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.