BEA Buys Plumtree for $200M

BEA says deal gives the company "leadership in both transactional and collaboration portals."

BEA Systems Inc. Tuesday announced plans to acquire Plumtree Software Inc. in a cash deal worth about $200 million.

In a call with investors and analysts Tuesday afternoon, BEAs CEO, Alfred Chuang, said the acquisition of Plumtree was attractive to BEA largely because "the Plumtree portfolio has the industrys only cross-platform portal across both .Net and J2EE [Java 2 Enterprise Edition]."

By combining the Plumtree and BEA portal portfolios, BEA will be able to better provide customers with improved enterprise productivity by offering both collaborative and transactional portals across multiple platforms and application servers, said Mark Carges, chief technology officer of BEA, in San Jose, Calif.

"Were aggressively pursuing growth opportunities," Chuang said. "If you take one thing away from this, let it be that BEA is on the move."

/zimages/6/28571.gifBEA is extending its commitment to the open-source community by supporting the major open-source development frameworks. Click here to read more.

Indeed, according to Chuang, "the portal is becoming the point of integration in the enterprise." And although the BEA WebLogic portal and Plumtree portal are based on different design points, they are "very complementary," he said.

Plumtree specializes in portals for internal collaboration, employee interaction and team empowerment, while BEAs portal offering focuses on transactional solutions. "We now have leadership in both transactional and collaboration portals," Chuang said. Moreover, the Plumtree products will continue to support not only .Net, but also other platforms such as IBM WebSphere, Apache Tomcat, Apache Geronimo and JBoss.

In addition, the acquisition will take BEA into a new market space, Chuang said. "Over 50 percent of the Plumtree customers will be new to BEA," he said.

Both Chuang and Carges stressed that BEA will maintain separate portal offerings. "We will have two separate portal product lines for as long as we can see," Carges said.

John Kunze, CEO of Plumtree, said the two software stacks "can now be used side by side to build composite apps. There is an enormous market opportunity to address service-oriented architecture solutions." In addition, the combination of BEAs portfolio with Plumtrees "will significantly benefit existing Plumtree customers" with access to the WebLogic platform, he said.

Plumtree is nearly 10 years old, and has more than 700 customers and 25 million users, Kunze said.

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