Wipro To Buy Salesforce Superstar Appirio for $500 Million

Business process services goliath Wipro says it will spend half a billion dollars to purchase cloud services powerhouse Appirio so it can improve its market share and position around Salesforce and Workday.

The $500 million all-cash acquisition is expected to close by the end of the year, according to a statement. Wipro did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

The Bangalore, India-based company, No. 21 on the 2013 CRN Solution Provider 500, said bringing Indianapolis-based Appirio's 1,250 global employees on board will create one of the world's largest cloud transformation companies, making the combined firm the partner of choice for clients looking to modernize their processes and platforms on next-generation cloud applications.

"When you combine Wipro's global scale and deep digital focus with Appirio's transformative worker and customer experience expertise, and best in class team, brand and partners, you create a formidable force in the industry," Chris Barbin, Appirio's CEO, said in a statement. "Our aim is to dominate the market and claim the top spots in industry Net Promoter Score, market share, and best places to work."

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Wipro's existing Salesforce and Workday cloud applications practices will be consolidated under the Appirio brand and structure. Barbin will lead the expanded business, according to Wipro.

Appirio is also an early partner of Google's and a pioneer in the crowdsourcing space, having created a marketplace – Topcoder – that connects more than a million designers, developers and data scientists around the world with customers. The solution provider works with leading brands such as Coca-Cola, eBay, Facebook, Home Depot, Stryker, Johnson Controls, Cardinal Health and Sony PlayStation.

"In an increasingly digital world … companies are recognizing that they need to transform how they engage with customers and employees by leverage the power of cloud," Abidali Neemuchwala, Wipro's CEO, said in a statement. "Appirio and Wipro are coming together to unlock transformational synergies in the applications space and help enterprises create new business models."

Appirio was founded in 2006 and incubated inside Salesforce's San Francisco headquarters. The company today has offices in Indianapolis, San Francisco, Dublin, London, Tokyo and Jaipur, India.

The systems integrator has seen its revenue grow from $137 million in 2013 to $178 million in 2014 to $196 million in 2015, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Board of India.

"Chris and his team have spent the last decade building Appirio into a global leader delivering amazing customer experiences with Salesforce," Marc Benioff, Salesforce's CEO, said in a statement. "I couldn't be more proud of Appirio as it joins Wipro, where together they will continue to drive customer success on a much larger scale.

Appirio is also very focused on creating and deploying unique solutions for users of Workday, the world's second-largest cloud-based software vendor. Appirio CIO Glenn Weinstein told CRN last year that securing IBM as Workday's primary cloud platform for development and testing tasks will create new opportunities for global systems integrators in Workday's channel.

"Appirio has played a key role in the Workday community, and we're thrilled to see such a great opportunity for the team's continued growth," Aneel Bhusri, Workday's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. "With Appirio, Wipro gains an organization with deep industry expertise and a strong commitment to customer service, dedicated to helping companies take their business to the cloud."

For the quarter ended June 30, Wipro's gross revenues climbed 11 percent to $2 billion, while its net income fell 6 percent to $304 million. Wipro employs about 173,900 people globally.