Dec. 17, 2013, 6:22 PM
- BlackBerry (BBRY) has hired John Sims, formerly the head of SAP's mobile services ops, to be its enterprise services chief. (PR)
- Sims is a former colleague of chairman/interim CEO John Chen, who joined SAP via its acquisition of Sybase. His' hiring comes as several execs depart as part of an apparent housecleaning effort launched by Chen, who has suggested BlackBerry will be an enterprise-focused company going forward.
- Though holding up somewhat better than its hardware sales, BlackBerry's services revenue has been pressured this year by subscriber losses and a decision to offer basic (consumer-oriented) services for little or no cost to BB10 users.
Dec. 12, 2013, 4:13 PM
- Beauty products giant Avon (AVP -1.3%) expects to take a $100M-$125M charge related to the failed rollout of an SAP-based (SAP -0.6%) order management software system. The WSJ states the system was "so burdensome and disruptive to Avon representatives' daily routine that they left in meaningful numbers."
- As Steve Rosenbush notes, Avon's decision, and the employee backlash that triggered it, shines a light on how corporate workers are increasingly demanding the business apps they use be as intuitive and user-friendly as the consumer apps they rely upon.
- This trend, which ties into the "consumerization" of IT, poses a challenge to traditional enterprise software giants such as SAP, Oracle (ORCL), and IBM, and often works to the benefit of enterprise cloud software providers whose offerings emphasize ease-of-use and flexibility over the richest possible feature set.
Nov. 15, 2013, 9:07 AM
- SAP has been upgraded to Overweight by Barclays. Shares +1.3% premarket.
- Ericsson (ERIC) has been upgraded to Buy by Banco Santander. Shares +2%.
- Millennial Media (MM) has been cut to Neutral by Goldman two days after it posted a disappointing Q3 report (I, III).
- GOGO has been cut to Underweight by Morgan Stanley following a huge run-up in response to a strong Q3 report and a positive FAA ruling. Two other firms have already downgraded the in-flight Wi-Fi provider since its Q3 report. Shares -3.1%.
- ARM (ARMH) has been started at Outperform by JMP.
Oct. 28, 2013, 1:27 PM
- "Blackberry doesn't fit with our strategy," says SAP (SAP +0.6%) CFO Werner Brandt, shooting down reports the German software giant is interested in parts of BlackBerry (BBRY -0.2%). Cisco, Samsung, and Google have also been reported to be interested in acquiring some of the struggling smartphone vendor's assets.
- Meanwhile, the new Android/iOS BBM apps has received a harsh review from The Verge, and a muted review from The Inquirer. The former only gave the apps a score of 5.0/10, while criticizing their "ugly design" and the absence of features offered by rival mobile messaging services, such as voice calls, video chats, and location sharing. The latter likes the apps' "reasonably smooth" UI and invite features, but sees them having trouble standing out in a crowded landscape.
- Also: Complaints have come in about fake BBM reviews on Google Play, where the app maintains a user rating of 4.2/5 stars. BlackBerry says it had nothing to do with the fake reviews.
- Previous: BBM Android/iOS downloads top 10M
Oct. 24, 2013, 12:09 AM
- Ahead of tomorrow's Q3 report, NetSuite (N) has struck a deal to acquire TribeHR, a developer of cloud HR apps aimed at SMBs. NetSuite plans to fuse the startup's offerings with its SMB-focused cloud ERP apps.
- "Really there has been no HR offering in the mid-market," states NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson (a little hyperbolically). He sees an intergrated ERP/HR solution allowing SMBs to do away with manual HR processes, and also talks up the value of TribeHR's social/collaboration tools.
- The purchase means NetSuite will compete more with Workday (WDAY), which leads the cloud HR market and also offers cloud ERP software. But Workday has a stronger focus on large enterprises. Ultimate Software (ULTI), Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD), and Paylocity (reportedly eying an IPO) also compete in cloud HR.
- Separately, NetSuite and others see an opportunity for the company to poach clients from SAP's SMB-focused Business ByDesign cloud apps, which the German software giant has decided to pare its investments in. NetSuite has launched a Business ByDesign migration program.
- SAP has reportedly invested €3B in Business ByDesign development over 7 years, but the platform has never generated more than €23M/year in sales in 3 years of availability. Business ByDesign resources will be shifted towards SAP's Hana Cloud, which runs cloud apps on top of the popular Hana in-memory database.
