By: Mark McGregor, Author, Speaker, Coach, MarkMcGregor.com (Moved)
Published: 17th December 2009
Copyright MarkMcGregor.com © 2009
With the blogs and news services full of the story of IBM's acquisition of Lomabardi, I thought it might be nice to look at what else might be happening out there. As others have stated we have no idea of the price paid and so what premium or discount there may have been on the business. But, what we can ask is if Lombardi were really doing as well as they say, if it really was leading the pack as some suggest, then why give up now?
Of course we can argue that it is just part of the natural consolidation in the industry. Well that maybe so, but the industry as we call it is still full of many small to mid size players, all of whom are having to focus too many of their hard earned dollars on product instead of market development. Some would argue and I would agree that the pace of consolidation has been far slower than we might have imagined 2 or 3 years ago. In part I suggest this maybe due to unreal valuations and in some cases the ego of the CTO lead businesses, for others it may be that the money they were taking was not impacting on the majors, whereas now it may well be.
So as the shake out continues who will be seen as the players, well obviously we have to say IBM and Software AG are the main players, with Tibco and Oracle also getting good mentions, from my own perspective I would not rule out Global 360 as staying in the game, they have a solid customer base and good support revenues from which to keep building and Cordys are certainly one to watch. Despite the acquisition of BEA and with it Fuego, Oracle it seems to be is still not seen as a major player. I am sure that what they have appeals to some Oracle customers but i don't really seem them making waves in the space. (I have purposely chosen not to comment on SAP or Microsoft here, because they can move in whatever direction they want with just marketing and without even needing product)
Of course it may well be that Oracle is content to stay as they are, but I doubt it. With Software AG buying IDS Scheer it is likely, in my opinion that Oracle is on the lookout for another modelling partner. While they could easily purchase either Casewise or MEGA, or indeed any of the new kids on the block, my own opinion is that Metastorm may be the better target. With one acquisition they could buy a pretty sizeable customer base, get the ProVision Modelling tool, which already integrates with some of Oracles ERP applications and get what seems a pretty decent process engine into the mix.
Of course this is all conjecture on my part, however, as they say there is no smoke without fire and the story of IBM and Lombardi smells of smoke to me. Not just the smoke of one vendor but that of potentially many.
On the up side for small vendors it does show that size should not be a factor in selecting suppliers, larger suppliers are just as likely to want to switch you from one set of technologies to another. So don't bet the farm on anybody, just make the best choice you can to solve the problems you have.
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So much of the focus today is on technology, but such projects are largely about change! And change more often than not revolves around people. This highly interactive workshop will provide you with knowledge, skills and insight into how people work and how you can harness this in order to be more effective. Thanks to some sponsorship there are a limited number of places available at the highly discounted price of £175.00 per person.
To find out more or to book your place please visit "The People Side of Change" you will also find a short video which will provide you with the thoughts from others who have participated in the program.Copyright Mark McGregor 2007
Posted: 18th December 2009 | By John Clark :
Do you really believe that Metastorm is a proper fit for Oracle? Metastorm is VERY Microsoft-centric (leads Metastorm centric BPM according to Gartner) and has strong ties to Microsoft.
I would think Metastorm is more of a candidate for Microsoft than for Oracle...
Posted: 19th December 2009 | By Jerome :
I'd say Microsoft would be a much more likely buyer. Metastorm have dived deeply into the Microsoft camp, with the latest BPM version being all .net based:
Oracle already have 2 BPM engines, and they are not entirely sure what to do with either I suspect. A third would be odd, and Metastorm's customer base is puny compared to theirs!
They will be looking for another modelling tool IMO.
Posted: 20th December 2009 | By Mark McGregor :
I understand what you say, but increasingly I think that successful BPMS players will have to cover all the bases, so MS players will have to have Java offerings and vice versa. So while I agree it may not be that an MS centric player looks obvious, I would not rule it out.
At the same time the main interest would be the ProVision Modelling piece, which as I say already has pretty good integrations with some of the Oracle products.
As to MS, I am not sure they will buy into the space, I think the sales volumes are too small and instead they will just keep adding functionality to the current offerings. Although the marketing machine of MS might do differently. Currently MS are doing a good job of supporting their partners and the market, so I guess a time of wait and see for them
Posted: 20th December 2009 | By Mark McGregor :
Thanks. But Metastorm are just one in a pretty big crowd in the Microsoft space. I don't see that MS would be overly interested in buying them. Their BPM customer base I don't think is particularly large and they rely on others very heavily to deliver their services. MS would not be interested in the ProVision piece having decoded many years ago that the market for Modelling tools was not big enough to interest them.
As to Oracle buying a different modelling tool vendor, I think you may be right. As I mentioned MEGA and Casewise would both plug the gap for them and have installed bases that could be upsold. But, there also some newer players that might pique their interest.
Overall though, Oracle is going to have to get smarter about BPM and with real product not just marketing words. In my opinion at least they are falling behind.
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