SAP on the pitch

Maybe SAP took some of that World Cup fever and shocked themselves into action? The quintessential slow moving leviathan announced yesterday that it had acquired Praxis, an on-demand CRM player. I have not been very shy about taking shots at SAP in past due to their massive overhead and inability to deliver in this industry but this time I give them their due with a very shrewd business move.

  • SAP is making an effort to integrate best of breed on-demand solutions with traditional applications to deliver a compelling client solution.
  • SAP is showing an understanding of the value link between SCM and CRM and is attempting to do something about it by pulling in a quality solution under their product line with over 100 pre-installed clients.
  • SAP now has a good counter punch to Oracle-Siebel at a fraction of the overhead and cost of Siebel.

I have to say, I am impressed with the progressive nature of this move, as it is counter to the SAP history of following late. It also affirms the natural migration of the two platforms into one mega-industry. Iasta believes the future of this lies in quality partnerships between companies that can deliver full solution sets across supply chain and customer relationship in a very flexible on-demand model.

However, it can also be argued that this is a defensive measure by SAP to react to acquisitions like Siebel, Retek, and various verticals which coupled with strong competitors like Salesforce has put them into poor position to maintain their strong CRM growth curve.

Either way, SAP just turned up the heat significantly on other CRM vendors to react. Salesforce will not be on the sidelines for long and all the major players are in a very high stakes game of chicken as they try to execute their grand plan for world domination. My Kool-Aid is telling me that Iasta will be perfectly positioned to deliver the best of breed functionality – with the proper alliances – while giants consolidate and add weight.

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