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Oracle's Insatiable Binge-Eating

Oracle announced early this month that it has made a deal to acquire business intelligence (BI) software vendor Hyperion Solutions Corp. for $3.3 billion. The move marks yet another chapter in a series of seemingly relentless purchases on the part of Oracle, which has announced nearly thirty such moves in the last two years.

Buying Hyperion allows Oracle to integrate yet another competitor into its software lineup and offer a wider range of analytical tools for customers looking to improve planning, budgeting and other performance management practices.

According to a letter to customers from Hyperion CEO Godfrey R. Sullivan, the deal will yield “immediate benefit to both Hyperion and Oracle customers, as the companies' products are already integrated with thousands of successful joint deployments.” However, it's worth mentioning here that Hyperion has 12,000 customers worldwide that are also jointly deployed with Oracle rivals, leaving many executives wondering how this consolidation will affect issues like service and bargaining leverage going forward.

Even those who use competitor packages (Business Objects, Cognos, etc.) should take note, as industry analysts warned that the acquisition could start a domino effect of acquisitions of the other large BI vendors by ITs "big boys" (Microsoft, SAP, IBM and HP). Although SAP announced a BI purchase of its own last month, Oracle's obviously been bellying up to the table (pun intended) with Hyperion for some time.

What do you think? Is Oracle on the verge of developing the IT version of “morbid obesity”? Does this succession of software acquisitions threaten to give new meaning to the term “bloatware”? Will another multibillion-dollar acquisition by Oracle only whet CEO Larry Ellison’s appetite for consumption? How many courses are in this meal anyway?

One thing's for certain: after so much practice swallowing large companies, even a big bite like Hyperion isn't likely to cause Oracle much in the way of indigestion...

TAGS: Innovation
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