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Industry digests SAP hybris acquisition

Industry digests SAP hybris acquisition
Tuesday June 11 2013

ERP giant will take aim at IBM, Oracle and other management suites if it can effectively assimilate its new e-commerce buy

When SAP announced last Wednesday plans to acquire hybris for an undisclosed sum, the German enterprise resource planning (ERP) giant talked up its new end-to-end capabilities.

But industry opinion holds that the deal, which is widely believed by financial markets to have been worth some $1 billion, is worth far more strategically to the acquiring company than its new e-commerce provider.

Building on a number of new wins for hybris, the enterprise software systems from SAP will undoubtedly gain from cross-selling opportunities arising out of any e-commerce platform refresh plans of its existing ERP customer base.

Completing omnichannel vision

“The combination with SAP will enable us to deliver complete omnichannel business solutions and continue our strong growth trajectory,” according to Ariel Lüdi, hybris chief executive and Carsten Thoma, hybris president and co-founder in a statement

Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, co-chief executives of SAP, stated: “With hybris, SAP has made a decisive move to raise the stakes in customer relationship management (CRM) and define the next-generation customer experience."

In the last evaluation of business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce suites in September 2012 by Forrester, SAP’s Web Channel Experience Management (WCEM) system fell far behind leaders IBM, Oracle, Demandware and hybris.

The recent launch of SAP's 360 Customer product suite, which introduced the SAP CRM application powered by its in-memory engine SAP HANA and its SAP Jam social software platform, revealed the lengths SAP has already gone to in filling gaps in its portfolio.

Now with hybris's enhanced margins optimisation and customer loyalty data management and tools, as well as its partnership with Adobe for its CQ5 web content management platform, SAP is aiming to manage the full spectrum of enterprise supplier and customer engagement — across multiple sales, service, marketing and commerce channels — while maintaining understanding and intimacy through social channels.

E-commerce matures strategically

Peter Sheldon, e-business and channel strategy principle analyst at Forrester, said in a blog posting the acquisition has ushered in a new phase of maturity in the enterprise commerce market and is now entrenched as a strategically key product line alongside vendor's ERP and CRM products.

"Over the next 18 months we can expect SAP to make significant investments integrating the hybris suite with ERP and CRM, making it easier for existing SAP customers to use hybris in an integrated fashion," said Sheldon.

When the deal is completed, which is expected sometime in the third quarter of 2013 and subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, hybris will operate as an independent business unit, retaining its existing management team.

Tagged as: SAP | ERP | CRM | supply chain | hybris | e-commerce | software | acquisition | Forrester | IBM | Oracle | Demandware