If you’re keeping track, the purchase of Hyperion is the 24th acquisition by Oracle in the company’s three-year buying binge.
Rumors and predictions of a BI-related acquisition by Oracle have been rampant for months but the name most often mentioned was Cognos. The popular Oracle BI blogger Mark Rittman agreed that the Hyperion deal was unexpected:
Whilst many of us were caught by surprise by the move (including most people within Oracle, I suspect) the business logic does in fact look pretty compelling, and I think this is a hugely positive move by Oracle.
The acquisition is also likely to put other BI vendors at risk and may set off a domino effect on the market as other large vendors seek to compete, according to Ray Wang at Forrester Research:
IBM may buy Cognos, HP might end up buying Business Objects or Business Objects may buy another competitor. There will be a lot of pressure on these vendors to react to this acquisition.
What will Oracle’s arch-rival SAP do? Many observers think that the Hyperion purchase is a way for Oracle to get access to CFOs, many of which use SAP BI software. With the addition of Hyperion’s 1,900-person sales force — not to mention its 12,000 customers worldwide — you would think that SAP might be a little worried. However, if you believe comments from spokesperson Matt Carrington, SAP doesn’t have a care in the world:
Oracle’s strategy, limited by its inability to grow on its own, has resorted to attempting to acquire customers. This latest acquisition only further muddies Oracle’s already cluttered application landscape.
SAP has made the “Project Confusion” argument before, which certainly has it merits, but Oracle has seemingly no problem pressing forward with its strategy. Rittman notes:
What this is really about is Oracle vs. SAP — all Oracle does now, strategically, is framed in it’s desire to be the number one enterprise software vendor, which means being the number one ERP vendor, as all else flows from that. Oracle now is an ERP vendor with a nice sideline in databases and development tools, not the other way around, and they’ll happily live with a more heterogeneous tools and technology environment if it means they can get closer to that goal.
A SearchOracle.com member who wrote me yesterday insinuates that it’s all just an ego trip for Larry Ellison: “build me an empire seems to be the present game.”