Hybris targets big e-commerce players with iCongo merger

Hybris Software has merged with Montreal’s iCongo in a deal which will give the e-commerce software maker more experience in deploying its products through the cloud.

In wake of the deal, the combined company will operate as Hybris Software and will be headquartered in Munich, Germany. The iCongo and Hybris product lines will be merged into a joint retail offering that will be available as an on-premise, hosted or hybrid offering

Carsten Thoma, co-founder and chief operating officer of Hybris, said that iCongo’s product portfolio and employee base will improve Hybris’ order and warehouse management capability and give the company an established hosted deployment model.

“Customers now on a global scale can pick between any application and support their cross channel initiative,” he said, adding that while the product offering is already integrated together for customers, a fully branded Hybris solution will be available soon.

Brian Walker, a principal analyst serving e-business and channel strategy at Forrester Research Inc., said iCongo’s strongest asset as a commerce platform was its integrated order management feature, which will fit nicely with Hybris’ core commerce and product-content management capabilities.

He said that Hybris is eliminating one of the “key gaps its solution had to serve multichannel companies with growing supply chain and service complexity” across various touchpoints.

For Steven Kramer, president and co-founder of iCongo, one of its biggest strengths is its cross-channel retailing capability, which is its ability to link the Web with a physical store location.

“If you walked into the store and the product was not in stock, our system enables the store associates to find it somewhere else in the chain,” he said.

For Walker, the new Hybris will offer customers a comprehensive commerce solution that will compete with big players such as IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp.

In addition to gaining a stronger integrated order management capability and key experience working with hosted software delivery, Hybris will also improve its North American presence.

The iCongo offices in Montreal will act as the company’s North American headquarters.

“The deal gives us both global scale,” said Kramer. “They wanted to move into North America. We wanted to move into Europe.”

Kramer said that its customers will benefit from Hybris’ “partner-centric” approach to implementations.

On the business-to-business side, he added, iCongo’s strong niche in the “soft goods” space will provide a nice counterbalance to Hybris’ customer base, which been focused on the electronic component and manufacturing sectors.

Steve Jackson, CTO of Harry Rosen, said his company has been an iCongo customer since 2008 and is very excited about seeing the company become bigger and stronger financially.

“We’re looking for a product and a vendor that can continue to support us from a content perspective,” he said, referring to Harry Rosen’s desire to take advantage of more rich media on its online store.

“We know that their vision for their existing customers is to bring them on to a single platform,” Jackson said. “We’re excited about it.”

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