SAP buys e-commerce vendor Hybris in strike back at Oracle, Salesforce.com

The deal will give SAP an 'omni-channel' e-commerce offering

SAP is buying privately held Hybris in a bid to build out an e-commerce software offering that connects with customers across multiple "channels, devices and touch points."

Terms of the deal, which was announced Wednesday, were not disclosed. It is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

Hybris, which is based in Switzerland, is the fastest-growing e-commerce software vendor in the world, according to SAP's announcement. It sells an "omni-channel" platform spanning mobile, call center, in-store and Web commerce, and caters to both large and small companies, SAP said.

In addition, the Hybris technology provides a "single view" of customers and products across channels thanks to built-in master data management and other capabilities, SAP said.

Hybris counts Levi's, 3M and Nikon among its more than 500 customers, according to its website.

While Hybris will be run as an independent business unit, SAP plans to integrate the vendor's software with its HANA in-memory database as well as the Jam social network.

The Hybris deal comes some months after SAP launched 360 Customer, which combines its CRM (customer relationship management) application with HANA, Jam and other components.

Collectively, SAP's moves can be viewed as a response to rival vendors such as Oracle and Salesforce.com, which have also been trying to build out product families meant to help companies build closer relationships with customers amid the rise of social media and mobile devices.

The Hybris announcement comes one day after Salesforce.com announced it would purchase multichannel marketing software vendor ExactTarget for US$2.5 billion.

SAP executives are expected to discuss the Hybris acquisition further during a conference call later Wednesday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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