Oracle channel gives BEA deal thumbs up

Oracle channel gives BEA deal thumbs up

Local Oracle integrators see new customer opportunities

Local Oracle partners have given the vendor's $US 8.5 billion purchase of middleware outfit, BEA Systems, a tick, saying it will trigger new customer opportunities.

According to IDC senior software analyst, Ullrich Loeffler, the acquisition opened up cross-selling opportunities for Oracle resellers and integrators.

"There will also be some challenges for Oracle to gain the trust and loyalty from [BEA] customers," he said. "With the new products it offers gross opportunities but they are also acquiring a broader customer base as well.

"It is probably a bit early to say how it will impact the industry, because it depends on how BEA will be incorporated into the Oracle organisation, how it will be supported locally and what types of technologies they can create."

itX general manager, Greg Newham, hopes the channel will have access to more products.

"We signed an agreement with BEA last year and they didn't have a very strong channel program," he said. "While they have very good product, BEA has been losing a bit of traction in the market. Oracle will be able to benefit from the technology and some of the channel can hopefully benefit from an enhanced product line."

SMS Management and Technology director of corporate development, Merlin Allan, said the acquisition places Oracle, with its Fusion product set, as clear leaders in the middleware space. SMS has relationships with Oracle and BEA.

"There is now a race between SAP and Oracle for service orientated architecture [SOA]," he said. "Both Oracle and SAP are going into the mid-market quite strongly - it will be interesting to see how the SOA market plays out."

Allan said the acquisition was nothing but good news for SMS because it provided another vehicle to wrap its services around.

Red Rock Consulting co-CEO, Jonathan Rubinsztein, said the middleware market using SOA was one of the hottest growth areas for the integrator and estimated a significant portion of its business would come from the middleware space in the next few years.

"I think the strategy on Oracle's technology side will be similar to the way they handle their applications acquisitions, which is to acquire, get the some of the intellectual property from their competitors and suck that into a consolidated technology suite," he said. "From our perspective, BEA is a great opportunity for our business because this stimulates growth."

Tripoint CEO, Ian Woollett, saw the potential to open up a new client base. He also pointed out that it could ease integration issues with large-scale enterprises by enabling it to work with a more Oracle-centric product set.

Oracle will acquire all of BEA's outstanding shares for $US19.375 per share in cash. The deal is subject to shareholder approval and expected to be finalised mid-year. It comes three months after BEA spurned a bid by Oracle to purchase the company.

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