Coupa vs. Ariba: Which Cloud-Based Strategic Sourcing Procurement Platform to Choose?

To help you make the right choice when deciding on the best contract lifecycle management software for your business, we’re assessing Coupa vs. Ariba. You’ll see what makes them both a top choice for companies across industries for managing their eSourcing, procurement and other contract management needs. By understanding their similarities and differences, you’re better positioned to decide which is a better fit for your organization.

1. Coupa Highlights

2. SAP Ariba Offers

3. What is the Difference Between SAP Ariba vs Coupa?

4. Which Should You Choose…SAP Ariba vs Coupa? Or DeepStream?

Strategic sourcing, spend management and overseeing supplier relationships takes time and costs money. Cloud-based tools help us save on both, and Coupa and SAP Ariba are well-known in the market for supporting contract management activities.

Whether you’re in charge of procurement for a medium-sized company, or part of a larger team overseeing supply chain management for an enterprise organization, chances are you’re reliant on software providers to help make these processes more efficient and cost effective. 

But are you using the right software solution to match your needs and support your business performance goals? 

To help you make the right choice when deciding on the best contract lifecycle management software for your business, we’re assessing Coupa vs. Ariba.  

You’ll see what makes them both a top choice for companies across industries for managing their eSourcing, procurement and other contract management needs. By understanding their similarities and differences, you’re better positioned to decide which is a better fit for your organization. 

We’ll also contrast both SAP Ariba and Coupa with our own RFx platform, to help you understand how DeepStream sizes up in comparison, and what makes it so special.

Coupa Highlights

Website screenshot of the homepage.

Coupa is a cloud hosted spend management platform for medium-sized businesses and large-scale enterprises. 

Positioned as an all-in-one solution, it assists you in managing every spend-related activity across your business. 

The easy-to-use, open-architecture software means Coupa can easily be adapted to fit into your ecosystem. It’s popular with big name brands such as Salesforce, Unilever, Groupon and Aon, and businesses across a diverse range of industries, from non-profits, to retail, to manufacturing.

Key features of Coupa include: 

Their web solution is fully mobile with Android and iOS compatibility. It currently supports five languages and integrates with over 35 other Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications, including DocuSign, KPMG, MuleSoft, NetSuite and Salesforce.

Coupa’s versatility is demonstrated by its multi-lingual, multi-currency and multi-organizational Business Service Management (BSM) options and the 360 degree visibility it offers across various business processes.  

They have a flexible, quote-based pricing scheme and offer comprehensive support for setting up and using their product.

SAP Ariba Offers:

Website screenshot of the homepage.

SAP Ariba is a customizable, comprehensive procurement platform which includes a robust set of tools to support your sourcing process, procurement and payment needs. 

Having been around for more than 25 years, they are recognised as a leader in the field. This solution appeals to larger organizations such as JP Morgan Chase, Deloitte and CocaCola, but is also used by medium to small businesses globally too.

Key features of SAP Ariba include:

  • Analytics & reporting
  • Procurement
  • Strategic sourcing
  • Spend management
  • Supply chain management
  • Supplier collaboration

This cloud-based procurement platform integrates with SAP-specific ERP management software and is primed for Mac and Windows use, as well as Android and iPhone apps. 

It includes access to an extensive business marketplace called the Ariba Network, providing more opportunities to connect, compete, and trade with suppliers and buyers worldwide.

SAP Ariba tailors their price plans specifically to client needs and their support includes a sizable help center and resource hub.

What is the Difference Between SAP Ariba vs Coupa? 

Three people seated around a white marble table looking at graph documents.

Let’s now consider how these 2 companies match up to each other in terms of 5 specific areas: their features, integrations, ease of use, flexibility and marketplace.

1. Features

Coupa and SAP Ariba have similar feature sets. What sets them apart from other options is their advanced business intelligence capabilities.

They both offer spend and payment management elements, supply chain and contract management components, and advanced data analysis. Extensive tools, compliance-driven processes, and the ability to leverage information from their broad networks both inform and support procurement decision making. 

Both do similar things, but there is a subtle difference in their positioning. Coupa positions itself as a Business Spend Management platform with a focus on visibility, whereas SAP Ariba identifies as an eProcurement and Supply Chain Management platform. Their focus is on process improvement.

