Who will Oracle acquire next?

August 20, 2010 – In my recent blog post on the Top 10 storage acquisitions of 2010, I solicited opinions from our readers on who they think will be acquired next. I’ll report on those crazy conjectures in a future post, but for now:

I heard from Stephen Jannise, an ERP market analyst with Distribution Software Advice. He recently blogged about what Oracle may be up to next (see “Oracle Mergers and Acquisitions: Who’s Next?”)

Stephen provides some very interesting analysis of potential acquisition candidates for Oracle, and has a survey on his post where you can vote. I encourage you to do it, if just for fun. Software Advice will have results from the survey within a few days, and I’ll update this post when I get the results.

Did you realize that since 2004, when it acquired PeopleSoft, Oracle has bought more than 40 companies, five of which were multi-billion dollar deals? Stephen includes a cool chart in his blog showing all of Oracle’s acquisitions and the relative sizes of the deals.

Most of Oracle’s previous acquisitions fall into the buckets of “applications,” “industry solutions,” “middleware” and “databases,” but two were in the “servers and storage” bucket: Sun and Virtual Iron.

However, in Stephen’s analysis and the reader comments on his blog, storage vendors are prominent as possible acquisitions for Oracle.

Based on analysis of Oracle’s M&A strategy and acquisition criteria, he puts the possible acquisitions into four categories:

Fairly Straightforward Ideas:

Messy, But Potentially Profitable:

Bold Moves into the Network Layer:
Research in Motion
Juniper Networks
F5 Networks

Pricey Buys in Hot Markets:

Let Software Advice hear from the storage community: Check out the analysis and cast your vote at “Oracle Mergers and Acquisitions: Who’s Next?"

In the Comments section of The Software Advice Blog, the following storage or storage-centric vendors are mentioned as possible takeover candidates: Symantec, EMC, NetApp, LSI, Panasas

Dave’s comments (on only the storage vendors as potential acquisitions):
EMC, NetApp: Fuggedaboutit. These votes suggest that at least a few of Software Advice’s readers enjoy recreational drug use.
LSI: And that at least one reader has gone beyond recreational use. The question is not whether Oracle will buy LSI but, rather, whether Oracle will continue the LSI reseller deal that it inherited from Sun.
Panasas: Nope.
Brocade: Definitely a potential acquisition candidate, but not by Oracle.

In my opinion, the most likely (storage-oriented) candidates for Oracle would be CA and/or Symantec.


posted by: Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief
by Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its inception in 1997. He previously held editorial positions at publications such as Datamation, Systems Integration, and Digital News and Review. He can be contacted at dsimpson@quinstreet.com

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