Germany-based enterprise software provider SAP has placed its largest bet yet on service-based cloud computing with a $3.4 billion bid for U.S. based SuccessFactors, which provides human resources software on demand. News of the proposal was unusual for arriving on a Saturday when analysts and customers of the companies would be mostly unaware of such an announcement.

In a note to customers at its website, SAP says it is answering a "top priority of CEOs globally" with its proposal to acquire cloud-based applications for people and talent management. SAP, which was founded with products in manufacturing and licensed transactional software, has more lately moved to analytic and service-based software for its customer base. The note was signed informally, "Sincerely, Jim and Bill," referring to co-CEOs Jim Hagemann Snabe and Bill McDermott.

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