SAP Closes GDPR Gap with Gigya Buy

Customer data is both an asset and a liability. As the industry gets closer to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses will need to take steps to significantly reduce their liability by obtaining data collection consent and maintaining transparency of the data they store. 

SAP has announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire identity management platform Gigya, which will help its customers prepare for GDPR by providing end-users with control over their data. For SAP Hybris, it can continue to consolidate customer information (e.g., existing info, real-time external info) to improve customer experience while helping users with GDPR compliance.

Terms of the agreement were not announced but Gigya has received north of $100 million in funding and a source told TechCrunch the deal was worth $350 million. This figure, however, seems a bit low considering Gigya was valued at $216 in 2013 and has since increased its European presence, raised its customer total to more than 700 global enterprise clients and, in 2015, experienced a record-setting year, increasing the number of consumer identities it manages by 56 percent (to 780 million). Two years later, Gigya reports that it currently manages 1.3 billion customer identities. 

Numbers are interesting, of course, but what matters more is the application of Gigya within the SAP ecosystem and what it means for  Gigya technology partners (many of which are SAP competitors). SAP could not/would not share information beyond the press release as of now, but the acquisition will certainly allow SAP to provide consumers and companies a more transparent view of data collection as well as offer self-service permissions less than a year away from GDPR.  

Data collection today is a double edged-sword. On one end, companies are gathering and storing information about consumer/visitor behavior, demographics and more in the name of improving those people's experiences. On the other end, many are not actually using that data to improve those people's experiences. As consumers become more empowered with their data to decide who gets what, they will increasingly ask themselves what return they get from allowing companies to access their information. Consider these figures:
  • 70 percent of personalization experiences on an ecommerce site only happened when the shopper was logged into an account (source).
  • 4 in 10 retailers did not display recently visited items on a website upon a consumer's return visit (source).
  • Sixty-three percent of U.S. consumers are happy to share more data with retailers if it improves the customer experience (source).