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Posted by Erica Driver on January 24, 2008
By Matt Brown, Erica Driver, Mike Gilpin, Kyle McNabb, Rob Koplowitz, and Colin Teubner
We’ve been getting lots of questions about what the Oracle/BEA acquisition means in the Information Workplace platforms market. Here’s our take:
Oracle has made assurances to BEA customers
Oracle has assured us that they will be very mindful of protecting the interests of existing BEA customers, just as they have been for customers of Peoplesoft and Siebel – and we find their assurances credible. It’s not in Oracle’s interest to aggravate these customers, and in many cases BEA customers are already Oracle customers, anyway.
There are six main areas of synergy we’ve identified:
Yet with so many technology overlaps, something’s got to give
An Information Workplace platform delivers a core set of increasingly unified services that allows IT to roll out next-generation digital work environments that are seamless, contextual, individualized, visual, multimodal, social, and quick to create and modify. The core building blocks of an Information Workplace platform are content, collaboration and communication (including Social Computing tools), portal, and office productivity, as well as a new entrant: business intelligence for the masses.
Through its Business Interaction Division, BEA delivers portal, enterprise Social Computing, and BPM software products. The company has positioned this division as the corollary to IBM’s Lotus division.
· Judging from the energy Oracle is putting behind WebCenter as a front-end to its Fusion applications strategy, Oracle WebCenter may be the ultimate winner in the portal and composite applications category (over the BEA products). Oracle already seems to be focusing most of its R&D investment in WebCenter over its existing Oracle Portal 10g product. Despite Oracle’s willingness to support it, WebLogic Portal will likely be the most severe casualty of this acquisition since Oracle will have a difficult time selling multiple portals for composite application delivery. BEA’s ALUI Portal product is another story, however. A repackaging and re-branding of the Plumtree portal product, ALUI Portal has an enormous market presence for corporate intranets and extranets that’s likely to be seen as attractive to an Oracle that’s been far more competitive in the apps business.
Collaboration and Social Computing
· We suspect that the AquaLogic Pages, Ensemble and Pathways products will be melded with Oracle WebCenter, which is Oracle’s focus for many Web 2.0 technologies. Oracle will likely absorb the best from the BEA stack and the best from WebCenter into future versions of the WebCenter offering.
· Likewise, the BEA AquaLogic Interaction Collaboration provides project-centric collaboration (shared tasks, calendars, events, announcements, documents), document sharing, wikis, blogs and situational applications. We suspect that this product may be supplanted by similar functionality Oracle provides (and plans to provide in future releases) in Oracle Collaboration Suite and also in WebCenter, which is tied tightly with the Fusion middleware strategy and is core to Oracle’s technology strategy.
Business process management
· Oracle’s stack has been designed to be as open as possible. The company will likely pick and choose the best parts of each company’s middleware stack to be part of Fusion middleware, and stop selling the rest while continuing to support it. Specifically in terms of AquaLogic BPM (formerly Fuego), Oracle might keep this product as a separate human-centric engine from its BPEL-based main process engine.
What the acquisition means for Oracle customers
What the acquisition means for BEA customers
· In the short term, it is bit of a non-issue because Oracle does a remarkable job of supporting legacy acquisition technology.