Rather than acquire every company it believes could benefit its customers, SAP is doing something else — partnering with them.

About 18 months ago, SAP contacted Caitlin MacGregor about her startup, Plum.io. It wanted to invest in her psychometric assessment firm. This outreach is part of SAP’s strategy to partner with companies and avoid acquisitions.

McGregor said the effort by SAP “has made us more credible.” Plum gained business from enterprises. Systems integrators, including Deloitte Consulting, are also expanding the company’s reach. “We’ve definitely been able to increase our growth,” she said.

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