Oracle announced it is to acquire BEA Systems for £4.3bn, to bolster its service oriented architecture strategy.
Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison, said, "The addition of BEA products and technology will significantly enhance and extend Oracle's Fusion middleware software suite."
IT analyst Gartner warned users that BEA's product portfolio and Oracle Fusion Middleware overlaps significantly, so the acquisition could lead to a lot of product rationalisation.
Although the outlook for BEA's existing users could be shaky with such massive cross-over of products, Massimo Pezzini, analyst at Gartner, said: "Some BEA products - such as Tuxedo and WebLogic Server - have customers generating substantial maintenance revenue, so it would be in Oracle's interest to keep supporting them, even if they do not become strategic components of Oracle Fusion Middleware."
Other products, like JRockit, AquaLogic BPM, AquaLogic PEP and AquaLogic Enterprise Repository complement Oracle Fusion Middleware, so Gartner expected these products could be fully integrated with Oracle's own software.
Interestingly, it is Oracle's own products that may be at risk. Pezzini noted that BEA's technology was generally regarded as high quality. "It is not certain that Oracle's own products would always be chosen as strategic. In some cases, the needs of Oracle Fusion Applications would determine which component product became strategic," he said.
Gartner expected the next version of Oracle Fusion Middleware suite would incorporate products of both Fusion and BEA.
When completed, the acquisition will mean Oracle would emerge as a portal, process and middleware supplier with revenue second in size only to IBM, the market leader. Gartner said IBM and Oracle would be the main suppliers of Java-centric middleware, well ahead of the remaining providers. Oracle and IBM would also have a significant lead over Microsoft, which focuses on .net-centric middleware, although Microsoft and SAP will continue to be formidable competitors in the larger application infrastructure market, Gartner said.