This morning SAP announced the acquisition of one of its strategic partners TechniData, a Germany based company which provides a comprehensive set of sustainability services including process consulting, regulatory content, customized solutions, and implementation and managed services around SAP Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) application.

The announcement looks like the beginning of an answer to the question I asked in the latest blog post: Which strategy domains and roles will target an upcoming SAP strategy upgrade – growth targeting business executives or innovation targeting technical architects?

During the last three years, SAP has demonstrated strong commitment to the concept of sustainability. As software industry leader in the ERP market and in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the company is well positioned to leverage its insights, brand, and relationships into a source of competitive advantage. In particular the sustainability portfolio of solutions documented in the SAP sustainability library has the potential to become a major pillar of growth.

Besides being a go-to-market instrument, the SAP sustainability library is an excellent source of best practices for business process executives seeking to better understand sustainability. But for technical architects in search of product innovation visiting the library may be disappointing: its building blocks are based on SAP’s existing business suite and Business Objects platforms, with an exception being the on-demand Carbon Impact solution resulting from SAP’s 2009 acquisition of Clear Standards, Inc.

SAP’s announcement looks like a small step focusing on growth – small because the two companies are already tightly interconnected, with TechniData co-developing and building extensions to the SAP EHS application. The acquisition glues them together and adds domain and implementation expertise on the top of SAP’s existing EHS offering.