Menu
Rumoured SAP-Red Hat merger seen as a long shot

Rumoured SAP-Red Hat merger seen as a long shot

It just wouldn't make sense, analysts say.

Rumours swirled once again this week regarding a possible takeover of Red Hat, this time by SAP, but a number of industry observers said that the prospect is unlikely at best. "There seem to be so many more directions that make more sense" for SAP, such as the enterprise mobility strategy it is pursuing through its recent acquisition of Sybase, said 451 Group analyst China Martens.

In addition, SAP executives have repeatedly said they recognise that their customers have heterogeneous IT environments. Buying up Red Hat, which has virtualization, middleware and Linux operating-system technologies, clearly wouldn't mesh well with that approach, Martens said. "Doesn't that take them right into stack city?"

Redmonk analyst Michael Coté expressed a similar view. "SAP doesn't buy systems-level infrastructure [vendors]. Sybase was one of the lowest-level in recent times," he said.

Nonetheless, "it is kind of a crazy time" in enterprise IT, with vendors "scrambling around" to broaden their technological footprints, Coté added. He pointed to the likes of VMware getting into application development by scooping up SpringSource, and Oracle's entry into hardware through the Sun Microsystems acquisition.

But Coté sees another reason to be highly skeptical of a Red Hat-SAP merger. "Until very recently, SAP was not open-source friendly. Of all the companies you could buy, Red Hat is the most open-sourcey," he said.

Moreover, although there are strong open-source evangelists within SAP, they are "not the ones steering the big ship," said independent analyst Jon Reed.

If anything, SAP and Red Hat will continue to build on their long-standing partnership, said Altimeter Group analyst Ray Wang.

Buying Red Hat would send customers mixed messages regarding the future of certain technologies, particularly SAP's NetWeaver middleware platform, Wang said. At a recent event to discuss the Sybase deal, SAP CTO Vishal Sikka took pains to stress the company's continued commitment to NetWeaver.

Beyond giving it the problem of rationalizing overlapping products, adding more middleware makes little sense for SAP strategically, Reed said. "When they lose a deal, it's not because of Oracle's middleware."

Meanwhile, buying Red Hat, which reported US$748 million in revenue for its fiscal 2010, would likely require a significant sum of money. But SAP has shown it is open to large deals, paying about $6.8 billion for BI (business intelligence) vendor Business Objects and around $6 billion for Sybase.

Still, one must consider the nature of those purchases, Reed said. "It's not about compiling a stack, it's about [capitalizing on] emerging trends."

If SAP is going to make any more major acquisitions, it would be wise to purchase an experienced SaaS (software as a service) provider, Coté said. SAP's SaaS offerings include the Business ByDesign on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) suite as well as SaaS extensions for its on-premises installed base, but the strategy remains fairly nascent.

For now at least, SAP is probably most intent on fulfilling promises made at the recent Sybase event, such as its vow to deliver a mobile development platform within nine months, Reed said. "They need to do it."

Spokespeople for Red Hat and SAP said the companies do not comment on market rumours or speculation.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags SAPRed Hatmergers

Featured

Slideshows

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ

Partners are actively building out security practices and services to match, yet remain challenged by a lack of guidance in the market. This exclusive Reseller News Roundtable - in association with Sophos - assessed the making of an MSSP, outlining the blueprint for growth and how partners can differentiate in New Zealand.

The making of an MSSP: a blueprint for growth in NZ
Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018

The leading players of the New Zealand channel came together to celebrate a year of achievement at the inaugural Reseller News Platinum Club lunch in Auckland. Following the Reseller News Innovation Awards, Platinum Club provides a platform to showcase the top performing partners and start-ups of the past 12 months, with more than ​​50 organisations in the spotlight.​​​

Reseller News Platinum Club celebrates leading partners in 2018
Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ

HP has honoured its leading partners in New Zealand during 2018, following 12 months of growth through the local channel. Unveiled during the fourth running of the ceremony in Auckland, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence, growth, consistency and engagement of standout Kiwi partners.

Meet the top performing HP partners in NZ
Show Comments