sap acquires e-commerce platform vendor hybris to expand customer experience platform

Enterprise application mega-vendor SAP has just pushed further into the customer experience management space with the announcement that it is buying Swiss-based e-commerce platform vendor hybris for an undisclosed sum.

According to SAP, the acquisition, which is expected to close sometime in Q3, will place it at the cutting edge of customer experience management by offering enterprises the possibility of deploying the e-commerce platform provided by hybris alongside enterprise solutions from SAP.

It will also enable SAP to offer the SAP-hybris combination as either on-premises deployments, cloud deployments, or the increasingly popular choice of hybrid deployments.

SAP, hybris, CXM

SAP didn’t say in the announcement where exactly hybris is going to fit into its portfolio, but it should fit in very nicely with the new customer experience strategy that it outlined at its SAPPHIRE conference last November.

That envisaged a new approach to customer experience based on SAP HANA -- its in-memory computing platform that supports high-end big data applications and analytics -- that would be used to give SAP’s clients deeper and wider insights into their clients behavior in a way that has not been available before.

In practical terms this means that SAP envisaged offering real-time analytics, real-time customer interactions and real-time execution of customer facing process to its clients.

Since then there have been a number of significant upgrades in this direction including the upgrade of its Customer OnDemand Suite, which gave customer representative and marketing people the ability to communicate with customers offline and on the road.

Even still, it hasn’t been able to hold back the Salesforce tide and in April, for the first time, Salesforce overtook SAP in the CRM market as more and more companies turned to CRM in the cloud to boost business.

SAP, E-Commerce, CXM

SAP has partially responded with the hybris buy and appears to think that the ability to offer its customers e-commerce capabilities will give it a competitive edge.

hybris puts SAP on the leading edge of the consumer economy…With hybris, SAP has made a decisive move to raise the stakes in customer relationship management and define the next generation customer experience,” SAP Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP.

Ultimately, for the user, the combination of the two will provide a holistic view of their customers and their relationship with those customers by managing relationships across sales, service, marketing and commerce, while maintaining a personal touch through social channels.

For SAP, then, the price was probably not a big consideration in this buy. Founded in 1997, hybris has been growing and developing at a phenomenal rate and held onto its position as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for e-Commerce applications earlier this year, along with Oracle and IBM.

Once the deal is closed, hybris will operate as an independent business unit under its existing management team.