SAP to Acquire OutlookSoft

OutlookSoft is the latest independent corporate performance software provider to be snatched up by an industry giant.

In a move that further consolidates the performance management software industry, German software giant SAP announced Tuesday that it would acquire Stamford, Connecticut-based OutlookSoft, a provider of budgeting, forecasting, and consolidation software.

“OutlookSoft completes another key component of our multi-year strategy to build, partner and acquire unique offerings for CFOs,” said Doug Merritt, head of business user development for SAP.

The move is an unusual one for SAP, long known for favoring internal development over acquisitions. But it is also an indicator of the frenzied competition in the so-called corporate performance management space. In April, Business Objects announced it was acquiring Cartesis for $300 million. That acquisition was dwarfed a month earlier by the March acquisition by Oracle of Hyperion Solutions for $3.3 billion.

Competition between SAP and Oracle for the attention of the corporate finance department has been particularly fierce for some time, and their rivalry has led to name-calling and lawsuits .

The move also left some of the remaining independent players sniping at the larger firms. In an unusually confrontational statement sent to CFO.com today, Mychelle Mollot, VP of market strategy and strategic communications for Ottawa, Canada-based Cognos argued that the shrinking number of independent providers strengthened her company’s market position, adding “We believe that this acquisition is an acknowledgement by SAP that their current CPM vision and solutions do not meet the requirements of the marketplace after nearly 10 years of promises.”

In a joint announcement, SAP and OutlookSoft indicated that they expected to complete the acquisition by June 2007, pending antitrust approval. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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