Ariba taken off researcher's 'problem watch' list

Gartner Group Inc. has removed Ariba Inc. from its "problem watch" list after the company addressed some product quality issues and rolled out a strategic sourcing product.

Ariba is still not "out of the woods," according to a recent Gartner research note, but they have taken sufficient steps to allow them to be removed from the list. Gartner reserves the list for vendors where the risk to users of buying software is greater than the potential benefits.

"They've done some things to shore up product quality and to extend their footprint," said Karen Peterson, an analyst at Gartner.

The company has fixed many bugs in past product releases that plagued users with integration issues, and it has released a sourcing product to extend its solutions set from purely e-procurement, she said.

For example, Ariba adopted a development methodology, a process for prioritizing product enhancements and a benchmarking program to leverage best practices and to rescue failing deployments.

Ariba in September rolled out its Enterprise Sourcing solution, which will begin to address past customer woes related to user interfaces, disparate architectures and functional gaps in Request for Quotes management and online negotiation, according to the Oct. 8 Gartner report. This will allow Ariba to more effectively compete with strategic sourcing start-ups and expansionist ERP vendors, the report says.

However, Gartner notes that Ariba still could fail given that it is now entrenched in finalizing its third corporate strategy in a year and that it has struggled to demonstrate it has assembled the resources to effectively tap all the industries in the e-procurement market that it has targeted.

Ariba officials did not return calls for comment Tuesday.

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