In a move designed to beef-up its enterprise performance management offerings, Oracle yesterday agreed to buy privately held operational planning software maker Interlace Systems for an undisclosed sum.
San Mateo, California-based Interlace develops a suite of software called Integrated Business Planning that integrates data from planning and operational systems to uncover gaps between financial and operational plans. The software works by allowing business planners to change operational assumptions and assess the business impact on operations. It uses a "change-based data modeling server" that pulls together data from disparate operational plans into an integrated model to allow multiple users to run what-if scenarios by changing operational assumptions and then see the outcome of the changes on business plans.
Interlace's product is used for a variety of operational planning processes such as sales and operational planning or demand plan creation and is applicable for both mid-market and large enterprises, Oracle said. The software has also gained a strong following in the high-tech and industrial manufacturing sectors, with disk drive maker Seagate Technologies and electrical systems firm Eaton among its customers.
Oracle said that technology combined with its own Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) system will provide an integrated framework for financial and strategic operational planning.
"The combination of Interlace Systems and Oracle will help enable business planners to rapidly evaluate the impact of changes to business assumptions across all plans...and [also allow them to] benefit from flexibility, speed and accuracy not found in traditional spreadsheet-based and function-specific planning tools," said Thomas Kurian, senior vice president of server technologies at Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle.
The deal is expected to close in November and represents Oracle's second acquisition in the performance management space this year. In April it gobbled up Hyperion Solutions for $3.3bn which laid the foundation for its EPM product strategy.
Oracle is likely to absorb Interlace's technology into that core EPM system, which sits as a hot-pluggable component of Oracle's Fusion middleware stack, to provide a common perspective across financial and strategic planning.
"In today's global economy, organizations need a streamlined planning process that links strategic operational plans to the financial plan of record," Kurian said.
Oracle said it will provide details on specific product roadmap of integration timelines after the merger closes next month.
Oracle did however say it will continue to offer Interlace's products as standalone applications and also pledged to continue to work with databases and application servers from other vendors, including Microsoft's SQL Server, IBM's WebSphere, and SAP's NetWeaver.
Interlace is venture backed by Accel and NEA. Oracle said that it would only retain Interlace staff with "significant domain expertise" in its products, meaning that some layoffs are imminent.
Oracle's shopping spree shows no sign of abating. The company continues to snap up smaller companies like Interlace while at the same time fishing for larger ones. Interlace is Oracle's 10th acquisition this year, and its 36th since 2005. It also comes just a day after Oracle re-iterated its $17 per share offer for middleware vendor BEA Systems. Earlier this month BEA had rejected an initial $6.7bn from Oracle as too low and has until Sunday to accept it.
Author: Maden Sheina @ www.cbronline.com
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