Feeds

SAP exec rules out Oracle-like acquisition binge

Work hard for your money

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The head of SAP's product and technology group has drawn a sharp contrast between his employer's approach to corporate acquisitions and that of rival Oracle.

In doing so, Shai Agassi pretty much dashed the hopes of start-ups hoping to exploit the growing trend towards acquisition by an enterprise IT provider as an exit strategy.

Agassi, speaking at SAP's Enterprise Services partner Summit in San Francisco, told partners to forget the fast track towards acquisition and solve customers' problems first, while also securing a corporate sponsor inside SAP. The executive was speaking in the wake of SAP's acquisition of privately held Versa Systems, a deal described by the company as a "fill-in" buy to add specific functionality and capabilities to SAP's software. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

SAP's approach differs to that of its biggest business applications rival, Oracle. Since January 2005, Oracle has bought 19 companies, from megadeals (PeopleSoft and Siebel) to bite-sized acquisitions (Sleepycat and - last week - Portal Software.) The companies last year clashed over retail software specialist Retek.

With the pace of acquisitions picking up across Silicon Valley, there is a growing suspicion among many that start-ups are beginning to rely on the prospect of getting bought by a larger tech company as a viable exit strategy.

Agassi, SAP's product and technology group president and a member of SAP's executive board, said SAP is selective in who it buys and how companies get on its corporate radar. "There are lots of people vying for attention right now," Agassi said.

"You need a big sponsor in SAP right now. IBU heads are good. And you need to find a way to get attached to people in the field. The best way to get to them is to get five customers you sold on your own to be so happy with you they will sign a reference story. Follow that script and you're golden."

Only the chosen few can move from interesting to acquisition territory, according to Agassi.

"Of the thousands [of companies] we deal with, there are between one hundred and two hundred that we know intimately," he said. "Of these hundreds, there are in the order of the tens we actually resell and might even support... of those [if we see] something becoming core, so that every one of our customers needs you, then we start having a conversation," Agassi said, adding: "Don't think of that as an exit strategy. Your exit strategy should be to build a successful company."®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.