[…] Hasso Plattner, supervisory board chief at the German group, said in an interview with FT Deutschland, the FTâ€™s sister paper: â€œThere are only three potential buyers: IBM, Microsoft and Google. I donâ€™t see anyone else. If shareholders think that a combination, and not independence, is better, then it will happen.â€ Mr Plattner, who holds 12 per cent of the company, said he would have to act in the interest of all shareholders, not just himself.
I’ve always thought of SAP as a highly interesting company. In the broad enterprise software market, SAP is the Big Boy who, if he sneezes, everyone else at whatever tier they’re in will catch a cold. And, from the glass-half-full point of view, when they do well others tend to also.
Much of my view about SAP is born out of their intelligent advertising you see all over Europe especially in airports, the ads that have the corporate tag line saying “the best-run businesses run SAP.” Those ads have a strong ring of credibility as they have featured many well known and trusted companies, focusing on those companies rather than on SAP.
SAP have just ended Sapphire, their US developer conference. It was widely blogged as this story at ZDNet highlights (hat tip to Dennis Howlett), providing some excellent insight into some of the inner workings and thinking at SAP that you’d otherwise learn about only if you were an active participant in their customer and developer communities.
So you have this monolithic European company, a German one to boot, now doing all sorts of social media-type things (podcasting, for instance) and whose chairman and previous CEO is openly talking about his company being acquired. And this would be no small deal:
[…] A takeover of SAP would be a stretch for most companies, given its market capitalisation of more than â‚¬50bn ($64bn) and the fact that it is in the middle of a period of immense organic growth.
It’s as though a slumbering giant has awakened. What impact or influence a combination of SAP+ will have on the software market would likely be enormous. Others more knowledgable than me about deep trends and potential developments will no doubt have keener and more nuanced views than mine.
Of course, it may be nothing more than smoke with no fire at all.