Many see SAP CEO Christian Klein as an innovator through and through. SAP’s most recent acquisition of CRM specialist and newsletter administrator Emarsys is proof of that, as some in the SAP community have said it was nothing short of genius.
I kind of get where they are coming from. Founded in Vienna, Austria, Emarsys leverages many CRM functions that SAP lacks despite (or maybe because of) having acquired Qualtrics. Emarsys also has a broad customer base in the mid-sized sector – exactly where SAP wants to establish its customer experience offers.
Acquiring Emarsys might have saved SAP’s digital transformation efforts in the customer experience and commerce segments, but overall digital transformation at the ERP company has remained elusive ever since former SAP CEO Bill McDermott let former Chief Technology Officer and ‘Mr. Leonardo’ Bernd Leukert go. Leukert went on to work for Deutsche Bank, and Leonardo died.
Leonardo could have marked SAP’s digital triumph over competitors, but apparently, no one at the ERP company saw its potential. Of course, SAP hasn’t stopped talking about IoT, machine learning, or blockchain just because Leonardo is dead, but it’s not leading the pack. It’s trailing behind competitors by a considerable margin, and we’ll have to wait and see if it will ever be able to catch up.