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SAP co-CEO makes perfect sense in a very confusing IT market

by Dave Hannon

September 9, 2010

The IT market is getting pretty confusing these days. You've got software companies buying hardware companies (think Oracle-Sun) and you've got hardware companies buying software companies (think Intel-McAfee). You've got hardware companies bidding like crazy for "utility storage" firms (is that hardware or software?) while suing software firms for hiring their ousted CEOs.

For those who missed it, CNBC had a short interview with SAP’s co-CEO Bill McDermott this week where they peppered him on all these issues (I have to say I hate the format they use here, where they make their guests stand up to a firing line of questions--kind of insulting, don't you think?). In the interview, McDermott said SAP would “absolutely” rule out a hardware acquisition and referred to the Dell-HP bidding war for 3Par as: “just a distraction. We want to focus on our core business.”

But when it comes to software acquisitions, McDermott said, “We are never done" adding that SAP will be "opportunistic in areas where innovation is more easily accessed through M&A or partnering vs. organic development.”

McDermott also called growth opportunities in China an “unbelieveable market opportunity. We are innovating in China for China. We have 2,500 employees there.”

UPDATE: In a New York Times interview this week, McDermott said of SAP's mobile development strategy: "What Apple has done in the consumer space, we’ll do in business applications" by providing developers the tools they need to make their own apps.  

Now THAT makes sense to me.

See also: SAP gains greatly from addition of Sybase CEO Chen

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