Predictions: Will Oracle Acquire BEA?

There’s been a lot of speculation in response to some press releases from Oracle that an all-cash buyout of BEA may be immanent. More than two years ago, I made an entry on my company’s blog that said, effectively, that by acquiring Plumtree, BEA painted a target on itself to be acquired by Oracle. Here’s the snippet from my other blog dated August 28, 2005:

Will this deal make BEA even more of an acquisition target for Oracle?

Everyone I know — myself included — had a feeling that Plumtree would be acquired some day. But the major questions were 1) when and 2) by whom? Quite some time ago and long before Plumtree had its Java strategy fleshed out, there were rumors of a Microsoft takeover. Then Siebel. Then Peoplesoft. But BEA? I never would have guessed.

I personally thought Oracle would be the suitor, especially after they acquired Oblix, PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards. After extending its tentacles into almost every enterprise software market (and proving tremendously incapable of producing any decent software applications other than a database), Oracle snapped up ERP, HR and SSO/Identity Management in the blink of an eye. It seemed reasonable to me that a good portal product that could integrate with all those applications would be a clear next target. Oracle’s portal certainly doesn’t cut the mustard. In fact, they often offer it up for free only to be beaten out by Plumtree, which is, ahem, a far cry from free.

Now the next pressing question: is Oracle even more likely to acquire Plumtree now that they’re a part of BEA? Now they’d get an excellent application server and a cross-platform, industry-leading portal. You know it crossed Larry Ellison’s mind when he heard the news. Food for thought.

I also said that BEA would keep the name Plumtree and lo-and-behold, they changed it to AquaLogic. So I wasn’t 100% right, but at least I can say that I called this one.

Comments

Comments are listed in date ascending order (oldest first)

  • Someone just walked into my office and said, “Hey, since BEA already has a dual portal strategy (ALI and WLP), what will happen if they get acquired by Oracle, which already has their own portal product?”

    Two years ago, I predicted a merging of WLP and ALI, with the result being much like ALI with the great developer tools you get from WLP and workshop tacked on to it. Obviously that’s not exactly how things played out.

    So my prediction this time is that all three portals will “seamlessly” co-exist under one roof, giving consumers plenty of ways to portalize all under the Oracle name. We’ll call it the Portal Trifecta — w00t!

    Posted by: bucchere on October 12, 2007 at 10:40 AM

  • Oracle is going to support SqlServer 2000 & 2005 for Aqualogic? And support .NET? Interesting if they would sell the Aqualogic piece of to to Microsoft. Give MOS a better external portal….?

    Posted by: vivekvp on October 12, 2007 at 11:37 AM

  • Great question, Vivek. I was surprised to see BEA pledge support for ALUI on .NET and SQL Server. I’ll be even more surprised to see that happen over at Oracle. Remember though, Oracle runs on Windows!

    Posted by: bucchere on October 12, 2007 at 12:08 PM

  • Chris, don’t you mean 4 portal products; ALUI, WLP, Oracle Portal, and WebCenter? The merger makes a lot of sense from my view point, but in all seriousness the one area which will need a lot of help is Portal. IBM has only one WebSphere Portal code base.

    Posted by: Dr. BEA Good on October 16, 2007 at 9:33 PM

  • It’s hard to image that a company maintains three or four full-featured portal products, even a giant like IBM, Oracle or MS.

    Posted by: caiwenliang on October 17, 2007 at 5:16 AM

  • Four portals? Yikes! I just don’t want confused consumers to go off and buy Sharepoint or WebSphere portal when I think ALUI and WLP are superior products.

    Posted by: bucchere on October 18, 2007 at 2:11 PM

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