Oct. 21, 2013, 9:15 AM
Oct. 21, 2013, 1:56 AM
- SAP's (SAP) Q3 adjusted operating profit rose 5% to €1.3B, slightly below consensus of €1.32B.
- Revenue +2% to €4.05B.
- Sales from license sales declined for the second quarter in a row and dropped 5% to €975M vs expectations of €988M, hurt by sharp currency swings in Asia and the Americas.
- Sales from cloud subscriptions more than doubled to €197M, while revenue from SAP's Hana database software jumped 79% to €149M. Over 2,100 customers use the product.
- SAP reiterated its July forecast that it expects double-digit percentage growth in revenue for software and software-related services, excluding forex fluctuations. However, the company expects currency swings to hurt its overall earnings. (PR)
Oct. 21, 2013, 12:05 AM
Oct. 20, 2013, 5:30 PM
Oct. 9, 2013, 6:50 PM
- Bloomberg reports BlackBerry (BBRY) is "more open to a breakup" as doubts continue to swirl Fairfax Financial will be able to obtain the funding needed for its $9/share bid to succeed.
- The news service adds SAP, Cisco (CSCO), and Samsung (SSNLF.PK, SSNGY.OB) were "approached last week by BlackBerry advisers," and indicated they’re "only interested in parts of the company." That provides a bit of color to Saturday's Reuters report.
- Intel (INTC) is said to be open to bidding for BlackBerry's patents, but nothing else.
- BBRY -1.4% AH
- Earlier: Canadian pension fund still weighing BlackBerry investment
Oct. 5, 2013, 12:25 PM
- Blackberry (BBRY) is in talks with Cisco Systems (CSCO), Google (GOOG), and SAP (SAP) about selling itself whole or piecemeal according to "several sources," Reuters reports.
- The strategic buyer route provides an alternative to Fairfax's $9/share bid (~$4.7B), which some speculate has little chance of securing financing. P-E firm Cerberus has also expressed interest in the ailing company.
- According to sources, potential corporate buyers have been "especially interested in BlackBerry's secure server network and patent portfolio, although doubts about the assets' value remains an issue." Analysts believe Blackberry's security-focused messaging system could be worth $3B-$4.5B, and its patent trove $2B-$3B. However, a company filing disclosed that the value of its patent portfolio and licensing agreements could halve in the next 18 months.
- TechCrunch speculates that "an enterprise-focused bidder — such as SAP or Cisco — might make the best fit for BlackBerry’s security-focused messaging handset business at this point, with the consumer smartphone marketplace now primarily centred on Android and iOS."
Oct. 2, 2013, 10:28 AM
- SAP's VC arm, SAP Ventures, is pouring $650M (all coming from the parent company) into Ventures Fund II, a new fund that will invest in fast-growing companies with "established market presences."
- Ventures Fund II follows the recent launch of a $405M fund investing in 3rd-party VC funds making bets on early-stage companies, with an eye towards getting companies to support the Hana in-memory database and other SAP technologies. Altogether, SAP Ventures now manages $1.4B worth of VC funds.
- Past investments include LinkedIn, Box (could do a big IPO next year), Violin Memory (just went public), and ExactTarget (acquired by Salesforce for $2.5B).
Sep. 23, 2013, 11:17 AM
- Back from the America's Cup, Larry Ellison (ORCL -0.6%) was his usual self during an Oracle OpenWorld speech, trash-talking rivals and promising upcoming Oracle products will blow away existing offerings.
- Grabbing the most headlines: Ellison's boast that an expected in-memory version of Oracle's flagship 12c database will improve analytics query speeds by 100x, and transaction-processing rates by 2x, over a standard relational database. Ellison also stated customers will have to "just flip a switch" to turn a regular 12c database into an in-memory database.
- The product is aimed squarely at archrival SAP (SAP -0.2%), whose market-leading Hana in-memory database is expected to post 2013 sales of €650M-€700M (that's up from 2012's €392M, but some think the figures are inflated). Though not applicable to all traditional database deployments, Hana is viewed as a long-term threat to Oracle's database cash-cow.
- SAP has been busy expanding Hana's reach this year, adding support for its core Business Suite apps, expanding 3rd-party app support, and launching a Hana managed cloud service for migrating on-premise SAP apps.
