SAP buys Indian BPM vendor

SAP AG is buying a small Indian software company to help beef up the business process management capabilities in its NetWeaver applications platform.

SAP is purchasing Yasu Technologies, a maker of business rules management software, which helps ensure that business processes automated through software are in compliance with a company’s rules and regulations.

SAP characterized the deal, which was due to be announced Wednesday, as a “fill in” acquisition that would bridge a gap in its technologies. The deal is due to close this month and financial terms were not disclosed.

Several vendors, including SAP, are providing software tools that allow companies to automate common business processes, such as issuing a purchase order or checking inventory levels, with the goal of making them more efficient.

While the tools for creating the processes are fine, companies need better management software to ensure that the processes comply with company rules and industry regulations, said Rolf Schumann, SAP’s chief technology officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

For example, he said, some publicly traded companies are prohibited by regulations from allowing more than five of their board members to fly on the same aircraft, in case of a crash. Yasu’s software will monitor flights booked through a company’s travel applications and raise an alert if too many board members are booked on the same flight.

Its business rules management system will be integrated with a future version of SAP’s Process Integration software, which is part of NetWeaver, Schumann said. It allows the rules to be managed centrally, and for developers to consult them when the are building applications, he said.

Yasu was founded in 1999 and has about 120 employees. Customers include the auto maker BMW AG, according to its Web site.

SAP CEO Henning Kagermann was expected to discuss the acquisition in his speech at the start of the SAP’s TechEd developer conference in Munich on Wednesday.

Last week SAP said it would buy business intelligence vendor Business Objects SA for $6.8 billion. A few days later Oracle Corp. offered to buy BEA Systems Inc., whose software competes with SAP’s NetWeaver, for $6.7 billion, but BEA called the offer too low.

Kagermann told the Financial Times of London over the weekend that SAP won’t enter a bidding war for BEA, and that its strategy is still to grow its two core businesses — applications and middleware — organically.

But he wouldn’t rule out further big acquisitions in areas where SAP is not already strong. “We are categorically not excluding further big acquisitions,” Kagermann said, according to the Financial Times.

The company also continues to snap up smaller companies. SAP has bought more than a dozen vendors in the past three years, according to IDC, including five in 2005, three in 2006 and six so far in 2007, including Yasu and Business Objects. That compares to more than 30 acquisitions for Oracle, a few of which were much larger deals.


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