The Village View

Thursday, May 10, 2007

SAP builds out its Office of the CFO offering

SAP announced the acquisition of OutlookSoft yesterday. On a high level, this builds out the offering aimed at the Office of the CFO (i.e., the finance organization; those folks that roll up to the CFO, e.g., Chief Risk Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, Chief Procurement officer etc). From a solution point of view, this fills in another piece of the Corporate Performance Management offering. In that vein, OutlookSoft completes the CPM picture for SAP: Pilot gives Strategy Mgt, Acorn gives Profitibality Mgt and OutlookSoft enchances SAP budgeting and planning capabilities (enhances because there are existing portions of the solution set, namely Business Intelligence Integrated Planning and Business Warehouse, that have planning functionality).

While some may see this as a defensive move on SAP's part given Oracle's recent Hyperion acquisition, I would disagree. I think it's strategic and very much in line with SAP's focus on selling a group of products to the CFO (instead of the CIO as historically done). It's a pretty compelling value prop if you're going to go into the office of the CFO and pitch him/her solutions for Segregation of Duties, Testing of internal controls, enterprise risk mgt, management of other compliance issues such as global trade and EH&S, to also offer a CPM solution.  Especially if you can say, "hey,we'll offer everything from one vendor, under one contract on one platform."  

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