According to TrustRadius, Coupa’s attraction lies in their tracking and procurement transparency and SAP is known for their customizable workflows and ability to handle complex procurement needs and environments.

Similarly, DeepStream’s solution features support for sourcing, spend management, procurement, tracking, compliance and reporting. Where we offer more value is with our AI-powered functionality and the efficiencies it brings to sourcing, procurement and supply chain management. Our focus is on intelligent, speedy, seamless and user friendly RFx communications. So, we place importance on the transparency, efficiency and cost-saving elements of improving communications in all procurement-related processes.

2. Integration

Although they are comprehensive contact management solutions in their own right, both platforms also form part of larger technology stacks.

Coupa’s Application Programming Interface (API) means it can integrate with multiple other ERPs, analytics and financial tools. Its adaptability is showcased by its use cases as an on-premises, on-the-go, or web-based tool. 

SAP Ariba currently integrates specifically and seamlessly with other SAP software solutions. The benefit of this is that you’re working with a single software supplier, which simplifies your communications and support processes. Similar to Coupa, it is used as a mobile or desktop application.

To compare, DeepStream is currently a cloud-based technology for use on Mac and Windows. It integrates with Slack for communications, but it is also a full stack, standalone solution and all communications and negotiations can happen in-app. So no other ERP integrations are required to activate its full potential and functionality.

If you’re not familiar with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, watch this quick video:

3. Usability

Both are effective tools which are relatively easy to use and implement. 

But deployment time depends on the customization required and the size of your company. 

SAP Ariba states that their solution deploys in 12 weeks or less and requires about 20 hours of training time. Onboarding time for Coupa users depends on the customization you need and the number of staff on your team. Training takes 3-5 hours for a user to get up and running after system implementation.

Coupa SAP Ariba DeepStream
Deployment Client dependent 12 weeks or less 1-3 days
Training 3-5 hours per user 20 hours per user No training

DeepStream takes 1-3 days to deploy. As it’s plug and play and incredibly easy to use, there is virtually no training required beyond the initial demo, but our customer success team are on hand to help every step of the way. It is so user friendly that the onboarding is seamless and your team will be up and running in days. You can also customize our agile software as you use it. The fast implementation time translates into faster turnarounds on your procurement timelines.

4. Flexibility

Man writing on a presentation board in front of a group of people seated at a boardroom table.

There are 2 main areas relating to the flexibility of these software applications.

Horizontal flexibility supports a variety of different types and sizes of organizations across industry spectrums. 

Both options support this as they can be used across industries and sectors. SAP Ariba caters to both small, medium, and large businesses, whereas Coupa focuses more on big businesses and organizations.

Vertical flexibility helps clients scale as they need to. 

Both solutions are fully compatible with scaling up or down. Customized feature sets fit individual client needs with additional capabilities and integrations added or removed as needed. Pricing for both is quote based.

DeepStream is supremely flexible, as it is scalable, versatile and user friendly. You can seamlessly and collaboratively build and execute on any direct or indirect RFx workflows and communications, all from a single dashboard view. We also offer an initial three month “walk away” trial period for clients to work with the software, before we progress to providing a quote.

5. Marketplace: Supply Chain Collaboration

Marketplace connection is an important differentiator when choosing your strategic sourcing and supplier management platform.

Market connectivity is a valuable consideration, as connecting to new markets around the world means more diverse, viable trading opportunities, and increasing your access to a larger number of supplier bids ultimately reduces costs.

Coupa, founded in 2006, has an Open Business Network with 2 million companies. Ariba, which started in 1996, boasts a whopping 6.7 million companies on their Ariba Network, currently considered the world’s largest marketplace. Both have spend management communities, and supplier and buyer networks. But bigger and more mature companies can often be less agile to respond to the needs of their customers…

DeepStream was founded in 2016, so we are new kids on the block by comparison. But in this short time, we’ve already worked with over 4,000 companies, with nearly 10,000 users in 56 countries, partnering on our DeepStream network. And our client base is booming. Where our network differs is that our clients are distinct and discerning about who gets added to the network, to ensure a higher caliber of quality supplier listings.

For quick reference, check out SAP Ariba and Coupa’s specific features and capabilities in the comparison table below, and see how our own DeepStream RFx platform leapfrogs these two offerings.

