Is Oracle really the next Microsoft?

Analysis of the BEA acquisition from Reg reader input

Empty words? Well probably not, as customers of previously acquired solutions such as PeopleSoft and JD Edwards seem to have been looked after OK by Oracle. The company therefore really does have a reasonable track record of ‘doing the right thing’ in these acquisition scenarios to protect existing customers’ investments, even though the jury is still out on how well the parallel merging and integration of product lines is going under the Fusion Applications initiative. Arguably, though, the challenge of bringing together two standards-based middleware product lines is a bit less than working through multiple business level applications upon which customers’ business processes are so dependent.

In terms of customer action, there is not much that can be done at this stage other than wait for the details of Oracle’s plans to be fleshed out and communicated. Even if you are in the middle of evaluating options for a new project or investment, while you might want to ask a few additional questions around the commercials, the short term impact of the merger from a practical perspective is probably going to be pretty limited - so this shouldn’t necessarily hold up anyone’s tactical plans.

The only real consideration is at the level of strategic supplier choice. Some of those who looked to BEA because of its engagement model and independence from application level influences or other elements of the software stack may now look at IBM as the lesser of two evils, or reconsider some of the smaller specialists that currently retain their independent credentials.

In the meantime, we would like to thank all of those readers who contributed to the poll and helped us to understand the various dimensions of this important industry development.

Freeform Dynamics is an independent industry analyst firm working in partnership with The Register on reader research and polls.

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