Another day, another Oracle acquisition . Oracle seems to buy up companies based on if there is a ‘Y’ in the day although informed sources that it always checks the weather first. If there is weather on the day, it goes ahead and purchases.
I’m being silly, of course, but with the database giant having added 43 firms to its roster since January 2005, president Charles Phillips must have a sore arm from writing so many cheques. The latest deal to buy insurance applications developer Skywire Software is small beer compared to the likes of PeopleSoft and Siebel but it begs the question of whether all this deal-making is good for the CIO.
If you like your glass half full, you could argue that rationalisation in enterprise software is a positive thing. CIOs have fewer suppliers to deal with, thereby saving valuable time that could otherwise be lost to procurement, negotiation, and running the due-diligence rule over yet another company.
Those of a more pessimistic mind could equally well argue that the rapid rate of mergers and acquisitions deprives them of choice and leads to a greater risk of being locked in to one of the giants that roam the earth and account for a disproportionate, and growing, portion of IT spend. Just as important is the possibility of disruption as billing systems, technology roadmaps, sales reps, management and support staff go through the M&A thresher.
For small companies and their backers, these deals offer a reward for faith and hard work. For Oracle shareholders, growth can be sustained by buying up companies. For customers of either party, however, I’m not sure that the net result of these buying sprees is positive.