Oracle today announced the $2bn acquisition of Taleo, and SAP is getting closer to completing its $3.6bn purchase of SuccessFactors. Both announcements come less than a month after Oracle closed its $1.5bn RightNow Technologies buy. These transactions are the largest we’ve seen in the SaaS sector. However, we doubt they represent the end of the acquisition spree of these companies, with their highly disruptive business models. Although SaaS M&A has been playing out for some time now – and even set new records in 2011 – dealmaking in this sector is far from over.
If the growing use of SaaS and public cloud is any indication of deal flow, we expect volume to continue to rise. According to a report by ChangeWave Research, 22% of respondents currently use applications that run on public cloud services, up from 17% a year earlier. We’ve been beating the drums on cloud and SaaS M&A for a while now. The reason is simple: customer demand is pushing IT vendors to change the way IT services are delivered.
As businesses increasingly adopt cloud services, as opposed to packaged software maintained on-premises, the largest IT firms are increasingly looking to break into this industry. Oracle’s RightNow and Taleo acquisitions alone represent a total of $3.5bn invested in cloud services in less than a half-year. SAP spent that much on SuccessFactors alone. And there’s undoubtedly more to come. We’ll take a deeper look at the Taleo buy, as well as provide information on SaaS valuations, in a longer report in tonight’s Daily 451.
Traditional IT service providers, accustomed to an on-premises model of delivering products and services, have been rapidly buying into the SaaS sector to fulfill enterprises’ demand for SaaS offerings. The result has been a rapid increase in both the volume and value of SaaS deals announced. The most notable are Oracle’s RightNow Technologies purchase, which just closed, and SAP’s highly valued SuccessFactors buy, which is expected to close very soon.
As businesses increasingly adopt cloud services, as opposed to packaged software maintained on-premises, the largest IT firms are increasingly looking to break into this industry. We’ve seen a record number of acquisitions of private cloud providers, but now public firms are attracting additional attention as well. In 2011, we recorded 200 announced SaaS transactions in The 451 M&A KnowledgeBase – just a baker’s dozen shy of the all-time record set in 2007. However, total spending on SaaS targets came in at a record $9.7bn, shattering the previous record set in 2008. True, the RightNow and SuccessFactors deals accounted for more than half of total SaaS M&A spending in 2011, but the overall volume of large acquisitions is on the rise as well. For example, last year we saw a dozen SaaS transactions announced valued at least at $100m – a steady uptick in big-ticket deal volume since 2008.
Driving these acquisitions, in addition to customer demand, is the SaaS sector’s enviable revenue growth rates. While IBM, for example, grew total revenue just 7% in 2011, our 451 Market Monitor colleagues projected that the global SaaS sector grew 22%. And according to ChangeWave Research, a service of 451 Research, SaaS remains the most popular cloud service. In a ChangeWave report, a whopping 61% of respondents said they were using some SaaS product. The report also noted that 28% of respondents expect to increase their SaaS spending over the next six months, more than any other cloud service ChangeWave covered in the report.