SAP to acquire Fieldglass – Integration is key!


As I picked up my phone today morning , the first thing I saw online was
this http://global12.sap.com/news-reader/index.epx?category=ALL&articleID=22589&searchmode=C&page=1&pageSize=10

I think it is a pretty good move for SAP.
Here are my initial thoughts

Managing Contingent Workers – and the vendors that represent them – is a big pain for every client I have had in my career . I have seen SAP, non SAP and 100% custom built solutions used for CW management and never seen a customer that thought they had a firm grip on the matter .

The difficulty I have seen is not in core functionality – it’s always in integration. CW information is needed by a lot of parts of the company – like HR, finance , legal, compliance , procurement ,AP and so on . For every stand alone CE system – we have had to build many interfaces and reports to make it work.

If SAP cracks the code on integration quickly – they have access to a HUGE market . Practically all of its install base will buy if integration pain is taken off the table . The exact opposite will be the result if they suspect this is yet another massive integration project .

Given SAP’s investment in Ariba (power of networks – CW and procurement is a potent combination) , SFSF (one cloud for all HR) , Hana ( conquering world hunger and all that 🙂 ) and BOBJ ( mobile analytics , predictive) – there is plenty of opportunity to take Fieldglass to a higher level and highly differentiated solution .

Jonathan Becher’s challenge as CMO will be to choose which of the hundred possible messages his team will focus on . That is a good problem to have 🙂

Product management and Engineering – that is the side of the house that needs to burn the midnight oil now. Arriving at a comprehensive roadmap is not trivial . But knowing the team – I am sure they will come up with some good stuff .

If SAP wants to bet on cloud – I think HR is the best possible domain to bet on. I would even go on a limb and say SAP should sacrifice CRM in favor of HR in terms of new investments. Workday is a real threat for SAP and such acquisitions will give SAP something to out flank them rather than just try to out run them .

Good luck to Shawn Price and team !

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