SAP Invades Silicon Valley via Acquisitions

Germany’s business software giant spends billions on cloud companies
SAP Co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe (center) and Bill McDermott pose for a photograph as CFO Werner Brandt takes his seat at a news conference in Walldorf, Germany, on Jan. 23 Photograph by Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

German software giant SAP, the 41-year-old maker of financial and supply-chain software, has been slow to shift to cloud computing and has struggled for years to catch up to U.S. competitors such as Oracle and Salesforce.com. Among other things, it’s broken some of its brightest engineers into startup-like teams far from its main campuses. While waiting for them to spawn new products, the company is doubling down on plan B, for “buyout.”

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