Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco this week will give customers a chance to learn more about the company's integration plans for the diverse products and technologies it has acquired over the past 10 months.
Oracles OpenWorld conferenceopening this week in San Franciscois the companys opportunity to give customers a progress report on its efforts to assimilate the dizzying array of companies and products it has acquired in the past 10 months.
Oracle Corp. has waged a relentless acquisition campaign since its last OpenWorld customer conference in December 2004. It has bought up no less than five companies: PeopleSoft Inc.,Retek Inc.,Oblix Inc.,TimesTen Inc. and Siebel Systems Inc.
The count is actually six if the PeopleSoft acquisition is counted as a two-for-one deal, since it included ERP (enterprise resource planning) software company J.D. Edwards.
These acquisitions have brought a diverse set of technology into the company, including high-speed, real-time data management from TimesTen, identity management technology from Oblix, retail management software from Retek, customer relationship management from Siebel and ERP software from PeopleSoft J.D. Edwards.
The conference will open just a week after Oracle announced that it was acquiring Siebel and its CRM (customer relationship management) technology for $5.85 billion.
Attendees will be looking for more details on how it will integrate Siebel into its Project Fusion strategy, which is aimed at delivering a coherent ERP product line based on Oracles own technology combined with the applications it has acquired from PeopleSoft, J.D. Edwards and now Siebel.
Oracle will doubtless be spending a lot of time talking to its new PeopleSoft constituency to reassure it of Oracles commitment to Project Fusion, said Carl Olofson, Information Management and Data Integration research director with International Data Corp., in Framingham, Mass.
"Therell be a lot of talk of Fusion middleware and forward direction of that technology and a lot of talk of making PeopleSoft customers feel comfortable" that the technology to which theyve committed fits into Oracles product strategy, he said.
Click here to read about software industry concerns about the quality of Oracles security patch program.
"[That] doesnt mean Oracle will support PeopleSoft applications forever," Olofson said. But it does help "neutralize the idea that they went and simply bought customers" while giving short shrift to the applications, he said.
But customers and users will also be looking for information about future plans for its flagship database technology.
Oracle has come under fire from database researchers about faulty product patches and has faced criticism that it needs to improve its whole process of delivering security patches and enhancements.
However, while the issue is raising questions, Olofson contends that its uncertain at this time whether Oracle installations are seriously vulnerable to security breaches and attacks because of problems with the patches.
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Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.