On 5 June 2013, SAP announced its intent to acquire Hybris software, an e-commerce provider based in Zug, Switzerland, with operations in 15 countries.Taking over Hybris will help SAP expand its presence in the $37 billion e-commerce technology market, SAP said, citing industry analysts’ estimates. SAP’s sales from so-called customer relationship management software, or CRM, grew just 0.1 percent last year, dropping the German company to number two behind San Francisco-based Salesforce.com, which grew 26 percent, research firm Gartner Inc.
Hybris’ strong suit is supporting business-to-business (B2B) commerce, but it also supports business-to-consumer (B2C) commerce, product content management and order management. B2B customers include the likes of industrial products supplier Granger while coffee equipment maker Nespresso and camera manufacturer Nikon use Hybris for both B2B and B2C commerce.
It is architected to be the operating environment for modern, always-on Internet applications, and provides the framework for building high performance applications supporting high traffic as well as big data requirements. The strength and agility of the hybris platforms not only enables us to build all of our applications on this single stack – an architecture unique among commerce platforms – but also allows our customers and partners to build extensions and additional applications on the same stack.
The benefits of this single-stack architecture are:
- Reduced development costs
- Increased performance and operational efficiency
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Improved integration and user experience.
It is possible to build a great multi-channel customer experience using traditional technologies and methods or by enhancing and extending the other popular commerce platforms. The challenge is to do that in a way that enables:
- More rapid development using resources that are more readily available
- More efficient and better performing operations
- Lower cost of maintenance, upgrades, subsequent enhancements and integrations
The acquisition of Hybris will expand SAP’s e-commerce products; while SAP’s Hana, Precision Marketing and mobile offerings will complement Hybris’s capabilities. Gartner named Hybris a leader in our 2013 “Magic Quadrant for E-Commerce” , and SAP as a challenger.
SAP offers a data management offering that does not overlap with Hybris Product Content Management (PCM). Hybris clients should continue to use Hybris PCM to meet their master data management (MDM) product needs, until SAP confirms its road map for convergence or integration of its MDM offerings. Details on upgrade paths, product integrations, pricing and maintenance will not become available until the deal closes. Therefore, neither Hybris nor SAP can communicate information on the futures of either complementary or redundant areas between SAP and Hybris application portfolios.
Ultimately, SAP’s strategy speaks to a world where traditional notions of B2B and B2C commerce “are dead,” said analyst Ray Wang, CEO of Constellation Research. “It’s about personalized commerce.” While SAP will be able to “get a good start with Hybris,” there are many other related acquisitions it could still make, he added. “SAP’s missing identity, payment technologies, and a few other digital enablers like signatures and mobile wallets.”