Hybris Acquired: More Change, Consolidation for Commerce

The announcement from SAP of the pending acquisition of hybris was an interesting start to the day. I can’t say I was surprised to hear that hybris had been acquired, as that had been rumored for a while. The big question wasn’t if it would happen, but rather who would complete the deal. I have many friends and former colleagues at hybris and I certainly congratulate them on the news. The acquisition is a validation of their efforts in building a successful commerce business. It is also a validation of the continued growth and evolution of the commerce market in general.

Most interesting to me; this is also validation of the growing need for solutions that combine the worlds of commerce, content and community and enable companies to build more engaging and differentiating experiences for their customers - where the fun really lives!

While combining best-of-breed solutions under one roof is certainly one way to address this need, there are challenges with the model. Naturally there will be architectural and integration decisions to be made and likely a fair amount of work to be done to bring these solutions together and deliver on the promise of the acquisition. Further, once complete, the full benefits of that work will likely only be seen by the subset of customers who are able to consume the full vendor stack. And while this work progresses, new devices, channels, social sites and markets will continue to pop up – almost daily. The speed of commerce will only increase.

It’s time for a new approach and I believe open source can help bridge the gap.

After eight years at ATG and Oracle I recently joined the wild world of open source. I made the move because I saw a disconnect between the need for flexibility and speed and the realities of market consolidation. Commerce teams have no shortage of ideas and creativity but they are often lacking the ability to quickly develop, test and refine new customer experiences. They need more flexibility, more resources to leverage and less costly ways to learn and evolve their business. The open source community can provide all of these.

If you look at the growth of companies like Twitter and LinkedIn, the open information approach of federal, state and local governments, or the immediate response to events like the Hurricane Sandy or the Oklahoma tornadoes, it’s clear that the open source community moves fast, inspires action, and gets solutions to market ­– just what the commerce market needs.

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