SAP announced on Nov. 11 that it is acquiring privately held Qualtrics International in a deal valued at $8 billion. Qualtrics was planning on having an initial public offering (IPO) in the coming months.
Qualtrics is in the business of experience management (XM), which is all about tailoring the right set of content, feedback and interactions necessary to improve business outcomes. Qualtrics' core platform is the XM Platform, which collects data feedback from different areas of a business, including both products and brand, as well employees and customers.
"Together, SAP and Qualtrics represent a new paradigm, similar to market-making shifts in personal operating systems, smart devices and social networks," SAP CEO Bill McDermott wrote in a statement.
McDermott noted that SAP across its enterprise applications today already touches as much as 77 percent of all transactions in the world. By combining SAP operational data with new experience management capabilities from Qualtrics, McDermott expects that his company will be able to accelerate the XM market overall.
"For Qualtrics, this introduces a dynamic new partner with the belief, passion and scale to bring experience management to millions of customers around the world," McDermott said.
The acquisition is set to close in early 2018 and will see SAP retain the Qualtrics brand as an operating unit within SAP’s Cloud Business Group. Qualtrics' current CEO, Ryan Smith, will continue to lead Qualtrics, after the acquisition closes.
"Our mission is to help organizations deliver the experiences that turn their customers into fanatics, employees into ambassadors, products into obsessions and brands into religions," Smith said. "Supported by a global team of over 95,000, SAP will help us scale faster and achieve our mission on a broader stage. This will put the XM Platform everywhere overnight."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseAppsToday and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.