SAP Watch

Aug 7 2008   10:45AM GMT

SAP’s Bill McDermott offers growth clues

JackDanahy Jack Danahy Profile: JackDanahy

Are there acquisitions in SAP’s future?

SAP’s Bill McDermott told last week that “…there are many ways that we can grow with our existing accounts.”

The president and CEO of SAP global field operations said SAP can still sell customers more of the SAP suite — such as CRM and SCM, as well as third-party partner products like Duet or Adobe forms.

He also pointed to a recent acquisition this quarter, “Visiprise, which is a small company that essentially provides what we call the perfect plant, how do you make a manufacturing plant more efficient and effective at the operating floor level?” McDermott said. “So these are all ways that we can grow existing accounts.”

It’s the potential acquisitions that have some people talking.

AMR’s Bruce Richardson, brought it up in his First Thing Monday newsletter. SAP’s move to fill top roles with field executives, not developers, signals that SAP will buy more companies rather than trying to develop everything internally, he wrote.

Forrester Research’s Paul Hamerman shared similar thoughts with in a previous interview about ERP market share growth.

“It’s a very possible strategy for them to get into the underdeveloped markets,” he said. “China is a very interesting market and one that would lend itself to some acquisitions.”

With regard to the top management, McDermott told that they model their management team after the markets they want to compete in.

“What we try to do is have a very diverse management team. So their cultural priorities look a lot like the markets in which we compete,” he said. “And I think that makes a difference, instead of a command-and-control style coming from one state, in one country.”

Will you be buying more from SAP, or will SAP be buying more companies?

Courtney Bjorlin, News Editor

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