SAP buys Hybris in e-commerce move

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 2013 file picture CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott, right, pose for photographers prior to a press conference in Walldorf, southwestern Germany. The co-CEO of business software maker SAP AG says its push into cloud computing is starting to make money and could be heading for profits that rival or exceed those of its traditional software business. Bill McDermott told The Associated Press Friday April 19, 2013 that "we accelerated into the cloud in a big way about a year ago and already we're making money on it." (AP Photo/dpa, Uwe Anspach, File)

SAP AG, the German-based business software giant whose U.S. headquarters is in Newtown Square, said today will buy Hybris, a Swiss- and German-based online transactions software maker, for an undisclosed price. SAP had previously announced a deal to use Hybris interface in clients' business- and consumer-oriented Web sites.

The deal marks SAP's move into "the e-commerce market, which its chief competitor Oracle has been actively growing for years," acquiring rival providers like ATG, Eloqua, Vitrue, notes Yun Kim, tech analyst at Janney Capital Markets in Philadelphia, in a report to clients. He expects more SAP e-commerce deals. 

In a statement, SAP said the deal will help it sell "the next-generation e-commerce platform, with the choice of on-premise or cloud deployment, [to] enterprises around the world" using a choice of "delivery channels, devices and touch points... across sales, service, marketing and commerce."

SAP, which grew by selling complex internal systems to big corporate clients, has been adding cloud-computing systems and pushing to develop a retail brand and retail-oriented products as more businesses plug into their workers' smartphones and handheld devices and buy software to upgrade them.  “Hybris puts SAP on the leading edge of the consumer economy,” said co-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann Snabe in their statement on the Hybris deal.

Hybris's main owner is Huntsman Gay Global Capital, a Silicon Valley investment firm. The firm "will operate as an independent business" under its current bosses, according to SAP.