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NTT Data strengthens SAP channel position with Sapphire

Tie-up will provide greater coverage of the mid-market customer base and provide more geographical reach

NTT Data has strengthened its position in the SAP channel with the acquisition of mid-market specialist Sapphire.

The deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, provides NTT Data with a player that not only has strong relationships with SAP, but also works with ServiceNow, Infor SunSystems, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and HxGN.

The deal will also support NTT Data’s ambition to bolster its position across the SAP mid-market customer base. Sapphire comes with more than 1,200 existing customers that have, on average, a seven-year relationship with the firm.

“We are excited to leverage the potential Sapphire offers to our global customers, especially its ServiceNow partnership capabilities. Sapphire’s expertise complements those of NTT Data Business Solutions and will allow us to comprehensively serve the UK and US SME markets,” said Norbert Rotter, CEO of NTT Data Business Solutions and executive vice-president of NTT Data.

“In addition, the acquisition will contribute to increase our market share in these two focus countries,” he added. “Sapphire has a strong SAP knowledge in development and consulting, particularly in the areas of finance and logistics. Together, we can even more effectively support our customers throughout their lifecycle.”

From a UK perspective, the tie-up should put NTT Data in a stronger position to pitch as an SAP specialist to the SME market.

“Having watched Sapphire’s business evolution over two decades, the esteem Sapphire commands in the market, from both customers and suppliers, is evident,” said Justin Brading, executive vice-president of western Europe and managing director for the UK and Ireland at NTT Data Business Solutions.

“Sapphire’s extensive capability in the SAP mid-market is a significant addition to NTT Data Business Solutions, with our mutual focus on driving digital transformation through cloud adoption making us the only SAP partner able to comprehensively and consistently serve enterprise and mid-market customers’ needs,” he added.

The US team is looking forward to tapping into the market knowledge held by Sapphire CEO Vince De Luca.

From a Sapphire perspective, De Luca said the deal would provide growth opportunities and enhance its international position.

“The entire leadership team and I are energised by the prospects of becoming part of NTT Data Business Solutions, and what that does as we look to deliver digital transformation outcomes to our customers,” he said.

“The investment potential and global influence from this new leadership will empower us to scale internationally in unprecedented ways. This is a transformative opportunity for our entire team at Sapphire, who now become part of one of the world’s largest digital operations providers,” added De Luca.

There has been a fair amount of consolidation in the SAP channel over the past couple of tears, with Sapphire itself contributing to that trend with its March 2021 purchase of InCloud Solutions.

Other notable deals have included Accenture acquiring Edenhouse in 2021 and Codestone picking up Clarivos in May 2022.

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