Germany’s SAP plans to take “customer experience” specialist Qualtrics public, the company said Sunday — 20 months after thwarting the Utah-based firm’s own IPO plans with an unexpected $8 billion buyout four days before it was due to list.
SAP said the planned floatation (estimated by Bloomberg to value Qualtrics at upwards of $10 billion) would “fortify Qualtrics’ ability to capture its full market potential within Experience Management… help to increase Qualtrics’ autonomy and enable it to expand its footprint both within SAP’s customer base and beyond.”
SAP will retain majority ownership of Qualtrics and has “no intention” of divesting its majority ownership interest. Qualtrics founder Ryan Smith, who continues to run the company, intends to be Qualtrics’ largest individual shareholder.
SAP CEO Christian Klein said: “As Ryan Smith, Zig Serafin and I worked together, we decided that an IPO would provide the greatest opportunity for Qualtrics to grow the Experience Management category, serve its customers, explore its own acquisition strategy and continue building the best talent.
He added: “SAP will remain Qualtrics’ largest and most important go-to-market and R&D partner while giving Qualtrics greater independence to broaden its base by partnering and building out the entire experience management ecosystem.”
Qualtrics provides employee sentiment (“X”, or experience data) which SAP cross-pollinates with its own operational data. The buyout has been a success: Qualtrics’ revenue rose 34% to €168 million in Q2 year-on-year, SAP said in a Q2 earnings report filed Monday July 27. It now has 11,800 customers.
“A final decision on the IPO and its conditions and timing is pending and subject to market conditions” SAP told investors.
SAP meanwhile reported a 2% rise in revenues in Q2 on the previous year, for profits after tax of €885 million. Services revenue fell 6% to €796. T
The company appears to have made good progress luring clients to its SAP S/4 Hana integrated ERP system, however, adding over 500 new SAP S/4HANA customers in the quarter, taking total adoption to more than 14,600 customers, up 22% year over year — of which more than 7,400 are live.
In Q2 37% of these were net new. SAP named Neptune Energy, Vedanta, BNP Paribas, Comix, and Deutsche Börse AG as among them.
The success comes after SAP committed to supporting S/4HANA until the end of 2040 and extended support for its Business 7 suite until 2027.
Customers eyeing cloud alternatives had been concerned about SAP’s commitment to long-term support. SAP’s flagship ERP software, S/4HANA, unlike its existing software, runs exclusively on SAP’s own database, HANA.
Previously, SAP’s software worked with a number of databases, including Oracle, but businesses migrating to the new system will also need to migrate their entire database.