Oracle Opens Its Wallet for Oblix

Oracle's break from the M&A market was short-lived; Oblix is Ellison's latest conquest

March 29, 2005

2 Min Read
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So, just a matter of days after Larry Ellison promised that Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) would take a hiatus from the M&A market, he is at it again (see Oracle Closes Its Wallet ).

Fresh from bagging PeopleSoft Inc. (Nasdaq: PSFT) and beating SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP) to the punch for Retek, Oracle has now gobbled up security specialist Oblix (see Oracle Takes Control of PeopleSoft , Oracle Acquires Retek, and Oracle Gets Hold of Oblix). Oracle has not yet revealed the value of the deal.

Identity management is hot stuff at the moment. As enterprise IT systems become increasingly complex, handling who gets access to what is becoming a major headache for IT managers.

Against this backdrop, vendors are looking to boost their product portfolios. Last October, for example, Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) (NYSE: CA) stumped up $430 million for Netegrity, prompting a flurry of activity from rival vendors (see CA Nets Netegrity for $430M).

At the time, there was speculation that Oblix might be a good fit for Oracle, which is looking to boost its security story across multiple application platforms (see Identity Management Heats Up).One of Oblixs core technologies revolves around Single Sign-On (SSO), which enables access to a range of systems via a single password. With users’ systems often interconnected with those of partners and suppliers, providing secure access to a range of applications is becoming something of a security industry Holy Grail (see CyberGuard's M&A Mojo).

The Oblix acquisition is a good one for Oracle, analyst Jonathan Penn of Forrester Research Inc. tells NDCF. “They need to get into the broader, more heterogenous identity management area, and this fits very well with their position."

According to Oracle, the Oblix technology will build on the identity and access management features that are currently offered within its Application Server 10G product.

So, what’s next for the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based vendor? Penn believes that provisioning technology could be next on Larry’s shopping list, and one vendor in particular, Thor Technologies Inc., is looking ripe for the picking.

Thor’s provisioning products automate identity management and can also control user access to a range of resources. The company’s core Xellerate family includes identity, audit, compliance, and password management products. ”They are a small player, but they have a very unique technology,” Penn says.Oracle was unavailable for comment.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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