SAP has announced the acquisition of two companies, expected to accelerate development in RPA, machine learning and experience management
Two recent acquisitions are expected to help SAP speed the development of its machine learning portfolio and its overall user experience, with the acquisition of Contextor SAS, a Paris-area-based company specialising in the design and integration of robotic process automation (RPA) following hot on the heels of its announcement to acquire Qualtrics, a US-based global pioneer in the experience management (XM) space.
Contextor: Machine Learning and RPA
Contextor’s RPA technology is designed to reduce the number of repetitive tasks business software users must perform, enabling both attended and unattended automation within and across applications. The technology is expected to simplify interactions that users have across SAP and non-SAP applications, providing “intelligent RPA” in combination with SAP Cloud Platform and conversational AI technology as well as document processing technology provided by SAP Leonardo Machine Learning.
“With intelligent RPA accelerated by Contextor, businesses will be able to achieve the high automation level necessary to become intelligent enterprises,” said Markus Noga, head of machine learning, SAP. “The acquisition is a big step towards orchestrating process automation and will help SAP inject RPA capabilities into our applications, first and foremost into SAP S/4HANA.”
The integration of intelligent RPA into SAP S/4HANA is expected in the first half of 2019, with other applications set for a fast-follow.
Qualtrics: Experience Management
Slated to close in the first half of 2019, SAP’s US$8 billion acquisition of Qualtrics International is designed to combine SAP’s dominance in operational data (O-Data) with Qualtrics’ authority in experience data (X-Data) and insights, enabling organisations to better manage supply chains, networks, employees and core processes.
“Together, SAP and Qualtrics represent a new paradigm, similar to market-making shifts in personal operating systems, smart devices and social networks,” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott. “SAP already touches 77 per cent of the world’s transactions. When you combine our operational data with Qualtrics’ experience data, we will accelerate the XM category with an end-to-end solution with immediate global scale. The combination of Qualtrics and SAP reaffirms experience management as the groundbreaking new frontier for the technology industry.”
SAP and Qualtrics boards have both approved the acquisition, as have Qualtrics’ shareholders. CEO Ryan Smith will continue to lead Qualtrics, which is expected to operate within SAP’s Cloud Business Group.and to maintain its dual headquarters in Provo, Utah, and Seattle, Washington.