17 February 2005 | David Arminas
The impending "battle" between Oracle and SAP for the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market will be good news for makers of spend management systems, according to Ariba.
Company president David McCormick, who was attending the company's annual users' conference in London, told SM that Ariba is more of a niche player and is "agnostic about what ERP system a potential client uses".
Oracle and SAP's struggle for ERP market share will increase awareness of what other systems, including spend management, can do, he said.
But IT budgets remain tight and may rise by only up to 3 per cent a year until 2008.
"This means all technology providers, including the big ERP suppliers, must show a good return on investment."
Ariba will continue to focus on the Forbes Global 2,000 companies and North America remains its major market.
But he said the European Union's expansion into eastern Europe opened up a lot of opportunities for the company.
About 400 users attended the conference in London.
McCormick, who is based in Philadelphia, was previously the president of Freemarkets and led the publicly traded firm into a merger with Ariba in 2004.