SAP’s Recent Acquisitions Show Digital Savvy
by Jim Sinur
Earlier this month, SAP acquired Contextor, a 2018 Aragon robotic process automation (RPA) Hot Vendor, which made a large splash in the RPA pool. RPA is hot because it represents additional operational improvements for anyone who successfully executes RPA projects. While this recent acquisition by SAP is important, we think it is also important to look at the recent trends in SAP’s string of acquisitions in 2018.
On November 19th, 2018, SAP announced that it acquired Contextor SAS, “a European leader in the design and integration of robotic process automation (RPA), to help SAP accelerate the development and expansion of its SAP Leonardo Machine Learning portfolio.”
More directly, Contextor will help automate and streamline operations, which has been a stalwart goal of SAP and its customers. This is good news for both SAP and its customers as there is more prowess for operational effectiveness now in the SAP portfolio.
On November 11th, 2018, SAP announced its acquisition of Qualtrics International Inc., a major provider of experience management (XM) software. Customer journeys are about measuring, modeling, and managing customer experiences, so this acquisition shows a whole new facet of SAP—which used to only deliver transactions for efficiency. This outside-in approach to customer experiences puts SAP in the digital mix in an aggressive fashion.
Recast AI Acquisition
Earlier this year, in January 2018, SAP announced the acquisition of Recast AI, which can be used as a natural language processing (NLP) approach to accessing SAP’s many assets. The chatbot approach for interacting with traditional SAP transactions is a smart move and should create a better customer experience for SAP customers. This is a great start for SAP and Aragon thinks it can go further.
SAP’s Digital Savvy Is Growing Rapidly
SAP has set up digital centers on a worldwide basis to leverage digital with its customers. While this gives SAP an advantage to sell more of its software and services portfolio, it also drives customer satisfaction.
This shows us that SAP is listening to its customers and making wise acquisitions on a “win-win” basis: SAP wins as it builds out its digital prowess and customers win as SAP adds functionality and services to take digital opportunities. Due in part to this, SAP was identified as a Leader in Aragon’s 2018 digital business platform Globe report.
SAP gets that digital is about a better customer experience, more operational efficiency, and new business models. This is a new SAP for most of us and it bears investigation.