Eye on Oracle

Aug 16 2012   2:50PM GMT

Who will Oracle buy next?

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

The web is humming with gossip.

Yes, there’s that K-Stewart R-Patt thing no one really cares about, pundits speculating about why Romney chose Ryan as his running mate and the question as to whether or not it’s tacky to talk about Olympian’s hair style choices, but the question really on everyone’s mind is: who’s next on Oracle’s hit list?

Speculation abounds – some of it carefully thought out, some of it caused by the anxieties of potential prey.  No one wants to end up like Sun. On the other hand, Oracle acquisition has actually benefitted the employees of a few companies. Still, it’s a mixed bag, and few people want to be at the mercy of Larry Ellison.

Some have speculated that Oracle’s next move will be to buy HP. The rationale is that Oracle’s leaders likely knew they would never win the Itanium case, but that bad press from the trial would hurt HP’s business enough to leave them in a vulnerable state. Ellison hiring Mark Hurd further hints that this may have been Ellison’s early intention. However, with HP’s current leaner, meaner leadership of Ray Lane and Meg Whitman, the chances of such a deal without a truly hostile takeover are unlikely. Both would be aware that allowing such a thing to happen on their watch would mean curtains for their careers.

Much speculation has also revolved around Oracle purchasing Informatica. The reasoning is clear: There’s a lot of overlap between Informatica and Oracle in data integration. Adding Informatica to Oracle’s portfolio would remove a competitor from the field.

Rumblings of Oracle buying EMC have also been heard by those keeping their ears to the ground. Such a purchase would ramp up Oracle’s virtualization capabilities and bring VMWare into their fold.

Personally, I speculate that smaller companies have more to worry about than larger firms, especially companies that specialize in areas where Oracle is deficient or is trying to oust a competitor. While I don’t want to give Ellison any ideas, I’d speculate that virtualization firms like Virtual Instruments, cloud-based services firms like ServiceNow or social media firms like HootSuite could all be ripe fruit for the plucking. If any of the above is acquired by Oracle, just remember – you heard it here first.

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