Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Oracle to buy Metastorm?

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With the blogs and news services full of the story of IBM's acquisition of Lomabardi, I thought it might be nice to look at what else might be happening out there. As others have stated we have no idea of the price paid and so what premium or discount there may have been on the business. But, what we can ask is if Lombardi were really doing as well as they say, if it really was leading the pack as some suggest, then why give up now?

Of course we can argue that it is just part of the natural consolidation in the industry. Well that maybe so, but the industry as we call it is still full of many small to mid size players, all of whom are having to focus too many of their hard earned dollars on product instead of market development. Some would argue and I would agree that the pace of consolidation has been far slower than we might have imagined 2 or 3 years ago. In part I suggest this maybe due to unreal valuations and in some cases the ego of the CTO lead businesses, for others it may be that the money they were taking was not impacting on the majors, whereas now it may well be.

So as the shake out continues who will be seen as the players, well obviously we have to say IBM and Software AG are the main players, with Tibco and Oracle also getting good mentions, from my own perspective I would not rule out Global 360 as staying in the game, they have a solid customer base and good support revenues from which to keep building and Cordys are certainly one to watch. Despite the acquisition of BEA and with it Fuego, Oracle it seems to be is still not seen as a major player. I am sure that what they have appeals to some Oracle customers but i don't really seem them making waves in the space. (I have purposely chosen not to comment on SAP or Microsoft here, because they can move in whatever direction they want with just marketing and without even needing product)

Of course it may well be that Oracle is content to stay as they are, but I doubt it. With Software AG buying IDS Scheer it is likely, in my opinion that Oracle is on the lookout for another modelling partner. While they could easily purchase either Casewise or MEGA, or indeed any of the new kids on the block, my own opinion is that Metastorm may be the better target. With one acquisition they could buy a pretty sizeable customer base, get the ProVision Modelling tool, which already integrates with some of Oracles ERP applications and get what seems a pretty decent process engine into the mix.

Of course this is all conjecture on my part, however, as they say there is no smoke without fire and the story of IBM and Lombardi smells of smoke to me. Not just the smoke of one vendor but that of potentially many.

On the up side for small vendors it does show that size should not be a factor in selecting suppliers, larger suppliers are just as likely to want to switch you from one set of technologies to another. So don't bet the farm on anybody, just make the best choice you can to solve the problems you have.

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1 comment:

Lucy Mills said...

I'm not so sure that Lombardi was really "ding that well". $30m of revenue after $42m of VC injected.

The smell of smoke is that of a firesale by Lombardi ?