Coupa SAP Ariba DeepStream
General Info Spend management platform with finance applications (expense management, accounts payable), spend analysis, contract management, supplier management, strategic sourcing, invoicing, procurement. Procurement platform with comprehensive contract lifecycle management elements for sourcing, sales, internal agreements & IP, supplier management and collaboration. Intelligent procurement software for handling all RFx strategic sourcing, spend and supplier management communications and team collaborations. A digital workspace with no email.
Deployment Cloud Based, Customization Dependent, 3-5 Hours Training Cloud Based, Deploys in 12 Weeks or Less, 20 Hours Training Cloud Based Blank Canvas Plug-and-Play Solution, Onboarding takes 1-3 days, Free customer support
Companies Served Medium Businesses, Large Enterprises Small Businesses, Medium Businesses, Large Enterprises Small Businesses, Medium Businesses
Prominent Clients Airbus, American Eagle, Aon, Groupon, Lear Corporation, P&G, Unilever, Salesforce. Accenture, CBC, Coca Cola, Deloitte, GrupoMexico, Grainger, JP Morgan Chase, Kennametal, Siemens. Altera Infrastructure, Anglo American, Britishvolt, INONITY, Harbour Energy, Maersk, McKinsey & Company, Oren, Sweco, TAQA, Verkor, Vital, Xos Trucks.
Features Procurement, Invoicing, Expenses, Payments, Supply Chain Design & Planning, Strategic sourcing, Contract Management, Contingent Workforce, Treasury Management, Supplier Management, Spend Analysis, Compliance Ariba Network, Intelligent Spend Management, Supplier Management, Strategic Sourcing, Direct Spend Solutions, Procurement, Financial Supply Chain, Compliance RFx (RFIs, RFPs, RFQs), Strategic Sourcing, Direct Spend Solutions, Supplier Management, DeepStream Network, AI Powered Agile Software, Communication &, Collaboration Tools, Workflow Automation, Compliance
Integrations Multi-ERP integrations SAP ERP Slack
Languages Supported English, German, Japanese, Spanish, French. English English
Pricing Live Demo, Custom Quote Live Demo, Custom Quote Live Demo, 3 Month Trial, Then Quote Based
Available Devices Android, iOS, Web-based Windows, Mac, Web-based, Android & iOS Windows, Mac, Web-based
Support Email, Tickets, Knowledge Base Email, Supplier Help Center, Ariba Connect Buyer Support Email, Phone, Tickets, Knowledge Center, Free dedicated Customer Success Manager
Popular Alternatives Tipalti, Invoice Ninja, Oracle, Paybooks Accordium, Loio, Octiv, Oracle, eContractHub Coupa, SAP Ariba, Jaggaer
Awards Ecovadis Silver Sustainability Rating 2021, Inc Best-Led Company 2021 TrustRadius Top Rated Procurement Software 2021 Sustainability Award, SDC Exec Pros to Know Award
Market connectivity Open Business Network Ariba Network DeepStream Network

Which Should You Choose…SAP Ariba vs Coupa? Or DeepStream?

Coupa and SAP Ariba are both good solutions for business, contract and spend management. 

DeepStream’s platform offers similar options. But we take things to the next level by focusing on solving people’s communication and negotiation problems too. By centralizing all of your purchasing and procurement activities in one robust digital procurement dashboard with a clean, user-friendly UX and a myriad of relevant, flexible features and functionality, we help make your life easier, so you can get things done quicker.

Some contract management and strategic sourcing alternatives function exceptionally well for an affordable price, but only offer a small feature set. Others may have a larger selection of tools and applications, but be more cost prohibitive.

It’s better to consider which solution has the bulk of the features necessary to help support your organization’s growth and your users’ development sustainably, while keeping your business processes and communications agile and efficient. 

As part of your selection process, it’s important to consider:

  • Which solution best fits your company’s specific needs? 
  • What features do they offer that support your business size, your budget, your users’ requirements and their technical ability?

It’s not just about what experts (or the companies themselves) have to say about each product. What’s more important is the experience of the people on the ground who will use the software. What is their experience?

DeepStream’s intuitive RFx platform is constantly being developed and improved upon through user feedback. And our client reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, so we know we’re delivering an excellent product and support. 

Offering a no obligation 3 month trial also gives our users sufficient time to feel totally at home on our platform. This gives them the knowledge, experience and peace of mind to confirm that they are choosing the right option before adopting it as a permanent solution.

Procurement software teams want to use.

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