In March of 2014, SAP acquired cloud-based procurement contingent labor and vendor management system technology provider Fieldglass.  Plans called for combining the functionality within Fieldglass with that of the existing human resource management capabilities of SAP SuccessFactors and integrating both with the Ariba, an SAP Company network platform. After the acquisition was completed in mid-2014, the technology services provider has since been designated Fieldglass, a part of SAP.

This author recently had the opportunity to conduct a briefing with this services procurement and contingent workforce management technology provider.  The briefing was prompted by reports that Fieldglass has experienced a considerable growth trajectory since the SAP acquisition.

In our briefing, we were informed that post acquisition plans have gone exceedingly well. The technology provider has grown its global workforce by just over 30 percent and relocated its corporate headquarters to another part of Chicago. Efforts are underway for broader coverage in Europe and Latin America. According to a recent press release, 30 percent of all customer implementations of Fieldglass in 2014 occurred outside North America.  That should be expected given SAP’s global presence and sales coverage.

The integration with the Ariba P2P platform was spurred by an internal SAP decision not to go forward with previous plans to augment Ariba Services Procurement, opting instead to utilize elements of Fieldglass. However, there remain separate user-interfaces among Fieldglass and Ariba but there have been described efforts to unify the look and feel of both platforms by leveraging SAP’s Fiori user interface strategy. When we questioned whether both Fieldglass and Ariba eventually come together, we were informed that there are no current plans to do so at this time.

Plans for business process integration of Fieldglass and Ariba were noted as tracking for release this current calendar quarter. That integration supports the ability to create a services requisition on the Fieldglass platform, create the ability for Statement of Work and services tracking, and Fieldglass will seamlessly pass such data over to the Ariba platform for requisition and purchase order creation.

To no surprise, the SAP and associated Ariba direct sales teams were described as embracing the selling of Fieldglass to manage contingent labor needs. The explosion of contingent labor business models among many industries has further helped in spurring SAP customer interest.  Our supply chain focused community of readers is aware of the expanding use of contingent services labor in many areas of supply chain execution and customer fulfillment. However, customers are required to secure two separate software licenses, one for Ariba and other for Fieldglass. That was described as changing at some unspecified future point.

Regarding the adoption of the SAP HANA database strategy for Fieldglass, there does not appear to us that there are any specific plans at this point.

We were further informed that Fieldglass continues in efforts to support non-SAP ERP backbone environments with recent customer activity involving both Oracle and Workday environments.

Our brief briefing did not accommodate time to dive into current Fieldglass pricing and long-term product roadmap strategies, as well as deeper direct materials and supply chain related contingency services support, and that will be our goal for a future briefing.

In the meantime, we encourage Supply Chain Matters readers who have had experiences dealing with Fieldglass since the SAP acquisition in managing complex services and contingent workforce management needs to provide us with your impressions and feedback.  We will incorporate them in a future commentary.

Bob Ferrari