Oracle Binging On Context Media, Pieces O' I-flex

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Now some of us are starting to see why Oracle needs not one, not two but THREE presidents.

The company's poised to buy the assets and some personnel of Context Media, as first reported here Monday. That should happen any day now.

It's also true that the database giant has cast a yearning eye on i-flex, the banking software company based in India. Reuters reported last week that Oracle wants to buy out Citigroup's stake in i-flex Solutions, and now word is THAT deal may come down as soon as tomorrow.

Let's recap: Oracle's bought into retail apps in a big way with Retek. It's got Oblix and its federated identity management. It will soon have Context Media's content integration know-how as well as ProfitLogic's price optimization analytics. That all adds up to……Well, I'm not sure yet other than some integration issues, but it's an interesting portfolio.

Everyone including Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle agrees that verticals are big, big, big. That is nothing new. The issue is how very large, broad-based companies like these attack verticals? Buy their way in? Partner with VARs and ISVs already there? The answer appears to be both. Stay tuned.


Despite the relative amity at the recent Microsoft partner conference, the story behind the story is somewhat more chaotic.

Going into the big Next-Generation Partner Program revamp, one reason Microsoft grandfathered in so many partners at their existing level is that a lot of the back-and-forth e-mail correspondence got caught up in spam filters both at partner and Microsoft sites. It's hard to qualify for ANYTHING if your data ain't flowing, know what I'm saying? (Microsoft sources say just 11 percent of the Gold Certified partners requalified for that designation again without the help of the great grandfather clause.)

One Gold partner took the report with a grain of salt: "That whole spam filter excuse is the 21st century equivalent of 'the dog ate my homework,'" says he.

But several partners admit (privately) that they're not so sure this new NGPP is worth the angst. But then again, they say none of the vendor programs are.

Meanwhile, NaviSite has sold its MBS Software Reseller and Professional Services practice to Navint Consulting for about $3.5 million, the companies said Monday. Navint gets about 500 NaviSite customers, bringing its total up to 700 clients. Navint is based in Pittsford, N.Y., Navisite in Andover, Mass.
Navint is trying to establish itself as a leading MBS consultant and implementer in the Northeast.

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