Enterprise behemoth SAP AG announced Tuesday it's acquiring cloud-based business commerce company Ariba, in a deal valued at $4.3 billion. Under the deal, SAP plans to operate Ariba as an independent business under the SAP company. Ariba, which operates a business-to-business commerce network in the cloud, has 2,600 employees. While Ariba's management team will remain intact as part of the merger, it remains unclear whether any of the company's engineers and developers will be given a pink slip when the deal closes sometime in late August. Ariba has 870 employees that work in its technology and innovation areas, which include engineering, solutions, IT, customer support, hosting operations and information security. It's likely Ariba's IT staff should feel fairly secure for awhile, if the merger is similar to SAP's acquisition of Business Objects five years ago. After that merger, it took about six months before IT staff from Business Objects began to get layoff notices, says one source who worked for SAP at the time. SAP, which unveiled its cloud apps roadmap last week, is looking to boost its cloud portfolio with the Ariba acquisition. SAP's SAAS cloud is designed to manage people, finance, customers and suppliers. Ariba  will manage the supplier end of SAP's cloud and the enterprise giant plans to consolidate all of its cloud-related supplier assets under Ariba.

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