Oracle Acquires Leader in Application Configuration Management

In its first acquisition of 2009, Oracle purchases mValent, a company whose configuration management solutions can promote efficiencies within Oracle Enterprise Manager. Even as it envelops smaller companies, Oracle may also be looking toward a future where cloud computing dominates the enterprise IT scene.

Despite the economic doldrums seizing most of the IT industry, the Oracle acquisition machine is alive and well. The company's purchase of mValent, a provider of application configuration management solutions, is designed to enhance Oracle Enterprise Manager's configuration management capabilities across IT environments.

Announced Feb. 4, the complete transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2009, according to a statement released by Oracle. As to be expected, financial details were not disclosed.

The move represents Oracle's first acquisition of 2009. In 2008, Oracle took more than 11 companies, including Lodestar and Interlace Systems.

With mValent technology in place, enterprise users should be able to collect and harmonize data from even the most complex of systems. Ensuring consistent configurations across IT environments would also lead to both improved productivity and application uptime.

Oracle Enterprise Manager enhanced with mValent will also simplify systems' root-cause analysis and automate remediation of issues caused by configuration changes. mValent's customer base before the acquisition included Direct TV, Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan and Kohl's.

"Effective application configuration management is increasingly important as businesses look to improve operating efficiencies," Richard Sarwal, senior vice president of Oracle Applications and Systems Management, said in a statement. "This acquisition is consistent with Oracle's strategy for delivering cost-effective solutions for managing applications that enable customers to adopt new, innovative technology with reduced risk."

In addition to its focus on enhancing its own product line through acquisition, Oracle has been casting an eye toward paradigm shifts within enterprise IT. Even as CEO Larry Ellison denounced cloud computing as "gibberish" in September 2008, Oracle has perhaps begun to embrace the model as a means of ensuring future survival.