Amongst some of my industry colleagues, SAP’s recent acquisition of hybris caused a tsunami of emotions, everything from “Oh my God! SAP just killed hybris” through to “Oh my God! SAP is now has a Digital offering, surely not.”.

For many years SAP has been seen as a leader in Business Applications that keep the back-office functions of an organisation functioning effectively. The benefits of integration have delivered significant benefits and the consolidation of legacy applications onto a single platform has delivered considerable economies of scale. SAP didn’t really have a front-office capability. SAP CRM had been moderately successful but just as the product started to mature there was seismic shift with the appearance of and the new pretender moved the goal posts completely out of the stadium!

In addition, so I’m told, Digital Transformation is different to ERP. Digital is agile, ERP is waterfall. SAP, forget CRM, cannot be agile and therefore SAP cannot be Digital. FULL STOP!!

So why is SAP buying hybris? Hybris is a market leading software platform that is a recognised as a leader in the omni-commerce software area. Hybris can be implemented in an agile fashion so is this the end of hybris as a digital platform or is there more to this.

In a previous blog I looked at the challenges that a CIO in an SAP HANA enabled world would have balancing an “Inside-Out” and an “Outside-In” strategy and the principles apply equally well here. Basically the software is not the blocker here it is the way that users, consultants, managers, etc. address the challenges and opportunities that the software delivers. We are the blockers and the enablers!

So will SAP now become the new software powerhouse in Digital Transformation?

Well, based on the analysis and research that Capgemini has undertaken the components required to satisfy such a strategy are there and they are pre-integrated which reduces delivery risk significantly. Also, it has the ability to take a Digital Strategy to the next level with the in-memory capabilities of HANA – Digital on steroids!!  But can the SAP market change, become agile, more flexible and deliver innovation as well as Business Process based delivery rigour? It’s a rhetorical question really because it already is and we’re doing it and telling people about it!

Whether it will be the next powerhouse is still up for discussion but does it have the credibility for the role, it certainly does now.