SAP pushes further into cloud with $4.3 billion Ariba deal

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More cloud moves mean more channel business for SAP

SAP has announced it will buy Ariba for $4.3 billion as it aims to expand its services that are available through the cloud.

SAP is 40 year old this year and has been on a mid-life multi billion dollar spending spree as it aims to stay relevant in the cloud era, buying up SuccessFactors and now cloud business network Ariba.

The deal will see SAP look to expand its cloud services with the Sunnyvale, California, firm, offering cloud based collaborative commerce applications and create new models for business to business collaboration.

Ariba, which currently has a headcount of 2,600 staff, experienced 38.5 percent growth last year, with $444 million in total revenues.  The deal is expected to go through later this year having been approved by SAP board members.

The deal shows how serious SAP is about the business potential for the cloud.  Alongside Ariba and SuccessFactors, SAP already has its own Business ByDesign and Business One offerings, which it told us recently are still very much part of its plans.

Yesterday ChannelBiz caught up with John Antunes, SAP director of SME and channel UKI, who told us that cloud computing is offering a way for the firm to grow revenue as it increases its business away from its more traditional ERP model, as well as continuing to increase its revenues through the channel.

“We know that our customers are looking at the cloud business all the time, and I think that we will see that really accelerate in the next 12 to 15 months,” Antunes says.

“We are doing two approaches from a channel perspective, one is looking at our existing channel partners and starting to help them build cloud business plans.

“The other thing we are doing is recruiting partners who specifically want to build a cloud business.”

With the consolidation of its cloud facets “under one roof” and led by SuccessFactor boss Lars Dalgaard, SAP is looking to move business into cloud models alongside its ERP offerings, as well as allowing the firm to attack new business.

“We have invested in a lot in different lines of business,” he says.  “Our customers today have never had so much choice within one vendor, and our partners have never had so much to sell.”

“When you go back five years there was only ERP.”


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