Oracle Springs for Primavera to Better Compete with HP, IBM in PPM

Oracle agrees to buy project portolio management software provider Primavera to better compete with HP, IBM and CA. Ovum analyst David Mitchell says Primavera will help Oracle's prodigious enterprise applications customer base tie up loose ends in their projects.

Oracle Oct. 8 agreed to buy project portfolio management specialist Primavera Software, adding another notch in the company's steadily growing enterprise applications belt.
Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed but Oracle expects the deal to close in the second half of 2008.
PPM is one of those unfortunate acronyms we tend to bandy about in the high-minded society of enterprise software. What it does is help business officials figure out what corporate projects they want to invest time, money and other resources in.
The officials then use the PPM software to plan, manage and control the project portfolios, hoping that they can pare costs and meet delivery dates. PPM is a multi-billion-dollar business, with HP, IBM, CA and other smaller vendors offering the software to large businesses in construction, engineering and other areas.
With 5,000 global customers and more than 2.5 million users, Primavera just happens to be the No. 1 player in the PPM market. This speaks to Oracle's legacy of targeting market giants such as middleware giant BEA Systems, business intelligence specialist Hyperion, and enterprise apps makers PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems.
In fact, Ovum Research analyst David Mitchell believes the Primavera buy can help tie together customer bases the company gained in some of its acquisitions:

While Oracle does have a significant existing client base in project-intensive industries, through a combination of core technology assets, middleware, Siebel, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Agile, there is still heavy supplier fragmentation in those markets. By acquiring Primavera, Oracle has started to arm its salesforce with stronger arguments to push for those highly lucrative enterprise licensing agreements (ELAs). We anticipate the proportion of ELA deals in professional services, transport, construction and engineering to rise in the year after the transaction closes.

Primavera's staff will join Oracle to form a global business unit focused on Enterprise PPM, led by Primavera CEO Joel Koppelman.
When Oracle integrates Primavera, it will tailor its Oracle Enterprise PPM for vertical markets such as engineering and construction, aerospace and defense, utilities, oil and gas, manufacturing and professional services.
Oracle fascinates me. Amid all of the Web 2.0 hullabaloo, Oracle continues to purchass one traditional enterprise software provider after another. Oracle's bid for Primavera reminds us that not all solid acquisitions require Web 2.0 flavor and SAAS (software as a service) sass, or cloud computing clout.
While some customers are dabbling in Web-based software, Oracle continues to buy on-premise solution providers at a prodigious pace, proving that the market is not as far removed from tradition as we all thought.

The question of Oracle's massive breadth is another matter. Oracle is to enterprise software what Microsoft is to desktop software and Google is to search. Is Oracle, which once just sold database software, too big for its britches?
(Primavera Systems is owned by Insight Venture Partners, the parent company of eWEEK owner Ziff Davis Enterprise).