The Cloud

SAP Buys Callidus in Front-Office Software Move

The $2.4 billion deal "aligns perfectly to SAP's innovation strategy to transform the front office," the German tech giant says.
Matthew HellerJanuary 30, 2018

German technology giant SAP is adding front-office software to its cloud portfolio by acquiring customer relationship management (CRM) specialist Callidus for $2.4 billion.

Callidus’ products are aimed at managing company sales teams from lead through proposal to contract to commission or payment. SAP described it as “a synergistic addition to SAP’s portfolio and significantly strengthens SAP’s position” in the CRM space that will complement its strength in back-office software.

The deal, announced Tuesday, is priced at $36 a share, giving Callidus stockholders a 21% premium over the 30-day volume weighted average share price. Callidus, which is based in Dublin, Calif., was founded in 1996 and went public in 2003.

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“SAP is connecting the back office to the front office in this consumer-driven growth revolution,” said Bill McDermott, chief executive of SAP,  in a news release. “Our customers are focused on reinventing sales, service, marketing, and commerce. The addition of CallidusCloud aligns perfectly to SAP’s innovation strategy to transform the front office.”

As Reuters reports, SAP is “midway through a strategic transition, aiming to force the pace on developing its S/4 HANA cloud platform, which now counts 7,900 customers, and wean customers off software sold under license and installed at offices and factories.”

The acquisition of Callidus is SAP’s largest since it paid $7 billion for Concur, a provider of travel and expense management solutions, in 2014. Its front-office tools already include Hybris, an ecommerce company it bought in 2013 and Gigya, an identity management company it acquired last year for $350 million.

The German firm plans to bring CallidusCloud products under its SAP Hybris unit. “CallidusCloud as part of SAP will seamlessly link front and back offices, align sales, compensation and corporate goals, and ensure real-time data flow between the field and finance department,” the companies said.

SAP competes in the CRM space with the likes of Salesforce. “Callidus really strengthens us in the area we need it most,” McDermott told analysts Tuesday, adding, “It’s too big a market to leave alone … some of the [competitors] have had it too easy.”