What do Sun Microsystems, PeopleSoft, SleepyCat, KSplice, Collaxa and BEA Systems all have in common? These companies were gobbled up by Oracle, along with around 80 other companies, starting January 2002.
Shopping Galore: The Collaxa purchase
Yes, Oracle has been buying companies left and right. So what does this mean for the company’s products, its customers and to the companies acquired?
To answer this, let us take a look at Collaxa. Collaxa was a start-up company that provided business process management software and was bought by Oracle in June 2004.
Oracle needed to get its act together in terms of business process management. The company had different products that use different methods when it comes to its
BPM solutions. With its Collaxa purchase, Oracle focused on WS-BPEL, or Web services business process execution language. WS-BPEL was what Collaxa used for its BPEL Server.
Oracle focused its business process management services on its own BPEL Process Manager as part of is Fusion Middleware offering, taking away the spotlight from Oracle Workflow as used in its e-Business Suite.
The Integration of Products and People
Oracle’s customers soon began to use BPEL Process Manager if they wanted to do some business process modelling, monitoring and coordination. The Oracle BPEL Process Manager let users handle simple and complex business processes, and meld together both human and technical elements.
Some key people from Collaxa also joined Oracle in a number of important positions. For instance, Collaxa’s Albert Tam, David Schaffer and Edwin Khodabakchian, soon became significant players in Oracle’s SOA and BPM offerings.
Because of Oracle’s acquisition of Collaxa, the company is putting its BPEL Process Manager into the limelight. Oracle BPEL Process Manager is used in a wide range of Oracle software, including those for process orchestration, CRM and in the SOA services space. The software also provides a way to bridge technical and human interaction. It helps users control how a certain action should be executed and even when it should be executed. Close to a decade after Oracle acquired Collaxa, their strategies are still closely tied to that acquisition. Oracle continues to use BPEL technology and has declared that they will keep on using it as an important part of its technology stack.
Collaborate and Innovate: The Oracle way
Facebook is known for buying companies and then just shutting it down. Case in point: location-based service GoWalla, which Facebook bought in December 2011. Only three months after, Facebook closed down the erstwhile Foursquare competitor. The same fate happened to NextStop and a host of other companies that Facebook bought.
Oracle, however, seems to have a better grasp at what it wants. As such, it has better sense with the companies that it buys and has a clearer view of how to integrate both technology and people from the acquired company. Aside from Collaxa, Oracle also made a great decision to buy Ksplice, integrating the technology into its products, allowing users to update Linux kernels without having to reboot. The same could be said about Sun Microsystems. From 2010 onwards, Oracle and Sun have worked together to launch integrated systems and solutions including the Oracle Exadata Database Machine, the Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle Solaris-based systems.
In short, Oracle makes use of their acquired companies to speed up innovation, offer more software, products and solutions, keep up with consumer demands and even give their partners more opportunities.
Photo courtesy of Michael Holden.