SAP Successfully Succeeds in SuccessFactors Offer: What’s Next?

It seems that SAP’s acquisition plans are moving ahead: last week its offer for SuccessFactors was accepted in full.  As a result, and as mentioned previously, we should expect to see SAP’s cloud credentials rise.

Of course, there has already been reaction to this “new transatlantic special relationship”. While there is still work to be done in integrating SuccessFactors into SAP, we should be optimistic about what this might mean for us as users.

SuccessFactors’ CEO Lars Dalgaard has certainly put out a positive message, calling it an “opportunity of a lifetime”. His belief that SAP will “turbocharge” the business is certainly excellent news if true: not just for SucccessFactors and SAP, but for us SAP users who will be able to take advantage of new capabilities.

Admittedly, others have been a little more cynical, pointing out that now that the deal is out of the way the real hard work will begin. While this may be true, it should still be well within the capabilities of SAP and SuccessFactors to turn this into a benefit for everyone.

For our side, the best advice for users is still to wait and see exactly what effect the deal with have on us. Who knows, in time we may well be inviting SuccessFactors customers into the SAP User Group fold!

A busy week for SAP, but what about users?

SAP has had a busy week: as well as further extending its acquisition offer for SuccessFactors, it’s made a brace of product announcements. Firstly it made public the latest round of innovations for SAP Business Suite. Then came the revelation that SMEs would also gain analytics applications powered by HANA.

Both of these announcements are, of course, welcome news for SAP users. The Business Suite improvements, in particular, are a boon for those using the software in the wake of SAP’s previously announced commitment to extending its lifespan. If this level of updates can be kept up throughout, then we’ll have a capable piece of software to work with for some time to come. By making these upgrades integrate seamlessly with existing Business Suite implementations SAP is making life much easier for customers.

Of course, from last November we already knew the potential of HANA. SAP and other organisations have hardly been shy in announcing that Big Data, and so the in-memory computing needed to successfully deal with it, is increasingly the future of IT. However, by adding applications for SMEs SAP is making sure that everyone can benefit, rather than running the risk of splitting the world into technology haves and have-nots. It will certainly be interesting to see how SMEs adapt to the world of Big Data moving forward.

For more conversation on SMEs and HANA, we’ll be discussing the subject at the next SAP Business One SIG on February 22nd.

Will SAP’s merger move have the X Factor for success?

In December last year, SAP moved to acquire SuccessFactors, which it claims will “significantly accelerate” its momentum as a provider of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure. Asuming all goes as planned, this looks like good news for SAP: it would certainly be good news for SuccessFactors’ shareholders. But what about for us, SAP’s customers?

Reaction has so far been generally positive: for example, ZDNet stated that any eventual acquisition would provide “genuine innovation” to users immediately, rather than as a pipe dream. At the same time, the changes to the structure and increased sales pressure could create challenges. Others have questioned whether SAP should be concentrating on cloud scale or on humanising IT. Ultimately, it may be too early to tell.

From the wider business perspective, venture capital publications saw the proposed acquisition as a canny move that would strengthen SAP against its competitors. Other business press, and those they questioned, stated that it was a good day for the cloud. From this side, anything that makes SAP stronger would be good news for those of us that rely on its products and the same goes for the technology market in general.

Other publications linked the acquisition to the “relatively slow uptake” of Business by Design: it will certainly be interesting to see whether uptake changes in the wake of this news, and how. One thing’s for sure: the acquisition is certainly pushing ahead, as recent news shows.

Assuming the SuccessFactors acquisition goes ahead, the true judgement of its eventual impact will not be immediate. Essentially, this should be a positive move and we’d expect it to bolster SAP’s cloud credentials. However, we will need to wait and see what effect it might have on SAP’s future roadmap as well as the impact it has on new and existing customers before we reach any firm conclusion.