What an interesting development. Open Text is a publicly traded Canadian firm which owns more search technology than Yahoo. SAP is the software middleware champion of large, tough to deploy, and expensive systems. FSN.co.uk ran a story with a headline that stop this goose in mid flap; to wit: “SAP to Resell Open Text Purchase to Pay Solution.” You can read the story here. The deal is for Open Text forms capture, but Open Text–like SAP–likes to get customers to buy other Open Text solutions. Many of these include search and content processing systems. Several thoughts ran through my mind when I thought about this deal:
First, SAP has forms processing functions for invoices. Is this component getting too expensive for SAP to maintain? Are customers grousing because the SAP component is long in the tooth? These are questions that need some investigation.
Second, if Open Text follows its trajectory of encouraging a user of one component such as forms processing, will SAP sell BASIS, BRS, LiveLink, Fulcrum and SGML search? Assume Open Text convinces an SAP customer to use LiveLink. Will SAP jump on the bandwagon and throw TREX search under the bus?
Third, does this type of deal underscore the jam in which SAP finds itself and its customers?
There’s no clear signals about what’s next for SAP and Open Text, but my thought is that the tie up between these two firms warrants monitoring.