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Apps Associates Boosts Oracle Expertise By Buying Strafford Technology

The two cloud application consultancies have overlapping and complementing practices, with both delivering Oracle technology either as Software as a Service or as licensed software hosted in AWS.

Apps Associates, a solution provider focused on transforming enterprise application environments, has boosted its large Oracle practice with the acquisition of business finance specialist Strafford Technology.

The deal that closed Friday extends the capabilities of an Oracle partner that delivers cloud-based applications either by implementing and managing Oracle’s vast Software-as-a-Service portfolio, or, for many customers, by hosting licensed Oracle apps on Amazon Web Services.

Apps Associates, based outside Boston, did not disclose the amount it paid for Londonderry, N.H.-based Strafford Techology, a consultancy founded in 1995 and specializing in enterprise performance management software. It’s the company’s second acquisition in eight months, following a deal in June for Austin, Texas-based SmartDog Services.

[Related: Oracle Unveils Ground-Up Overhaul Of Partner Program]

While Apps Associates and Strafford Technology have some overlapping consulting and managed services practices, where Apps Associates typically engages the CIO, Strafford Technology’s enterprise performance management focus often entails “a different conversation” with the CFO, Paul Vian, senior vice president at Apps Associates, told CRN.

Strafford Technology’s specialty is in “closing the books,” Vian said, which encompasses solutions for planning, budgets, forecasting and reporting business performance.

That set of services isn’t new to Apps Associates, but the acquisition will greatly bolster its existing business intelligence, data warehousing and data visualization capabilities, Vian said. And Strafford Technology also brings an ERP practice that complements that of Apps Associates.

Strafford Technology has differentiated itself by helping customers run legacy applications in the cloud, specifically Oracle’s Hyperion financial management suite deployed in Amazon Web Services.

That’s a model attractive to many enterprises not ready to switch out on-premises applications for SaaS. Apps Associates knows that market well as the first managed service provider to offer Oracle’s E-Business Suite in AWS back in 2012.

The business of hosting Oracle in AWS has a long runway, Vian said.

The enterprise tech giant recently pushed support for its on-premises licenses to 2030, giving customers who want it another decade to seek advice and consultation from partners on how to transition fully to SaaS, he said.

That extended support cycle includes Hyperion, which still has more than 14,000 customers globally, Vian said.

While Apps Associates expects the SaaS transformation timetable to accelerate sooner for most customers, “that longer runway of growth into SaaS is what’s really interesting and exciting to us,” he said.

“Oracle is seeing some good growth in that trend of moving to SaaS and looking at Oracle partners to help support with consulting, implementation, an also ongoing managed services,” Vian added.

In addition to Oracle on AWS, Apps Associates offers Oracle technology in VMware environments and is a Salesforce partner.

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