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SAP eyes e-commerce and customer engagement with Hybris acquisition


German software vendor SAP AG filled in its e-commerce play Thursday with the acquisition of Hybris, a Swiss-based provider of e-commerce platforms and solutions.

Hybris has offices in Montreal and Vancouver, and an impressive list of clients that use its platforms to run their e-commerce operations, including Thomson Reuters, Bridgestone and Levi’s. It also has partner programs for solution providers and ISVs.

The terms of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

In a statement, SAP said the acquisition is about commerce and customer engagement, and helping businesses deliver relevant, contextual and consistent customer experiences however they interact with a company. It believes the combination of omni-channel commerce solutions from Hybris and SAP’s in-memory, cloud and mobile innovations will give clients new insight into customer behavior and new ways to engage with them.

“SAP and Hybris will deliver the next-generation customer experience for businesses and consumers in a world where digital and physical converge seamlessly,” said Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP’s co-CEOs, in a statement. “With the addition of the Hybris commerce platform, we intend to help enterprises achieve unprecedented intimacy with customers in real time and across all devices, delivery channels and touchpoints.”

Writing for Forbes, Peter Sheldon, a principal analyst following e-business and channel strategy for Forrester, said SAP decided to acquire to add an e-commerce capability it hadn’t had success developing internally, filling a gap in its portfolio against competitors IBM and Oracle.

“Hybris has a large network of 250+ technology and commerce service provider partners. Many of its premier partners like Sapient, Accenture and Deloitte are also major SAP partners. So for them, this convergence will be compelling in terms of their ability to offer a cohesive solution to clients. For hybris’ smaller partners, the future may be a little hazier,” wrote Sheldon.