Oracle and Sunopsis?
Oracle announced their intent to buy Sunopsis. Ironically, I was thinking today what a great job the Oracle Warehouse Builder team did with the latest release of OWB and how it's better than many of the ETL products I've evaluated.
At the next TDWI conference I have both Oracle and Sunopsis in the ETL evaluation session. Looks like I'll be working on a lineup change for future shows.
Oracle is ending up with an integration product stew similar to IBM's, with multiple overlapping products positioned in the integration space. They're pushing much of it into "Fusion" in the same way IBM puts the "Websphere" brand on all their integration technologies. Application servers, middleware, ETL - what should a customer do?
What does Sunopsis have that Oracle might want? Why isn't OWB a part (or basis for some of) Fusion? One of the reasons the last release (Paris) of OWB was so late was because Oracle was redirecting labor last year from OWB to Fusion.
In the ETL space, OWB and Data Conductor are similar since both leverage the database to do transformations and address performance needs. Sunopsis also sells an EAI product positioned as an SOA middleware platform. Oracle was somewhat lacking in this space, even though they have both middleware and application server technologies. My suspicion is that this is the more important asset that Sunopsis brings to Oracle.
There's also the market perception that OWB only works with Oracle. It works with other databases as both sources and targets, but you still need an Oracle engine. The Sunopsis products are database-independent and offer connectivity to more than what OWB handles in native fashion.
OWB also suffers from a positioning problem. It should have been renamed and repositioned as a data integration tool, rather than locked in the data warehouse space. Oracle has never had stellar marketing, with OWB as another example. Buying Sunopsis gives Oracle a better positioning in the ETL space, as well as increasing their European market share. I think these issues are relatively minor compared to what Oracle needs in the Fusion space
Finally, a story about Oracle. The company used to be known for its highly competitive internal culture with multiple development teams working on almost identical projects. There are stories of managers going away on vacation and returning to find their office moved and their team working in another group or their project disbanded. Can you guess where the OWB product manager was last month? I'm sure it's just a coincidence.
PS. All your acquisition questioned answered here (pdf). There's actually some reasonable information on things Sunopsis can bring to the party.
Posted by Mark Monday, October 09, 2006 10:11:00 AM |