Oracle Deepens Its Vertical Role

Oracle Portal

Oracle ponied up $220 million for Portal and its financial software, a move that deepens its portfolio of technology for the telecommunications and media markets and also furthers Oracle’s strategy to burrow into industry verticals. The buyout is slated to close in June. Partners should benefit from the technology stack this deal gives Oracle, according to one reseller. “The billing function for communications and media companies is a specialized business process and something Oracle did not have well covered,” said Ron Zapar, CEO of Oracle consultancy Re-Quest, Naperville, Ill. Portal’s billing and revenue-management software can be integrated with a variety of ERP systems, and the company sells integration links for connecting its applications with Siebel and SAP software.

It doesn’t offer such a product for Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle’s applications, but a Portal Software spokesman said most of the company’s customers are running Oracle software. The software maker, based in Cupertino, Calif., primarily sells direct but has some VAR partners outside North America. An Oracle spokeswoman declined to comment on plans to make Portal Software’s technology available to Oracle’s VAR channel.

In between splashy acquisitions of applications rivals PeopleSoft and Siebel, Oracle has focused on smaller deals to expand its footprint and product portfolio in key industries.

“Nearly all of the smaller acquisitions, including ProfitLogic, i-flex and g-Log, support Oracle’s build-out of a vertical play,” said Technology Business Research analyst Stuart Williams in a report. “As consolidation continues to sweep through the telecommunications industry, [we believe] this acquisition allows Oracle to increase its share of wallet among the remaining players and provide one throat to choke for ROI-pressured CIOs.”

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