Oracle Buys Networking Vendor Netsure, Eyes Others

Oracle has sunk more than $4 billion in cash this year on seven acquisitions aimed at extending its product portfolio in a variety of industry markets. Netsure, based in Dublin, Ireland, serves the telecom industry with a modular suite of analysis tools for monitoring and managing network activity and forecasting demand. Its customers include Vodafone, CableWireless and Eircom.

Netsure will remain in Ireland and become part of Oracle's year-old Communications Global Business Unit, led by general manager Bhaskar Gorti, who came to Oracle through its acquisition of telecom financial management software developer Portal Software.

The acquisition will give Oracle partners who serve customers in the communications market new products and opportunities to expand their engagements, Oracle said in an information sheet detailing the deal's rationale. Nersure's Java-based software already supports Oracle's database technology and integrates with its Oracle Discovery and Inventory products.

Financial services firm CowenCo.'s research analysts issued a note speculating that Oracle could continue its shopping among networking technology vendors.

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"We believe that this purchase could signal Oracle's willingness to branch out from Data Management into the Network and Systems Management space," analyst Peter Goldmacher wrote. "Given Oracle's current cash balance of about $6B, we believe that possible acquisition targets in this space include Netscout, NetQoS, Bladelogic, and portions of Quest Software's business. Lending further conviction to our belief is that Walter Pritchard, our colleague who covers the space, believes that Oracle was one of the players at the table considering acquiring systems management software provider Opsware."

Hewlett-Packard agreed in July to buy Opsware for $1.6 billion and is in the process of closing that deal. Oracle expects its Netsure deal to close later this month.