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The Next SOA Company to Be Acquired After Oracle's BEA Dinner

BEA has finally found its match, in spite of their fearless leader and leftover CEO

Since we last looked at the SOA marketplace this past April, BEA has finally found its match, in spite of their fearless leader and leftover CEO. After the ORACLE / BEA news we now read rumors that TIBCO may be the next target; perhaps Microsoft should be taking a good look at them so they don't miss the enterprise SOA opportunity completely. IONA is still trying very hard to get some attention; however, one of their biggest problems is perceived to be a weak management team as well as their positioning too far over the edge with open source. You are either a pure open source player like JBoss or MySQL, or you're not. You either vote Republican or Democrat. The following are our observations from nine months ago:

(April 28, 2007) - On a sunny Saturday afternoon here in Sydney, Australia, I did a quick Google search on "SOA company acquired" to find out the long list of SOA technology providers that were acquired in the past couple of years. The list included headlines such as:

Cisco's Reactivity Acquisition; SOA Software's ThoughtDigital Purchase (Blue Titan too); Progress Acquires Actional for $32M; Longview Solutions Buys Runservicenet (never heard of either company name); Innovation Group Buys SurePlan International Pty Ltd here in Kangarooland; webMethods Fish Eats Infravio Just Before "Software AG" Fish Eats Them; IONA Buys Something (blowing their first quarter '07 in the process); Oracle Can Not Stop Buying into SOA, Business Objects Buys SRC Software. Even BEA makes minor SOA acquisition news with FlashLine (JBoss This! Are they still in NASDAQ?)

This blog asks "Who are the SOA centric companies that have not yet been acquired?" as if they are the ugly ducklings of the SOA dating game no one wants to marry.

Joe McKendrick also writes about this subject in his April 19, 2007 dated blog entry entitled "The incredible shrinking SOA vendor pool: good or bad?" referring to David Linthicum's opinions: "Dave Linthicum, who has been involved in plenty of IT vendor acquisitions, has been keeping tabs on the churning SOA vendor space, and estimates that anywhere between three to four dozen SOA specialty vendors have been acquired in just the last couple of years. Isn't that a good thing? For the investors in these companies, yes. But for SOA innovation, no, Dave says. In fact, we may be losing our competitive edge in SOA as a result."

I am the last person here in Australia to have any remote insider information on this subject but here is what I believe.

Any software company headquartered in the United States whose "About" paragraph contains the three magic letters "S,"  "O," and "A" is either currently negotiating the terms of a deal or getting ready to walk pretty on the auction block to meet their happy highest bidder. I don't believe there is a single exception to this theory.

Irish Imports
Forget about the "Irish Imports" though, the entire dozen of them. They first need to learn how to conduct business in America; no one cares about what they do over in Europe with the funds they receive from the Irish Government to keep them afloat. This includes IONA; however, they have a slightly better chance of meeting their match made in America since the time they opened up a store over in North America. I admire Barry Morris, IONA's first rocker / guitarist CEO, more than the current gang; I have no idea who these people are except for Eric Newcomer whom I have a lot of respect for. If "they" were planted into the "management team" page to package and sell the company, then this kind of news is not helping the stock price or their pocketbook either.

IBM, Oracle or the 'Germans'
I am also guessing, in the next two years SOA business will be owned by IBM, Oracle, and SAP / Software AG (after these two complete their internal bratwurst merger). Red Hat won't exist after Oracle is through with them, and BEA is not even a player, after missing out on all opportunities to either buy JBoss or to sell their company to Oracle.

So Who Is the Next One in the News?
So, why don't "you" tell us which SOA vendor will make the "acquired" headlines this week? 

You can simply use the feedback section on this page by clicking here and let the world see if "you" were indeed right. Hey, even better, if you actually are an insider to the next "SOA Deal," then please let us know before your press release crosses the wires :-)

More Stories By Salvatore Genovese

Salvatore Genovese is a Cloud Computing consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Rome, Italy. He occasionally blogs about SOA, start-ups, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities. Sal can be reached at hamilton(at)sys-con.com.

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