SAP Acquires SurveyMonkey Rival Qualtrics For $8 Bn

Brendan Moran  Getty Images Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith will keep his job after SAP’s acquisition closes

Brendan Moran Getty Images Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith will keep his job after SAP’s acquisition closes

The purchase of US-based firm Qualtrics will expand SAP's customer base as it works to gain customer, employee and product feedback.

The deal, which is the largest for SAP in four years, is now expected to see Qualtrics CEO Smith remain in place.

Qualtrics offers comprehensive market research and data analysis cloud software that complements SAPs offerings.

Not only is it a fast-growing company, but it was also profitable, all of which helps SAP justify its premium price.

"It's the flawless time for an acquirer to swoop in, which is what SAP did Sunday with its $8 billion acquisition of survey software company Qualtrics".

Qualtrics was on the verge of its IPO - it was even on its roadshow with potential investors this past week. The company had promised to keep its purse strings tight after agreeing to shell out $2.4 billion for Callidus Cloud in January.

"We want to be working with SAP and that's what we're most excited about", Smith said on the call. Qualtrics has forecast revenues of more than $400 million for 2018.

The Smith brothers founded the company in 2002 in Provo with their father, Scott, and Stuart Orgill, who resigned from the board previous year. "We were the only show on the road last week and it was going as well as any IPO of. a cash positive high-growth company".

Almost 70 acquisitions. "SAP has to set its own footprint", Gartner Senior Director/analyst Ilona Hansen said, "and is developing its own unique culture going forward to be successful and for standing out of their competitors".

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SAP Bill McDermott doubled down on the idea, saying, "Ryan is being modest".

"I feel more at peace about this than going public", Smith tells Konrad. It was valued at $2.5-billion in a 2017 private funding round and its customers include Microsoft, JetBlue Airways and General Electric.

McDermott said he and Smith met a few months back and quickly struck up a friendship: he said he arrived for lunch one day at Smith's home in a suit and dress shoes, and the two ended up playing basketball in the yard. It is the world's largest supplier of ERP software, competing with the likes of Oracle.

But Gartner VP Andrew Frank emailed that this acquisition wasn't a directly reactive move against SAP's biggest marketing cloud competitors.

"SAP is counting on the deal to bolster it in the customer-relationship management software business, or CRM, where Inc. has the lead", write Jay Greene and Rolfe Winkler for the Wall Street Journal.

Qualtrics, which specialises in tracking online sentiment, was planning a stock market listing. No, they do surveys we reinvent customer experiences in a whole new category called experience management. Qualtrics describes itself as an "experience management (XM)" firm that "focuses on obtaining and tapping the value of outside-in customer, employee, product and brand feedback".

McDermott says of the Qualtrics deal that "this is the No. 1 most transformative thing I've ever been involved in".

Qualtrics' other unusual element is its home base, far from a Bay Area regarded as the cradle of the American tech industry.

This deal comes shortly after IBM announced its intent to purchase open source software provider Red Hat for $34 billion. Pound-for-pound, it definitely seems that SAP is paying less than IBM did to achieve growth of its own.

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