We’ve demonstrated a strong track record of being very disciplined with the use of our cash. We don’t let it burn a hole in our pocket, we don’t allow it to motivate us to do stupid acquisitions. And so I think that we’d like to continue to keep our powder dry, because we do feel that there are one or more strategic opportunities in the future.– Steve Jobs.
SAP acquired Qualtrics for >$8B over a year ago. At the time SAP talked about the rationale for the acquisition being that customers will benefit from integration of X (experience) data with O (operational) data. That rationale sounded like hogwash at the time and more so now because it doesn’t look like Qualtrics benefits SAP in any meaningful way.
Qualtrics was a glorified customer survey company; and to pay >$8B for it while it had less than $400M in revenue was a fallacy and it was one of the reasons for the ouster of its CEO, Bill McDermott, recently. SAP had aspired to make inroads in the CRM market with Qualtrics but nothing of that sort seems to have happened; due to Qualtrics’ limited capabilities.
SAP needs to stop making fat acquisitions every few years (Ariba, Sybase, Concur, SuccessFactors, Calidus, etc.) in the process wasting shareholders’ precious money. It should instead focus on improving is products and expanding their capabilities (Industry solutions, for example) and leveraging its customer base in the ERP market for increase in revenue and earnings. It also needs to have a coherent cloud strategy, perhaps a roadmap for a true SAAS model (Software as a service); rather than its current Platform as a Service model on the HANA database.
SAP has a strong customer base (and a dominant share) in the ERP market and a head start of many years and it is a shame that despite those advantages; its market capitalization is about equal to Salesforce, which only does CRM software; but does it well and has a true cloud product.