SAP to take cloud XM firm Qualtrics public in IPO
The surprising move comes after SAP swooped in to purchase the company for $8bn, right before Qualtrics' initial attempted IPO. At the time, the company said its rationale for the purchase lay in the combination of Qualtrics’ experience data with SAP’s broader software offering allowing customers to better manage operations from supply chains to employees. Qualtrics suite of products include survey taking capabilities in areas such as customer feedback, and analysis software to drive better decisions.
SAP will retain majority ownership, and Ryan Smith, who has led Qualtrics throughout, will remain in place.
In , SAP CEO Christian Klein said: “SAP’s acquisition of Qualtrics has been a great success and has outperformed our expectations with 2019 cloud growth in excess of 40 percent, demonstrating very strong performance in the current setup.
“As Ryan Smith, Zig Serafin and I worked together, we decided that an IPO would provide the greatest opportunity for Qualtrics to grow the Experience Management category, serve its customers, explore its own acquisition strategy and continue building the best talent. SAP will remain Qualtrics’ largest and most important go-to-market and research and development (R&D) partner while giving Qualtrics greater independence to broaden its base by partnering and building out the entire experience management ecosystem.”
The timing of the IPO was not announced, and will likely be heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“When we launched the Experience Management category, our goal was always to help as many organizations as possible leverage the XM Platform as a system of action,” Qualtrics Founder Ryan Smith said. “SAP is an incredible partner with unprecedented global reach, and we couldn’t be more excited about continuing the partnership. This will allow us to continue building out the XM ecosystem across a broad array of partners.”
Report: Financial institutions face cloud-based threats
Over one year into the pandemic, different financial institutions report costly consequences to falling short of protecting their data storage from cloud-based attacks and network disruptions. The report is based on more than 800 responses from IT professionals working in the financial services industry in North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region.
- Data breaches are an increasingly significant cost burden for the industry: Worldwide, financial firms that experienced a data breach reported estimated average losses of roughly $4.2 million per attack, with U.S. organisations hit hardest at $4.7 million in estimated losses.
- Network outages also result in costly burdens: Institutions lose an estimated $3.2 million on average with Asia-Pacific followed by European institutions carrying the heaviest losses at $4.3 million and $3.1 million respectively.
- The industry remains a popular target for cloud-based attacks: Over half of all organisations (54%) surveyed suffered a data breach in the last 12 months with 49% plagued by a cloud malware attack as well.
- Cloud and network-based attacks will continue to be a major threat vector: More than 50% of respondents expect to face a combination of IoT attacks, cloud vulnerabilities including misconfigurations, and data manipulation attempts over the next 12 months.
- Threat resolution teams are embracing network visibility for security hygiene: Globally, network monitoring (76%), threat intelligence (64%), and threat hunting (57%) are considered the most effective mitigation tactics against these threats.
Even before the pandemic, tech companies were increasingly seeking moves to the cloud. The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated the adoption of cloud computing by the financial sector as part of its process of digitalisation. As companies transition and move data, there can be a lack of protection due to a number of factors such as undertrained staff and insufficient firewalls.
“The financial services sector has long been a target for bad actors who are following the cyber money trail into the cloud,” said Anthony James, VP of Product Marketing at Infoblox. “As the pandemic pushed IT infrastructures to rely on remote work, cloud-based technologies that enabled digital transformation also created soft spots for cyber criminals to exploit.”
“This report shows us that cloud compromise has become the biggest cybersecurity issue for financial institutions and the investments they are making to protect themselves,” James continued.