SAP Ariba is “getting in the blockchain game”, announcing plans to join the hyperledger community and build new capabilities into applications and the Ariba network to transform global supply chains.
“Blockchain is among the most disruptive technologies of the day,” noted the California-based software and IT services provider. “From banking and insurance to agriculture, energy, healthcare, and media, it is shaking-up entire industries and is about to transform global supply chains, thanks to SAP Ariba.”
The company is today unveiling plans to leverage blockchain across its cloud-based applications and business network – to transform the way goods and services are traded – at its business commerce conference SAP Ariba Live, held in the US resort of Las Vegas.
Among the first applications of blockchain to procurement and supply chains that SAP Ariba sees potential in involves the tracking and tracing of goods.
“One of the biggest issues that companies face right now is tracking and tracing goods before, during and after shipment,” said Dana Gardner, principal analyst at market researcher Interarbor Solutions. “All too often, a seller will ship something to a warehouse where it is swapped for a knock-off without the buyer knowing.
“The distributed ledger capability of blockchain provides buyers and sellers with increased visibility and control from shipment to receipt, which ultimately reduces the risk of fraud.”
SAP Ariba plans to join forces with London, UK-based financial technology (fintech) company Everledger to extend such capabilities to the Ariba network.
Everledger, a global, digital ledger that tracks and protects diamonds and other high-value items on their lifetime journey, was formed last April by Australian entrepreneur Leanne Kemp, its chief executive officer (CEO). It securely captures the defining characteristics of these valuables and creates a digital thumbprint of the asset that is stored on the blockchain. This information – including history, transport, events and ownership – is relied upon by multiple stakeholders across global supply chains to verify authenticity.
“Twenty years ago, SAP Ariba bet big on a fringe technology called the Internet and pioneered a totally new model for buying and selling,” said Joe Fox, senior vice president, business development and strategy, SAP Ariba. “True to our roots, we are again investing at the edge of technology to drive innovations in business-to-business collaboration that will change the game.
“One of the things blockchain does is facilitate greater visibility and trust. In embedding it across our applications and network, we can enable supply chains that are smarter, faster and more transparent from sourcing all the way through settlement.”
“By harnessing the best of disruptive technology, we’ve built a global platform of provenance by connecting records of authenticity to a physical object and its certification as it moves throughout the supply chain,” added Everledger’s Kemp.
By 2030 artificial intelligence will add more than US$15 trillion to the world economy according to the group’s research, but most of that gain will go to North America, Europe and Asia.
Companies are warned that they must improve their resilience, as incidents such as this week’s ‘Petya’-style attack become increasingly common.
A report by the Lloyd’s of London insurance market finds that the sector is second only to financial services as the target of attacks.