SAP buys e-commerce company Hybris to move into CRM market

SAP is moving into the CRM market with its purchase of Hybris, a Swiss customer relationship management (CRM) supplier

SAP has announced an incursion into the CRM market with its intention to purchase Hybris, a Switzerland-based customer relationship management (CRM) supplier.

Bill McDermott (pictured), co-CEO of SAP, said, in an analyst telephone briefing: “We will take over the CRM marketplace.”

SAP said customers will have a choice of on-premise or cloud deployment of the acquired company’s technology.

McDermott and fellow CEO Jim Hagemann Snabe said: “Hybris puts SAP on the leading edge of the consumer economy.

"SAP has made a decisive move to raise the stakes in customer relationship management and define the next generation customer experience."

Hybris was founded in 1997. It offers what it describes as “a complete omni-channel commerce platform that incorporates web, mobile, call centre and store” ways to shop. It uses master data management to unify commercial processes. The company’s majority investor is HGGC, a private investment firm based in Palo Alto, California. It has 500 customers, including General Electric, Thomson Reuters and Toys r Us.

SAP intends to run Hybris’s technology on in-memory database Hana. The two companies already have joint customers, including Nespresso, a coffee and coffee machines maker.

Hagemman Snabe said 106 of Hybris’s customers are already integrated with SAP. “We will go further, adding mobile applications into the mix, and cloud – a lot is on-premise now. And you can get radical reduction of costs with Hana.”

Upon completion of the transaction, expected in the third quarter of 2013 and subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, Hybris will operate as an independent business unit and will retain its existing management team led by CEO Ariel Lüdi and president and co-founder Carsten Thoma.

McDermott said SAP is paying a "fair price, consistent with high growth assets", but the deal figure was not disclosed.

Lüdl said: “Complexity has increased tremendously in the last three to four years, with new channels, and larger data volumes.”

SAP’s McDermott added: “This is a defining step in our evolution to be a B2B2C company.

“And it is not about email CRM.” Hana will enable Hybris to achieve real-time customer intimacy, he said.

“For CEOs it all starts with the customer: ‘How do I go direct to my consumer? On any channel, any device?’," he said

“We will unleash our will on the CRM marketplace.”

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