SAP Tucks-In Another Acquisition
Another week, another acquisition: Even before the dust has settled on its announced pursuit of business intelligence provider Business Objects, SAP AG has agreed this week to acquire Indian business process management (BPM) software vendor YASU Technologies for an undisclosed amount. YASU's technology, which ensures that automated processes comply with company rules and industry regulations, will be incorporated into SAP's NetWeaver Composition Environment, according to a company statement.
The acquisition is another of SAP's so-called "tuck-in acquisitions," filling a specific technology or functionality gap in its product portfolio, according to the company. SAP says YASU is a tool to enable organizations to embed new business rules within processes, while maintaining compliance. The company says that organizations will be able to leverage those rules as enterprise services that are independent of applications. The services can then be reused, resulting in consistent and compliant business decision logic throughout the enterprise.
Technology from YASU will be embedded into the SAP NetWeaver technology platform as part of SAP NetWeaver Composition Environment, a solution that gives developers tools to compose new business scenarios and adapt existing ones, and will enable partners to integrate the solution directly into their offerings, said Klaus Kreplin, corporate officer and head of SAP NetWeaver Technology, in a prepared statement. "The momentum and maturity of BPM makes it clear to SAP that we need to support these professionals as they develop increasingly sophisticated ways to align IT with business goals," he said. "This acquisition gives our customers the solutions they need to be more agile, accountable, and responsive to quickly changing business conditions."
The acquisition comes as no surprise to Maureen Fleming, program director for Business Process Integration and Deployment Software at IDC. Over the next several years, Fleming says, many of the BPM pure-play vendors will be fighting against the larger vendors for market share. "This will be a challenge when a small portion of a large project involves the implementation of the workflow to solve a process automation problem. The market has had failures and consolidation," she says. According to IDC's latest research, the BPM segment is among the fastest-growing business software markets, and is establishing itself as the front end to next-generation platforms used to build custom applications. The BPM market grew nearly 80 percent in 2006, to $890 million, according to IDC, and the research firm predicts continued growth over the next five years, albeit at a less-torrid pace: a 44 percent compound annual growth rate, pushing the market to $5.5 billion in 2011.
For its part, Gartner has predicted that four or more pure-play BPM vendors will be acquired by platform or application vendors by 2009. Janelle Hill, a research vice president at Gartner, says that 2007 "represents a turning point in terms of growth acceleration in the market for BPM." She adds, "We will see some vendors -- such as IBM, SAP, and Oracle -- making their intentions very clear and aggressively trying to mature their BPM offerings. Others -- such as Microsoft -- will lag behind pursuing the BPM market as a complementary market to their [in-house] middleware offerings, particularly in the context of [services-oriented architecture] initiatives."
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