanded by users in terms of configuration tools for custom fields underlines this.12 See Figure 4:
Zycus Source to Pay overview
Zycus Source to Pay is a comprehensive, single platform designed to handle a wide range of procurement activities. It offers a holistic solution for procurement activities and merges strategic sourcing with business operations.
- Zycus’ partner ecosystem rating improved with the launch of the AppXtend store, broadening the capabilities of a standard P2P suite. Their Merlin AI products, like the AP SmartDesk Inbox, seamlessly integrate with the core P2P product, allowing development and processing of invoices while handling supplier queries.13
- Strategic sourcing: At its heart, the platform is built for strategic sourcing. This allows businesses to identify top alternatives for their procurement needs, ensuring they get the best deals and partnerships.14
- Unified management: The software offers a centralized hub to manage all procurement-related tasks. This single platform approach ensures consistency and efficiency.15
- Users suggest that Zycus source to pay suite does not include API functions, therefore, only flat files can be sent. See Figure 5: 16
- Supplier management can be challenging in Zycus. Reviews show that the supplier management system can include a lot of checks to be filled by the supplier. This makes the software difficult to adopt for the suppliers.17
Esker is a comprehensive P2P (procure-to-pay) suite designed to streamline and automate the entire procurement and payment process. Esker leverages advanced technologies like AI, and enhances functions such as invoice processing, order management, and payment solutions.
- Esker provides AI enhancement to its OCR engine, enabling advanced invoice recognition and shipping notifications. Unlike many competitors that rely on third-party OCR add-ons in the P2P market, Esker can stand out with this feature. The software uses deep learning for line-item identification in PO invoices and AI-driven supplier statement matching.18
- Users point out the visibility Esker offers. Workflow visibility allows tracking of an invoice’s journey, including any adjustments or issues addressed for processing. By centralizing all invoices, Esker enables users from various groups to search for and retrieve any necessary invoice documentation.19
- According to user comments, Esker may have problems with PO line matching with some ERP systems, when there are, for instance, invoice rejections. This can lead to AP teams to intervene the process 20 See Figure 6:
- User management in Esker involves adding and removing users through its interface within the Esker ecosystem. Integrating this with external user systems, such as active directory, could help save administrative time.21
- The tool can be configured by adding new fields, design rules, creating queries , reports, workflows and more, which makes the use of the suite easy and allows customers to operate freely.22
- 5+ reviews on Ivalua on G2 underlines that the suite is user friendly23 (See Figure 7).
- Feedback suggests that there may be problems implementing Ivalua.24
- Deployment issues after version upgrades are challenging for users to adopt to.25 (Figure 8).
- Despite being user friendly, reviews also show that there is a learning curve before getting comfortable with the suite.26
Medius provides the Medius Spend Management Suite through a multi-tenant cloud platform. It stands out as a solution for clients seeking a P2P suite tailored for complex financial cases.
- Medius offers an automated invoice capture and approval process empowered by AI which can learn from invoice information and historical data. This can help reduce manual processing significantly.27
- Medius is also available on mobile. This means approvals can be done anywhere and with any device and can speed up processes.28
- Lack of functionality & slowdowns in several components. Users of Medius can experience slowdowns in regular activities such as uploading large sizes of invoices and using dashboards 29 For some other lack of functionalities in the application see Figure 9:
Figure 9. Source: G2 30
- Medius lacks pre built integrations for PLM systems and relies on partners to enhance its services features.31
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