Bolstering its business transformation portfolio, SAP announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire digital adoption platform provider WalkMe for $1.5 billion in cash.

Equipping business users with advanced guidance and automation features to help them navigate new software and execute workflows across multiple enterprise applications, the platform will complement the transformation suite of SAP Signavio and SAP LeanIX to drive adoption and continuous value realization for SAP customers embarking on transformation journeys.

“Applications, processes, data, and people are the four key elements of a successful business transformation,” Christian Klein, CEO and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, said in a statement. “By acquiring WalkMe, we are doubling down on the support we provide our end users, helping them to quickly adopt new solutions and features to get the maximum value out of their IT investments.”

The acquisition, announced Wednesday, June 5, during SAP Sapphire & ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2024. WalkMe was valued at less than $880 million ahead of the announcement, meaning SAP’s offer of $14 a share represented a 45% premium over WalkMe’s closing share price on Tuesday night.

WalkMe’s digital adoption platform sits over other applications, monitoring them and offering recommendations to optimize workflows. The company recently announced plans to launch WalkMe Copilot, using contextual awareness and AI to offer guidance for optimal next steps in workflows; using the platform’s adoption and user intelligence capabilities to enhance Joule will “boost AI assistant and productivity gains for all SAP customers,” both companies said in an official statement.

Calling WalkMe a “market leader in digital adoption platforms,” Scott Russell, SAP's Chief Revenue Officer and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, explained that, together with SAP Signavio and LeanIX, WalkMe will “optimize” support for SAP customers as they navigate these transformation journeys.

“With LeanIX, we brought in a capability to help you manage your enterprise systems landscape, your applications, [and] the capability to be able to understand your entire technology architecture,” he added.

“With SAP Signavio, we are able to then bring process insights, process management, process mining—an understanding of your enterprise business processes across your SAP and non-SAP landscape,” he added.

“With WalkMe, we're excited about the opportunity to [provide] those most important people—your people, the business user that wakes up every morning and is using the SAP applications—a behavioral experience, to be able to help them with their tasks, to be able to support them on their digital adoption journey using the SAP and non-SAP portfolio. It's another step for SAP, another piece for us to be able to create value for all parts of your business: your data, your systems, your processes, and your people.”

For many on-premises SAP customers exploring cloud transformation, ERP complexity is an obstacle. Whether customers use multiple ERP systems in parallel, maintain heavily customized landscapes, or both, transitioning to SAP S/4HANA requires visibility of one’s business processes, IT landscape, and both current and target integration and data architecture. Compounding the difficulty of maintaining such oversight is the growing SAP skills gap, which in turn has led SAP to focus on automating various aspects of business process transformation.

By combining WalkMe, Signavio, and LeanIX, in conjunction with SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), SAP seeks to support the entire transformation lifecycle for SAP customers.

Touting the news as indicative of SAP’s ambition for business transformation as a service in his day-two keynote, Thomas Saueressig, Head of Customer Services & Delivery at SAP, further contextualized WalkMe within SAP’s ambition to drive “continuous adoption and innovation” for customers moving to the cloud via RISE, saying that the solution “manifests our clear passionate ambition to help you fundamentally drive this innovation adoption. “

With SAP Cloud ALM, integrated with SAP Signavio’s process mining and management capabilities, users can manage the integration of SAP and non-SAP cloud assets, such as Salesforce and Workday, within SAP S/4HANA implementations or migrations, accelerating delivery cycles. Signavio, meanwhile, enables organizations to streamline processes and identify bottlenecks, supporting them in modeling, analyzing, and optimizing business processes. LeanIX provides users with enhanced architectural visibility and with mapping dependencies between various applications, a core consideration of implementation and upgrade projects.

With WalkMe, SAP seeks to further focus on improving adoption of the underlying solutions and features in play throughout customers’ digital transformations by enhancing the user experience with greater visibility of process workflows and guided support in understanding how applications can be collectively leveraged across the SAP suite for transformation.

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