Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Java IoT, SYS-CON MEDIA, IT SOLUTIONS GUIDE

Java IoT: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Is Mergermania Back?

It's Not Just Back, It's Back With a Vengeance

Hurricanes Ivan, Charley, and Frances notwithstanding, sometimes being in the eye of the storm has its advantages.

At SYS-CON Media, where we by definition dwell at the epicenter of what might be called the i-technology weather cycle, our central position allows us to ask industry influencers for quickfire responses to burning issues of the day.

The recent PeopleSoft-Oracle decision handed down by the U.S. Justice Department is a case in point. U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had given his verdict on the antitrust lawsuit filed seven months ago by the U.S. Justice Department and 10 states seeking to block Oracle's would-be "hostile takeover" of rival PeopleSoft. In his 164-page decision Walker ruled that there weren't sufficient grounds to block it.

The judgement was enough to send PeopleSoft's stock climbing. While it seemed to bring to an end a lawsuit on which Oracle has allegedly spent some $60 million and PeopleSoft even more, some $70 million, we wondered whether it also marked a new beginning: the reemergence of mergermania in the world of enterprise technology. Also, if Oracle "won," who lost?

Taking soundings around us, it wasn't long before we heard back from Mitchell Kertzman, now of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners - and famous before that, of course, as the founder and CEO of Powersoft in 1974, which merged in February 1995 with Sybase, of which he subsequently became chairman of the board and CEO.

"The U.S. Justice Department's patchwork-quilt antitrust policy is the loser here," Kertzman commented. "The software industry needs a clearer, more coherent statement and practice of antitrust guidelines from Justice," he added.

Another prime mover in the enterprise technology space, Dr. Adam Kolawa - cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Parasoft - felt that the problem lay in the issue having ever gone to court in the first place. "I think the suit was a mistake," Dr. Kolawa declared. "Oracle should have been allowed to purchase PeopleSoft in the first place. So we wasted some time and money and now we are able to get down to business."

And the "winner"? Not Oracle, according to the Parasoft chairman. "In a situation like this," he contended, "the winner will be the other guy, not Oracle. Oracle will have to support PeopleSoft customers for quite a while. It cannot just kill the products. In the meantime, because of all the publicity, anybody who thought about buying PeopleSoft software will already have decided to buy competitive packages. The real winners are probably SAP and IBM."

Dr. Kolawa offered a final thought: "I have seen battles like this before, and they were irrelevant a few years later. Do you remember Compaq buying DEC, or HP buying Compaq? They brought more headaches than they were worth to the companies that were involved in them."

The Powersoft merger with Sybase in 1995 was, at the time, the most valuable in the history of the software industry. But an Oracle-PeopleSoft deal would set a new record, including a record for the hostile nature of the whole arrangement.

In a letter written on Sept. 9 after the U.S. District Judge's decision, Oracle chairman Jeff Henley and CEO Larry Ellison wrote to the PeopleSoft board: "With the removal of the U.S. antitrust issue and Oracle's commitment to acquire PeopleSoft, we are hopeful that a transaction can occur." PeopleSoft's reply was curt: "PeopleSoft's Board has carefully considered and unanimously rejected each of Oracle's offers, including its current offer of $21 per share. On May 25, 2004, the Board concluded that the current offer was inadequate and did not reflect PeopleSoft's real value."

To our mergermania question, JBoss CEO Marc Fleury commented: "Consolidation is a natural fact in the software markets. I don't see losers but rather efficiencies at play." He went on to note that the mergers and consolidations might well be catalyzed by the recent rise of open source software. "Open source accelerates this natural consolidation by putting great pressure on the profits of infrastructure software players, for example, the rumors have it that BEA is next on Oracle's shopping list," Fleury said.

No one said 2004 would to be a dull year in the enterprise technology world.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (1) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
$$Maniac 12/14/04 11:26:39 AM EST

"Do you remember Compaq buying DEC, or HP buying Compaq? They brought more headaches than they were worth to the companies that were involved in them."

Kolawa is right. Ellison & co. ought to remember that this week!

Microservices Articles
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
Consumer-driven contracts are an essential part of a mature microservice testing portfolio enabling independent service deployments. In this presentation we'll provide an overview of the tools, patterns and pain points we've seen when implementing contract testing in large development organizations.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Enterprise architects are increasingly adopting multi-cloud strategies as they seek to utilize existing data center assets, leverage the advantages of cloud computing and avoid cloud vendor lock-in. This requires a globally aware traffic management strategy that can monitor infrastructure health across data centers and end-user experience globally, while responding to control changes and system specification at the speed of today’s DevOps teams. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Gray, Chie...
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...