SAP said today it had agreed to acquire Concur Technologies, an enterprise software company based in Seattle, for $8.3 billion. For SAP, this deal is the largest ever, pushing the purchase of Sybase in 2010 into second place.
More importantly, this is a good fit in many ways. One, it expands SAP’s giant suite of web services offerings. SAP’s business network will now be handling transactions worth more than $600 billion annually, taking it to a new level.
Two, the acquisition fits with previous deals such as Ariba, a business-to-business marketplace, in 2012, and Fieldglass, earlier this year. Combined with Concur, this makes SAP a much bigger business network company, helping clients conduct business from goods and services to travel and entertainment. This market will only grow. Concur makes software that helps companies manage employees’ travel and expenses and this segment is promising as international business travel continues to expand quickly as the U.S. economy recovers.
Also, this fits with SAP’s cloud-centric strategy. Concur provides its software as a service via the internet.
Finally, SAP gets a well-managed company. Concur’s management has shown good acumen in steering the company from the time it was founded in 1993, when ‘clouds’ referred to fluffy objects in the sky, through the dot-com boom and bust of 2000. This is among the few companies that survived the torrid period when stocks crashed and many firms went out of business. Concur grew, and reported $546 million in revenue last year, and is on track to reach $700 million this year. That also shows how the company was able to adapt from on-premise software provider to the cloud. This ability will come in handy as SAP expands to more services and geographies around the world.
Overall, a great deal. The next challenge is to integrate this company, and SAP has shown in the past that it is good at that.