SAPs acquisition of OutlookSoft

by admin on May 10, 2007

in General

Late yesterday I fielded a call from Mike Prosceno who manages blogger relations at SAP. He told me SAP has acquired Outlooksoft. Awesome.At the time of the call, I understood this was under wraps.

I’ve quietly followed this relative minnow in the business analytics market for some years and reviewed the product several times way back in the day. It’s a damned fine offering for planning and forecasting if a little dated by today’s standards. Josh Greenbaum’s take is interesting:

SAP now has three key products to fill out its CPM strategy: strategy management is covered via the Pilot acquisition, profitability management is covered via a reseller agreement with Acorn. And now planning and consolidation have been covered by OutlookSoft. SAP will have its own integration challenges, though I believe they will be much simpler to surmount than Oracle’s integration requirements vis-à-vis Hyperion.

More important – OutlookSoft gives SAP an immediate analytics entree into the SMB market. Fast integration into A1S will help considerably. Josh continues:

What I think gives SAP some advantage is the integration with GRC and Duet, which are generally considered leading edge initiatives.

I agree with the Duet statement but not that about GRC (Governance, Risk and Compliance) which I see as a ride on the back of SOX.  I will be following this announcement up as part of my review of SAPs GRC  initiatives when I travel to Vienna next week on the next leg of the SAPPHIRE 07 circus.

As an aside – I believe SAP is on the software equivalent of a rolling thunder story. Oracle has recently been given huge kudos for its stellar growth among financial analysts. Quite rightly. But that attention doesn’t change the business fundamentals as they pertain to users.

SAP is a class act by any measure. Its ‘german-ness’ allows it to differentiate itself as a player that delivers quality. Not always (actually rarely) on time but quality nonetheless. It also has another quality Oracle doesn’t possess. Integrity. (Oracle people – feel free to flame…or join the conversation.)

Comments on this entry are closed.

Amit Chatterjee May 10, 2007 at 5:58 pm

Dennis,

I was surprised at the comment on GRC on being a ride of SOx, most of our work is actually not related to SOx. In fact, we actually see our Risk Management product as being a major differentiator in strategic planning (linking key risk indicators and key performance indicators), and our process controls product offering combining with consolidation for a compliant close.

The reality is that the CFO needs greater interoperability between his/her organizations. I think together our offerings will emerge as unique in the industry.

Dennis Howlett May 10, 2007 at 6:03 pm

In which case my eyes must have been deceiving me when I saw all the SOX references on the GRC related stands in Atlanta -:)

Don't understand 'interoperability between his/her organisations?'

Mark Crofton May 10, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Hi Dennis,

I very much see a link between CPM and GRC. First of all, the target user area is the same, i.e., the Office of the CFO. Additionally, Governance, Risk and Compliance are to a large degree about transparency (across your enterprise and ecosystem and across your application landscape). SAP's Access Control, Process Control, Enterprise Risk Management, as well as Global Trade Services and Environmental, Health and Safety solutions, provide much of this transparency (and the ability to monitor, remediate, mitigate and manage risk). CPM is a natural complement to these solutions.

Justin Kestelyn May 15, 2007 at 7:51 pm

I can't say that creating flames about whether one corporation has more "integrity" than the other is worthwhile. Whenever you assign anthropomorphic characteristics to a corporate entity, you're asking for trouble. It's as logical as claiming that "Oracle likes sushi" and "SAP likes bratwurst."

BTW, everyone I know at Oracle has "integrity" in spades.

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