Oracle Acquires Endeca In Big Data Market Offensive

Oracle Tuesday took the steam out of competitor's claims that the database giant leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to managing and analyzing unstructured big data by acquiring Endeca Technologies Inc.

The privately held, Cambridge, Mass.-headquartered Endeca makes software targeted squarely at unstructured data management, web commerce and business intelligence. All three areas are critical if Oracle is going to play a bigger role in helping enterprises get their hands around the explosion of unstructured data on the internet, particularly with the rise of ecommerce, social networking and video content. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Oracle declined to provide further comment beyond a prepared statement.

The acquisition provides an effective counterpunch, partners said, to both rival Hewlett-Packard's high-priced acquisition of Autonomy and EMC's big data offensive.

"Oracle is the king of relational database technology and was probably a little bit behind the curve in unstructured data," said Howard Moore, the president and CEO of Keste, one of Oracle's top platinum partners, headquartered in Plano Texas. "Now they are getting right out in front of it. Big unstructured data has overwhelmed everybody and now it is a big problem for companies of all sizes."

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Moore said he sees the deal as a classic move by Oracle to acquire more innovative technology at a better price tag than rival HP did with its $10.3 billion of Autonomy, which makes a wide range of cloud based data management services, including web content management software.

"HP jumped out and paid a premium for Autonomy," Moore said. "This looks to me like one of those technology gems that Oracle finds to force their way into a market."

Look for Oracle to make more deals around unstructured data and business intelligence, said Moore.

Next: The Oracle Endeca Acquisition Provides Best In Class Business Intelligence

Sri Ayyeppen, vice president and CTO of Keste, said the Endeca acquisition will provide Keste customers with "best in class business intelligence that you don't have to be a rocket scientist" to incorporate into business solutions. He sees the Endeca product set being combined with Oracle's ATG e-commerce solutions to deliver an unsurpassed level of business intelligence "sophistication and superiority."

Oracle, for its part, said the combination of Oracle ATG Commerce and Endeca's InFront product will "enhance cross-channel commerce, merchandising, and online customer experiences."

What's more, Oracle said in a prepared statement that the combination will "provide best-in-class technology to manage structured and unstructured data together; business intelligence tools to analyze structured and unstructured data together; and a broad suite of packaged applications which extends the value of unstructured data into ERP, Supply Chain, CRM, EPM, Web Commerce, and specialized applications."

Oracle also hinted that it will add the Endeca functionality into its highly specialized systems including the Oracle Exadata Database Machine and Exalytics Business Intelligence Machine. Oracle specifically said that the Endeca technology will allow more "comprehensive unstructured data management into Oracle's engineered systems."

Oracle said the deal is expected to close before the end of 2011 with both companies continuing to operate independently until the deal is finalized.