Oracle Puts Another Notch In Its Industry Apps Acquisition Stick

Today, Oracle announced yet another acquisition - this one of Phase Forward, a clinical research suite that helps life sciences companies manage their R&D process. Oracle paid $685 million in cash for this acquisition. While my research role focus does not encompass life sciences software specifically, Oracle's overall apps strategy is definitely of interest to me. My thoughts about this deal are as follows:

  • Oracle continues to aggressively acquire industry-specific applications to complement its core ERP solutions (e.g., EBS, PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards, and the yet-to-be-released Fusion Applications). Industry apps enable Oracle to achieve deeper relevance with specific types of businesses, and sell them additional products, including middleware, integration accelerators, BI, databases, core ERP applications, and now even computer hardware.
  • The Phase Forward clinical trials software puts Oracle into the mix in large pharma accounts, where SAP tends to have the lion's share of the wallet for applications.
  • Healthcare overall is a massive market opportunity for which Oracle has only scratched the surface. Oracle only recently established a Health Sciences Global Business Unit, and more acquisitions can be expected in and around the healthcare ecosystem. Healthcare provider solutions may fit into this build-out at some point.

Your thoughts on Oracle's apps strategy and portfolio? Feel free to comment here.


Oracle Apps Strategy

Hi Paul,

Interesting analysis on Oracle's Apps Strategy. Oracle Clinical Trails and Siebel do have similar applications that are rich in Pharma R&D process, infact with end-to-end integration from research to market. I think PhaseForward Clinical Trails acquisition is more about customer logo acquisition than product focused (as you have emphasized on point #2) - this would enable Oracle to get higher wallet share of large Pharma accounts and give SAP a run for its 'value to the customer'.