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Monday, February 28, 2005

SAP Gobbles Retek

SAP offers to acquire the well known retail solution provider Retek. Retek software suite provides inventory management software that lets retailers interact across the Internet with suppliers, wholesalers, transportation companies and other links in the supply chain."The global retail industry is large and represents a significant growth opportunity for SAP," Chief Executive Henning Kagermann said in prepared remarks. "Retek offers many software solutions to augment its existing presence and will enable us to offer the most comprehensive solution in the industry, from the point of sale through the entire retail supply chain."
My Take: Retek is among the most elite retail solutions. The Retek product portfolio spreads across demand forecasting and replenishment as well as, multichannel Point of Sale (POS) and order management product that supports transparent interaction between store, call center, and Web sales. The combined product cascades back into the supply chain for more collaborative activity, and up to the store giving interactive customer experience. By acquiring Retek - almost the market leader in this space, SAP is marching on quite magnificiently - the challenges of integration - not just the software but services and the support can not be underestimated. SAP has not announced a roadmap post integration (may be too early now) - key thing to watch would be whether the product would be integrated into SAP (very likely) and if so what do existing retek customers do and if they happen to be running oracle/JDE as well( I know of atleast one enterprise using this combination)and also what part of SAP retail would stay and what part of Retek would be integrated - Lot more issues arise - we shall try and cover these in the course of the week. Nonetheless, with this good move,SAP marches ahead - quite triumphantly. This is also a powerful message to SAP's principal competitor and also shows SAP's aggressiveness to after products that may fill a long felt gap in SAP's portfolio. I wonder what Retek specialised professional service firms would do - become part of the big brother gang? Looks like troubled times ahead for point solution vendors!! SAP is really muscling in - Look at supply chain and CRM space before SAP moved in - and look at the fate of the yesteryear market leaders operating in these spaces - its increasingly a losing battle for most of them. There are some blips in SAP's armour as well - for example, the much talked about SAP portal in my opinion has not taken off all that well - also Netweaver mindshare -to-marketshare ratio looks skewed - these are not to undermine the product strength or SAP branding. But....

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"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"