Procurement software provider SAP Ariba and contingent workforce vendor management system SAP Fieldglass will no longer operate as separate entities, according to an article in TechTarget. The announcement came at the recent SAP Ariba Live conference in Austin, Texas.

Vish Baliga, chief technology officer at SAP Fieldglass, discussed the integration of Fieldglass and Ariba at the conference.

“Our products truly complement each other,” Baliga said in a presentation on stage. “Fieldglass does a bunch of things that Ariba doesn’t do, and Ariba does a whole bunch of things that we don’t do. However, there are things in the middle that overlap.”

What does this mean for the ecosystem? SAP has stated there will be a merging of certain best-in-class elements of the products, which, if done effectively, should be to the benefit of customers. Baliga mentioned onboarding as one area where they are looking to align Ariba and Fieldglass. Industry insiders believe the company may move to a single branding down the road, but that could happen without making fundamental changes to the organization or tech.

German software firm SAP acquired Fieldglass in 2014. SAP Fieldglass has 5.7 million active external workers in 2018 and more than 131,000 suppliers in more than 220 countries, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

There’s also still a case for using Fieldglass as a standalone product, particularly for less mature  workforce programs.  In addition, many MSPs have contracts tied to Fieldglass which are limited to people/services procurement and HR departments that are increasingly managing contingent workforce spend.

Recently, Coupa software acquired VMS provider DCR Workforce, indicating some common industry thinking in the blending of workforce and enterprise procurement platforms.

The integration of Fieldglass and Ariba should be welcome by existing customers who use both products, according to some industry observers. Those who only deploy Fieldglass will expect early communication on how the changes will affect them.