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Thanks to FMS and UIT, Amazon is Now an Option in iProcurement

Thursday, May 18, 2017

If you need to order office supplies, lab equipment, or virtually any other product that serves a business need at Stanford, you now have the option to purchase through Amazon as part of a new strategic partnership between Stanford and Amazon Business.

The work to bring about this new partnership began in May 2016, when Financial Management Services (FMS) Procurement partnered with the University IT (UIT) Financial Systems team. While FMS Procurement secured the contracts to bring Amazon onboard, UIT built the system integration between Oracle Financials and Amazon Business. This technical integration enables financial transactions to flow smoothly and seamlessly between Amazon and Stanford’s environment.

If adding Amazon to the mix isn’t enough, UIT also made several aesthetic and functional enhancements to the iProcurement website in order to further improve the overall user experience.

These include:

  • A cleaner, more simplified landing page
  • Restructured delivery preferences
  • A simplified checkout process, including the option to keep multiple PTAs on file for purchases

Learn more about these changes on the Financial Systems website.

User benefits

These enhancements, namely the integration of Amazon with iProcurement, solves a need that’s been on the minds of users for quite some time.

“Users were tired of the fragmented experience they got with SmartMart,” said Uma Karunakaran, director of the UIT Financial Systems Procure to Pay team. “They have been asking for an online shopping experience that parallels what they do in their personal lives.”

Since launch on April 17, approximately 2,700 Amazon purchases have been made through iProcurement. And without any trainings conducted to date, only a small number of help tickets have been filed. This suggests that using Amazon for business is every bit as intuitive as using it for personal shopping needs.

“Getting so few tickets is astonishing given the number of users who have shopped on Amazon so far,” Karunakaran said.

In addition to offering the familiar Amazon open-market user experience, the new business account includes the addition of many business-specific benefits, including:

  • An ever-expanding product selection
  • Enhanced search and browse functionality
  • Detailed product description and specs
  • Contracted and competitive pricing
  • Free two-day shipping on Prime-eligible items
  • Direct interface to iProcurement/Oracle for easy checkout, approval and payment

What’s next?

The Stanford Amazon partnership is committed to continuous improvement that further reduces the administrative burden experienced when procuring needed supplies at Stanford.

Over the coming months, the selection and service offering available through Amazon Business will continue to expand. UIT will work hand in hand with FMS Procurement to build out additional systems integrations when new vendors come aboard with Amazon Business.

Learn more

Visit the Business Affairs website to read the official announcement of the Stanford/Amazon partnership and learn more about Amazon Business.

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