SAP to buy compliance software vendor Virsa

SAP plans to acquire compliance software company Virsa Systems Inc., the enterprise applications vendor announced Monday.

SAP is to acquire compliance software company Virsa Systems, according to the enterprise applications vendor. The move is yet another purchase designed to fill the gaps in SAP's software portfolio, this time in the area of enterprise risk management, a market segment that SAP hopes to dominate.

In contrast to rival Oracle with its multibillion dollar purchases of PeopleSoft and Siebel, SAP has steered clear of large-scale acquisitions, preferring to concentrate on buying smaller software players that focus on specific industries or technologies.

Subject to the approval of antitrust authorities, SAP hopes to complete the acquisition of Virsa in May. The planned buy is an all-cash transaction, but Virsa and SAP didn't disclose the purchase price or other financial details.

Virsa's compliance software helps companies monitor and enforce business controls in real-time across their enterprise and legacy systems. The aim is to ensure continuous compliance with regulations, including the Sarbanes-Oxley rules governing US public companies and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) federal standards for US health-care information.

The two companies already have a close relationship. SAP has been reselling Virsa's Compliance Calibrator as an add-on to its mySAP enterprise resource planning software for just over a year. SAP Ventures, the company's venture capital arm, is also an investor in Virsa.

SAP made the announcement at Virsa's Simplify user conference in Las Vegas.

Virsa, founded in 1996, has its headquarters in California and employs about 250 staff in the US, Australia, Germany, India and the UK. SAP is likely to keep the Virsa offices around the world open, according to a release. Virsa has more than 300 enterprises using its software equating to 2.5 million end-users.

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