SAP to resell Adobe's marketing suite in strike against Salesforce.com, Oracle

The partnership gives SAP additional capabilities without the burden of an acquisition

SAP has turned to long-time partner Adobe in a bid to keep pace with Oracle and Salesforce.com in the red-hot marketing software market.

The companies announced a global agreement Tuesday under which SAP will resell Adobe's Marketing Cloud software suite along with SAP's Hana in-memory database platform and Hybris Commerce Suite.

Both companies will invest marketing, sales and development resources in the partnership, according to Tuesday's announcement.

The deal will give SAP the opportunity to sell an "omni-channel" commerce platform with advanced marketing analytics and the ability to build deeper relationships with customers, Adobe and SAP said.

SAP acquired e-commerce vendor Hybris last year, but to date hasn't made the same level of investment in marketing-related companies as Oracle or Salesforce.com.

Last month, Oracle bought consumer data mart vendor BlueKai for an undisclosed sum, a deal that followed purchases of marketing automation providers Eloqua and Responsys. Salesforce.com has spent billions as well on marketing companies, scooping up Buddy Media and ExactTarget, among others.

The new partnership with Adobe gives SAP, a traditionally more conservative company when it comes to acquisitions, additional marketing capabilities quickly without the friction involved with absorbing an acquisition.

"At a stack to stack level, this helps SAP compete with IBM, Oracle, and Salesforce.com," said analyst Ray Wang, founder and chairman of Constellation Research.

SAP and Adobe are both looking to compete more effectively in the broader "customer experience" market. SAP lacks some marketing capabilities, and Adobe's products can benefit from SAP's in-memory technology, Wang added. The new alliance will allow them to "target joint customers and potential prospects for omni-channel experiences," he said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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