• Join our webinar with the Polen Global Growth team live from Florida to introduce Polen and their special style of investing. register here

Enterprise cloud cruising – what’s next for software migrations (Part II)

09092020_Enterprise cloud

Enterprise cloud cruising – what’s next for software migrations (Part II)

In Part I of this series we explored enterprise digital transformations and some of the least penetrated software applications that are just beginning their shift to cloud solutions. We highlighted Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) as particularity attractive software verticals in this regard, and today we will explore them further.

Within the ERP market, German software business, SAP has the largest piece of the market with approximately 22 per cent share. Given only around 40 per cent of these workloads are in the cloud, the remaining approximately 60 per cent could see a 2-3x revenue pickup for SAP as customers migrate (as discussed in Part I of this series).

ERP Market Share by Revenue

Screen Shot 2020-09-09 at 3.58.48 pm


Source: Gartner, IDC, Bernstein

Additionally, SAP is the market leader in SCM software as well, which is very favourably positioned in a post pandemic world as companies and countries look to diversify and internalize supply chains, as tensions particularity with China, spurs demand across the world.

SCM Market Share by Revenue

Screen Shot 2020-09-09 at 3.59.47 pm

Source: Financial Times

It is estimated that ERP and SCM represent more than 50 per cent of SAP’s total revenue according to Bernstein. Given around 70 per cent of these revenues are on-premises, implies that as these workloads migrate to the cloud, SAP could pick-up 2-3x the amount of revenue customers are currently paying. If this were to happen it would result in SAP’s entire revenue base doubling, without factoring in any price increases or additional services sold into the customer base.

This may sound astounding, but it is not the first time we have stood at the edge a secular shift to the cloud, in fact Adobe and Microsoft have been going through this transition for several years. More interestingly however, is the number of times the market fails to understand the enormous, structural, revenue growth tailwind on-premises to cloud drives and severely underestimates it.

In fact, as the migration kicks off, revenue often decelerates as the vendor exchanges large, lumpy, upfront license sales, for high quality, recurring revenue streams, which can lead to proclamations that the vendor is losing market share and failing. Ultimately however, for a successful execution, the market heuristic is proved incorrect and the company is ascribed a significantly higher multiple. Additionally, as we have observed with Adobe and Microsoft, the long-term, structural cloud growth underlying the businesses, repeatedly confounds the market which consistently underestimates it, creating a further value inflection.

At Montaka Global, we believe in owning the long-term winners in attractive markets, while they remain undervalued. We believe both SAP and Microsoft clear these hurdles comfortably and look forward to carefully monitoring their trajectory for many years to come.

You can read Part I here: Enterprise cloud cruising – what’s next for software migrations (Part I)

The Montgomery Global Funds and Montaka own shares in Microsoft and SAP. This article was prepared 10 September with the information we have today, and our view may change. It does not constitute formal advice or professional investment advice. If you wish to trade Microsoft or SAP you should seek financial advice.


Amit joined MGIM in April 2018 as a Senior Research Analyst after spending seven years as a credit analyst at Credit Agricole and Citigroup, based in New York. Prior to this, Amit was an investment banker with Citigroup for five years in New York and Sydney, focusing on Media and Telecoms; Metals and Mining; and Consumer Products.

This post was contributed by a representative of Montgomery Investment Management Pty Limited (AFSL No. 354564). The principal purpose of this post is to provide factual information and not provide financial product advice. Additionally, the information provided is not intended to provide any recommendation or opinion about any financial product. Any commentary and statements of opinion however may contain general advice only that is prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Because of this, before acting on any of the information provided, you should always consider its appropriateness in light of your personal objectives, financial circumstances and needs and should consider seeking independent advice from a financial advisor if necessary before making any decisions. This post specifically excludes personal advice.

Why every investor should read Roger’s book VALUE.ABLE


find out more



  1. When a business moves from on-premise software to a cloud solution, the reason there is such a massive pick-up in revenue for the vendor is because the customer is no longer paying for the hardware to host the software, internal IT staff to manage it or a consultancy to implement it. In fact, the customer will usually see a net saving of 20-50% with a cloud migration, despite paying the vendor 2-3x more as it is able to shed so many ancillary costs.

    This is due to the cloud vendor being able to provide a fully hosted solution, driven by economies of scale and specialisation.

    In fact SAP at their Capital Market Day last year actually put the number at up to 5x, so the 2-3x reference is actually conservative (quote below).

    “In our experience, the size of the prize [of a cloud transition] is often times a factor of 3 to 4 to sometimes even 5x the original usage on SAP”

    Thanks for the question Ranjit, enterprise software is not the most intuitive industry.

  2. It would be valuable to amplify further how a software provider can generate 2-3x its current revenue by transitioning its solution to the cloud.

    Modeling the revenue stream during transition is not an easy task, given the current non-cloud revenue base already has a recurring component, the customer pays 20-25% of license fees as a maintenance fee to the software vendor for ongoing software support. Forgoing upfront license revenue and recurring maintenance revenue and still generating 2-3x its current revenue seems quite an uphill task.

    Microsoft and Adobe were able to do this because their non-cloud revenue stream didn’t have a maintenance revenue stream. Secondly, they were able to force their enterprise customer to adopt cloud-based offerings such as office 365, etc.

Post your comments