If you’re in or around the performance management market, you’ve no doubt already heard about SAP’s acquisition of Pilot Software. If you only read the official press release which describes it as a “tuck-in” acquisition, you might not realize how significant an event this really was.
Certainly the analysts seem supportive; John Hagerty of AMR said “Pilot’s products look very promising and fit well into SAP’s articulated vision” (link) while Sheryl Kingstone of Yankee Group remarked that the acquisition was a good move for SAP (link). One of the most complete – and complementary – analyses I’ve seen is from fellow blogger James Governor at RedMonk. James hints at a potential revolution when he speculates about integration with other SAP applications and potential new partnerships. But one of the biggest clues comes from an SAP employee blog who flatly states, “Overall, we think this acquisition will be the launching pad for our very serious aspirations to become a leader in the performance management space.” That doesn’t mince words.
Of course, most of you are probably thinking that this is all a bit disingenuous as I am the former CEO of Pilot and guilty of a bit of cheerleading. Perhaps. I’m certainly full of missionary zeal for all things performance management.
But loyal readers of this blog know that I’m a strong advocate of being a trusted adviser and I’ve never used this space for marketing purposes. I genuinely believe that we’ve just witnessed the launching of a revolution in performance management. And I feel lucky to have been at the proverbial North Bridge when the first shot was fired.
Of course, only time will tell. I’m certain not everyone believed Paul Revere on his midnight ride.
(P.S. I may be overstepping my analogy but the American Revolution was quickly followed by the French Revolution. Who’s next? Let the speculation begin.)