- Ellison also promised Oracle will launch a new high-end server, known as the M6-32 Big Memory Machine, for in-memory deployments; the server will support up to 32TB of RAM, and cost a hefty $3M. Oracle's hardware product sales fell 14% Y/Y in the Aug. quarter, easily missing guidance.
- Also on tap: a database backup appliance and a related cloud backup/recovery service. By constantly receiving database logs and supporting restores to any log points, Ellison asserts the appliance is a better solution for databases than standard backup systems.
Sep. 22, 2013, 3:24 PM
- Gartner estimates that by 2017, the largest portion of corporate IT spend will be controlled by chief marketing officers (CMOs) rather than CIOs. CLSA's Ed Maguire views cloud CRM software kingpin Salesforce (CRM) as a major beneficiary of this trend, particularly following its $2.5B deal to acquire ExactTarget. Salesforce is adding ExactTarget's marketing automation software to its growing Marketing Cloud platform.
- Other ad software/tech names that benefit from a spending shift to CMOs include Adobe (ADBE), Responsys (MKTG), Marketo (MKTO), Constant Contact (CTCT), and Marin Software (MRIN). Adobe's own Marketing Cloud saw 28% Y/Y sales growth in the August quarter, and was recently bolstered by the $600M purchase of ad campaign software vendor Neolane.
- Like Salesforce, SAP is trying to create an end-to-end CRM platform aimed at CMOs. It recently bought top e-commerce software firm hybris for a reported $1.2B-$1.5B.
- Maguire also states Salesforce's data integration deal with Workday (WDAY), together with a prior deal with Oracle (ORCL), "reinforce [Salesforce's] prominence as a de facto CRM standard." He reports hearing of "at least one competitive engagement where a customer chose Oracle over Workday" because the latter's Salesforce integration wasn't good enough.
- Nomura feels likewise about Salesforce, and thinks its deals help negate the historical edge SAP has had in app integration (courtesy of its own apps, rather than partnerships). With two key ERP/HR software rivals striking deals with Salesforce, SAP is on the spot to strike one of its own.
Aug. 17, 2013, 5:41 PM
- In a June Information Week survey covering enterprise app use (excludes software such as Windows, Office, and databases), 24% of respondents named Microsoft (MSFT) their "most strategic " app supplier, up from 19% in April '12.
- Though its Windows sales have fallen, Microsoft has been seeing solid billings growth for enterprise app offerings such as Dynamics, Exchange, Lync, and SharePoint.
- Salesforce (CRM) rose to 10% from 6%. The company posted 25% Y/Y billings growth in FQ1, and is reporting FQ2 results on Aug. 29.
- On the other hand, Oracle (ORCL), which is coming off two quarters of license revenue misses and is reportedly dealing with salesforce turmoil, fell to 23% from 30%. Archrival SAP fell slightly to 15% from 16%.
- The cloud migration continues: 46% of respondents said their companies are using cloud/SaaS apps, up from a prior 38%. Not surprisingly, companies are more comfortable moving CRM and HR apps to the cloud (Salesforce and WDAY have led the way) than moving ERP apps (SAP's stronghold in the on-premise world).
- Also, 60% said their firms are using or considering a cloud app platform such as Salesforce's Heroku and Force.com vs. a prior 52%, and 48% said the same for cloud infrastructure platforms such as AWS (AMZN) vs. a prior 41%. Windows Azure competes in both realms.
- Interestingly, in spite of the rapid growth SAP has seen for Hana, only 13% of respondents said their firms are using an in-memory database. Another 37% are considering, and 50% are unlikely to consider it.
Aug. 2, 2013, 11:04 AM
- Sources tell BloombergBusinessweek SAP has considered buying Jive (JIVE +2.6%) in recent months, along with other companies.
- There doesn't appear to be any new information about SAP/Jive in this column, relative to a May report stating SAP considered acquiring the enterprise social networking software firm, but decided not to due to product overlap concerns.
- BloombergBusinessweek also observes SAP is rapidly expanding its Silicon Valley presence. The German software giant has spent $7.6B to acquire Valley software firms SuccessFactors and Ariba, and its Palo Alto-based VC arm has invested $700M+ in startups, including enterprise cloud storage high-flyer Box.
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