Is SAP about the splash the cash to compete with former CEO

Rumours of an imminent takeover of Signavio by SAP would see the German ERP vendor move squarely into the space now occupied by their former CEO, Bill McDermott.

McDermott left SAP 18 months ago and is now the CEO at ServiceNow, one of the leading workflow platform vendors that is making huge inroads into the enterprise tech space by offering a new way to connect workflows across an enterprise.

No official word has been released by either SAP or Signavio, but sources have suggested SAP could pay around €1bn to complete the deal – taking their total spend on acquisitions in the last three years to more than $10bn.

Since taking over as CEO, Christian Klein has been embattled by the legacy of turning SAP’s acquisitions (most of which were completed under McDermott’s tenure) into a cohesive offering that resonates with digitally sophisticated customers. Floating part of Qualtrics, tying up with Microsoft to integrate Teams, and potentially buying into the workflow platform space, could deliver something that looks more attractive than the current offering.

SAP’s sales have faltered over the last 12 months as the pandemic put paid to many large-scale ERP projects that would have been a boost to the ailing uptake of S/4. Moving into the process/workflow space with a genuine cloud-native product would take the spotlight off their core ERP offering and give the vendor a new tool with which to compete with the likes of Salesforce – it seems as though that’s the battle ground for now and their old rivalry with Big Red is almost a forgotten footnote.

SAP’s shares rose very slightly on the news. Hopefully more to follow on this story soon.