Today, SAP announced its intent to acquire Crossgate, a current SAP partner. The solutions and services built and operated by Crossgate enable companies to securely exchange electronic data with business partners. The benefit for SAP customers and their business partners: streamlined business-to-business (B2B) processes in an open business-ready network.
“Companies live in an evolving global network of customers and partners, and technology from Crossgate allows them to interact in new ways at the enterprise level the same way that social networking has transformed the way people interact as individuals,” said Peter Maier, general manager, head of line of business solutions, SAP AG. “By acquiring Crossgate’s highly differentiated solution, we help our customers extend their end-to-end business processes running on SAP to their customers and partners. As a result, thousands of SAP customers will join the network to exchange information easier, execute transactions faster, and collaborate better.”
“Many-to-many” replaces “point-to-point”
Companies can exchange information with their trading partners by joining the network once and connecting business partners based on pre-defined business and technical profiles. This eliminates the need for costly point-to-point integration and builds the foundation for more efficient business processes, for example in electronic invoicing, order management, and transportation execution and tracking. Crossgate’s solution currently connects over 40,000 business partners across many industries.
While SAP’s existing solutions cover virtually all processes imaginable within any enterprise, Crossgate’s technology adds key business networking and collaboration capabilities to SAP’s current portfolio. For example, Crossgate’s integration technology allows a customer running SAP’s transportation management software to quickly connect their business processes with logistics service providers or freight forwarders. This scenario would also apply to a logistics service provider who wants to hook up with all his customers.
Companies are a complementary fit
Crossgate is based in Munich, Germany, and has roughly 250 employees. The company has a 100-person-strong development center in Goettingen, Germany, as well as sales and services offices in Italy, France, the UK and the U.S. The planned takeover includes all employees, as well as all other company assets.
“We think that in our combined installed base there is a lot of potential that we can draw on from an SAP perspective,” notes Peter Maier. “Crossgate is extremely excited that SAP, our long-term partner, has acquired our company and solutions,” said Stefan Tittel, CEO and founder, Crossgate. “With combined social network paradigms and service extensions of business applications, SAP and Crossgate now have the potential to change the face of business networks and deliver a new level of collaboration to SAP customers and their business network partners. Our executive management team is excited about the possibility of bringing the Crossgate mission to the next level together with SAP. Our customers will experience business networking that is simple, compelling and efficient.” Stefan Tittel will continue to lead the Crossgate team.
Crossgate has been an SAP partner for several years, and received an investment in October 2008. Soon after, the partnership was furthered by entering into a global reseller agreement that allowed SAP to offer its customers Crossgate’s B2B Content Engine as an SAP Solution Extension under the product name “SAP Information Interchange by Crossgate.” Most recently, SAP agreed to resell and market the “SAP E-Invoicing for Compliance by Crossgate,” which allows companies to send and receive digitally signed, compliant PDFs or EDI invoices electronically. Both solution extensions currently show a strong pipeline of reseller deals.
Both companies are working hand in hand and anticipate the acquistion to be completed by November 1, 2011. The acquisition is subject to the approval of the relevant antitrust authorities.