SAP buys Gigya to boost customer identity access management offering

SAP buys Gigya to boost customer identity access management offering

SAP is giving its business software users a new way to track their customers, with the acquisition of customer identity management specialist Gigya.

If your business isn't already a Gigya customer, then you're most likely to have seen its name flickering in your browser's status or address bar as you log in to consumer websites. Banks, hotel chains, media companies and e-commerce stores use its opt-in registration service to track their customers' identities and provide them access to services.

SAP's wants to combine the 1.3 billion identities Gigya holds with the data-matching capabilities of SAP Hybris Profile, the multichannel customer profiling module of its Hybris e-commerce platform. The two companies have been testing the combination on a smaller scale since 2013, when they began offering an integration service for businesses that were joint clients.

Managing customer data on a global scale is going to become increasingly difficult for businesses as privacy laws differ from one country or region to another.

Things will become simpler, yet stricter, in Europe next May, when the General Data Protection Regulation enters effect. It will bring uniform rules and enforcement across the whole of the European Union, replacing a patchwork of local regimes -- but imposes tougher requirements on businesses to obtain consent from consumers for the manipulation of their data, and to notify them if it is misused.

Gigya says it's ready for that, and can handle GDPR compliance requirements for its registration-as-a-service clients.

SAP has recently been beefing up other aspects of its Hybris offering, which it acquired four years ago. This month, it has updated its business accelerators, or packaged software solutions, for the financial services and travel industries. It is also extending geographic availability of a range of Hybris microservices that it calls Yaas. After localizing the platform for the U.S. and Germany last year, it has added support for the U.K. and Switzerland -- but has yet to deliver on a promise to roll out service in the Asia-Pacific region this year.

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