Feeds

Is the future of Ingres in doubt?

Would it make sense for CA to sell Ingres?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

Comment There are rumours flying about that CA may sell off Ingres. How much truth is there in that and would it make sense?

The rumours apparently derive from a piece in Linux Business Week which reads as follows:

"The rumor mill claims that Terry Garnett, the ex-Oracle, ex-Venrock half of Garnett & Helfrich Capital, the $250m Sand Hill Road management buyout firm chartered to find 'broken and orphaned' businesses neglected by their parent companies, wants to 'liberate' Ingres, the database that Computer Associates, its current owner, recently open sourced."

"According to what CA's new management has been saying lately, Ingres is not a core CA technology."

Let us be clear: what Terry Garnett wants to do (or perhaps merely thinks might be a good idea) and what CA wants to do are not necessarily the same things. Indeed, the author of this piece is careful not to associate the first paragraph with the second and the reader, in effect, is being invited to add two and two and make five. If is the source of the rumour then it can hardly be described as authoritative.

Nevertheless, I cannot ignore the possibility that there is some truth in this somewhere. Would such a move would make sense? The short answer to that question is no. I cannot see a single good thing for any stakeholder in such a move, whether it be CA, Ingres users or, indeed, Terry Garnett. The only people who would be pleased would be Oracle.

First, I don't think the Ingres user community could stand another disappointment. CA has at last invested some decent money into the product, but selling it off would give users the impression that this investment was simply to prepare for a sell-off (and I don't think that is the reason). This would be the straw that broke the camel's back: Ingres users would desert in droves and Mr Garnett would find he hadn't got the business that he thought he was buying.

Secondly, an Ingres disposal would be a serious mistake for CA. In its recent re-organisation the company announced that it would have divisions going forward: Enterprise Systems Management, Security Management, Storage Management, Business Service Optimisation (whatever that means) and the CA Product Group. In other words, the message (whether intended or not) is that anything that doesn't fit into the first four categories is non-strategic: all the database products, the development tools, ERWin, the mainframe management products, the query and analytic tools, the portal and so on and so forth. Now, if CA was to sell one of the most well-known brands within this portfolio what would it say to CA users about the rest of these products? It would say to users that all of these hundreds if not thousands of products were also up for sale. It would deter new purchases, put off upgrades and encourage users to adopt products from competitive vendors across CA's entire product range. It would be catastrophic for CA's figures, and shareholders would be calling for John Swainson's head.

Of course, I could make all sorts of other arguments about why CA should retain Ingres, not least because of its use within so many other (even strategic!) products, however I have a limited amount of space. So I will conclude merely by saying how pleased Oracle would be by such a sale. There are a number of high profile organisations on the verge of announcing a move away from Oracle to Ingres: I can't imagine that there will be many more of these if CA sells off the family silver.

Copyright © 2005, IT-Director.com

Related stories

Why do people hate Oracle?
Ingres and Open Source - a success story
Webroot Software looks to CA for UK channel manager

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.