Friday Four: SAP Buys SuccessFactors, Twitter Takes on Facebook, Adobe Gives the Gift of Viruses

Posted by · December 9, 2011 10:32 am

With the technology industry slowing down for the holiday season, most tech writers have started cranking out “Best of 2011” lists.  My favorite one so far is Know Your Meme’s list of the Top 10 Memes of 2011.  I’m a little sad that Feminist Ryan Gosling didn’t make the list, but I’ll talk more about that and all the memes on Know Your Meme’s list on the next Experts Exchange podcast.  Which reminds me: If you haven’t checked out this week’s podcast, we’re talking with Experts Exchange zone adviser Ted Bouskill about video games (Ted works at Electronic Arts) Windows 8 and the Twitter revamp.

Speaking of the Twitter revamp (I know. That stunning transition blew my mind too.), does anyone else think Twitter is beginning to look a lot like Facebook? (Cue Christmas music.) Yesterday’s unveiling of the site’s upcoming changes made me scratch my head a bit. Twitter co-leaders Jack Dorsey and Dick Costolo said the changes are being made in an effort to simplify Twitter and provide users with more robust information about each person and each Tweet. Others think this is a play to appeal to big brands–something Facebook is trying to do as well.  Personally, I don’t think Twitter can get any easier to use than it already is.  If you don’t understand what an @ symbol is or keep confusing the word hashtag with the breakfast food, you probably shouldn’t be using Twitter in the first place.

Now, as far as things that I don’t understand are concerned, enterprise software company SAP announced on Saturday its purchase of cloud-based human capital management systems company SuccessFactors for $3.4 billion.  According to the press release on BusinessWire, “The acquisition will add SuccessFactors’ widely respected team and technology to SAP’s powerful cloud assets, significantly accelerating SAP’s momentum as a provider of cloud applications, platforms and infrastructure. The combination of SAP and SuccessFactors will establish an advanced end-to-end offering of cloud and on-premise solutions for managing all relevant business processes.”

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about what SAP does.  I don’t have the foggiest idea what “human capital management” is and those two lines I just quoted from that press release are somewhat confusing to me.  What I do know is that this acquisition is probably pretty significant for SAP and could have a huge impact on enterprise software purchases. I also know I’d never be this dismissive about something I didn’t understand.  I mean really, why even write the article in the first place?

In other tech news you definitely need to know about and probably want to understand, there’s a critical bug in Adobe Reader software that has compromised more than a few computers and even attacked a U.S defense contractor.  Mashable reported that the bright minds at Lockheed Martin spotted the vulnerability (which primarily affects the early versions of the software) and Adobe is working to fix the problem but won’t release updates to fix the problem on Windows until next week and on Mac and UNIX until after the first of the year.  Until then, you can open PDFs in protected mode (the default) or download and install Adobe Reader X.

While this is technically story number five, I do have to share the best news of all this holiday season: Instagram is building an Android app! I’m thoroughly convinced that everything–including the common cold–looks better on Instagram. (Don’t believe me? Check out the photo above.) No word on when it will be released, but if you follow me on Twitter or Google +, prepare to be photo blasted!

Happy Friday, friends!

*Photo courtesy of Christan P photography.

  • Rafael Kireyev

    Thank you! It’s very informative! Particularly interesting written about the Adobe and SAP.