SAP acquires SeeWhy, eyes targeted marketing

SAP will use SeeWhy's behavior-based 1:1 marketing muscle to flesh out the Swiss e-commerce platform Hyrbis that it acquired last year.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

SAP bulked up its marketing cloud Tuesday with the announcement that the German enterprise software giant plans to acquire Boston-based behavioral marketing provider SeeWhy.

Using data based on individual customer behaiors, SeeWhy's marketing platform triggers personalized campaigns using email, desktop advertising, and mobile and social channels.

The company's patented SeeWhy CORE platform is a definite star of its portfolio. It uses real-time in-memory processing to calculate the next best action of individual customers at a particular moment in time, and then analyzes that data using non-traditional architecures. SeeWhy said in a company blog post explaining the acquisition:

There's no data warehouse. There are no batches of data. There are no segments. 1-to-1 marketing campaigns are driven by the behavior of individual visitors, and the real time context of what the shopper is doing, right now.

It seems like SAP will take that 1:1 marketing muscle and use it to flesh out Hybris, the Swiss e-commerce platform it acquired last year, to shore up its enterprise commerce offerings. Ariel Lüdi, CEO of Hybris, and Carsten Thoma, president and co-founder of the company, said in a joint statement that SeeWhy's solutions for automating personalized campaigns in real time are a natural fit with Hybris and SAP.

But looking at it from a competitive standpoint, SAP seems to be positioning itself against the likes of Oracle and Salesforce, both of which have made serious investments in marketing companies over the last couple of years. 

As for SeeWhy, the value proposition for joining with SAP is three-fold. SeeWhy was extremely specific in the aforementioned company blog post, and gave the following list of benefits it will see from the deal with SAP:

1. Execution of vision – We concluded that it is easier to execute our vision for the next generation of behavioral marketing from within a company that already has ecommerce, front and back office, and marketing automation platforms to build on. 

2. Access to data – Marketing automation fundamentally needs to be a part of enterprise systems to ensure it does not become yet another stovepipe.

3. Access to markets – SAP gives SeeWhy incredible reach into key accounts and markets around the globe. This will turbocharge our growth by a different order of magnitude, including expansion to more B2B best-practice use cases.

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Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but SAP said it expects completion of the acquisition to occur sometime in the second quarter of this year. 

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