Oracle Grabs Netsure, Bridgestream in Latest Buyouts

Oracle continues its unrelenting corporate acquisition campaign with purchases of Netsure and Bridgestream.

While the rest of the United States celebrated Labor Day weekend, Oracle was busy behind the scenes making its latest corporate acquisitions.

Oracle announced on Sept. 2 that it acquired Netsure Telecom, of Dublin, Ireland, a company that develops network intelligence, analytics and network data integrity software.

Two days earlier, Bridgestream, a company that develops software used to map business relationships within an organization, confirmed that it and Oracle had struck an acquisition deal two weeks prior. Oracle is expected to officially announce the Bridgestream acquisition some time this week.

Given the specificity of each companys software, the question is where the acquisitions fit into Oracles overall strategy—Bridgestream and Netsure are Oracles 32nd and 33rd buys in the past two years—and perhaps more importantly, does the functionality provided from each company play off on another at all?

Bridgestream, based in San Francisco, provides real-time information about role-based authorization and changes within a company to help IT better provision (and de-provision) access to applications—a capability that falls squarely in the security camp, under Oracles Identity Management umbrella. Netsures software, on the other hand, is clearly slated to fall into Oracles applications stack—the communications vertical to be exact.

In an overview and FAQ statement posted on Oracles Web site, the company explained that the Netsure transaction extends Oracles Communications suite to include network intelligence and analytics to service providers and operators, "for the efficient operation and utilization of networks and services."


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In terms of functionality, the Netsure products fall into two categories. The Active Network Optimization suite provides network optimization, capacity planning and trending, and network financial modeling. The Reconciler software is focused on improving network data integrity for communications service providers. According to IT research firm Ovum, the two areas are complementary to the rest of the Oracle communications portfolio.

Bridgestream, on the other hand, is really geared toward helping IT manage and secure applications. Its namesake SmartRoles application has a number of components—a centralized repository that aggregates, stores and manages relationship information, a rules engine, and a workflow engine–all to help interpret information and compute dependencies with every change to a company.

The software also helps companies in their efforts with governance, risk and compliance—an area that falls squarely in the business intelligence camp that taps Oracles Fusion Middleware and application stacks.

Oracles acquisitions of Netsure and Bridgestream seem to be an indication that there is more to come, rather than one companys functionality building on the others. As Ovum points out, this weekends activity is clearly a signal of more acquisitions to come.

"Oracle CEO Larry Ellison was asked at the end of Oracles last fiscal year whether Oracle would continue to make more acquisitions," wrote Ovum in its Sept. 4 research note. "His response was robust, indicating that the market should expect Oracle to make at least as many acquisitions in the year ahead – compared with the previous 12 months. The Netsure transaction shows that he is going to keep his word. The credit crunch in the U.S. is not currently impacting Oracles strategy, but time will tell whether the new lending environment will force a change of strategy—we think not."

Oracle acquired a dozen companies in 2006, following 13 acquisitions in 2005. This year Oracle has acquired another dozen companies including Netsure and Bridgestream.

Oracle expects the Netsure transaction to close later this month, subject to standard regulatory reviews. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.


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