Hurd's Top Five Oracle Acquisition Target Hit-List

Hurd Sets His Sights On Game-Changing Oracle Acquisitions

You don't hire an executive with the sales, strategy and execution smarts of a Mark Hurd unless you are looking to make some big new bets (i.e. acquisitions), the kind of bets that Hurd engineered as CEO of HP. Those big bets included HP's $13.9 billion acquisition of systems integration giant EDS, its $2.7 billion acquisition of networking stalwart 3Com and its $1.2 billion acquisition of hand-held computing superstar Palm. Oracle is about to get a facelift. Here are the five top companies that we think should be on Hurd's short list now that he is looking to remake Oracle.


Can you say IBM's worst nightmare? That's why the number one company on Hurd's acquisition hit list should be $16.1 billion systems integration giant CSC.

Hurd has IBM, Oracle's longtime number one rival, in his sights. You don't take on the number one IT services company in the world with $57.1 billion in services business without a bigger services workforce. CSC brings Oracle 95,000 services pros with a huge footprint in business solutions, public sector, managed services and a growing cloud business.

Hurd's expertise is acquiring assets and then optimizing those assets ( i.e. raising their profitability with employee reductions and sharper strategic focus). There is no acquisition candidate with the ability to remake Oracle into a services power with the muscle to take down IBM than CSC.


If your aim is to be the number one computer company in the world (believe me Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is not content to be number two), then you need some networking muscle. That's why the second target on Hurd's hit list should be networking powerhouse Juniper.

There are definitely cheaper buys in networking -- Brocade, which is an oft-mentioned acquisition target, certainly comes to mind -- but with Juniper, Oracle would get a serious, yet scrappy networking player with enormous reach into the service provider market, a well-regarded, developer-friendly software platform (Junos) unifying and driving its various networking pieces, and enough juice in its data center strategy to slake Oracle's thirst for an infrastructure player, if that's indeed what it's after.

Oracle might just target Juniper for one other big reason, though: Juniper has long been mentioned as a potential acquisition target for arch-nemesis IBM. Not only have analysts been predicting the move for ages, but it would undoubtedly make sense. IBM has the means and the existing relationship, thanks to an ever-expanding OEM deal between Juniper and Big Blue and other strategic agreements between the two.

Trend Micro

Security spending within the enterprise market is soaring. So if you want a bigger slice of the enterprise pie then you better be security strong. That's why the number three company on Hurd's acquisition hit list should be Trend Micro.

Trend Micro, one of the most innovative of all the IT companies, would provide Oracle with what may well be the most robust cloud security offering in the business. That's no small competitive advantage given the big move to the cloud by companies of all sizes. Trend Micro had a strong security SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) and cloud footprint years ago, long before it was fashionable.

Trend also has a critical strategic partnership with virtualization leader VMware and recently launched SecureCloud that encrypts data stored in the cloud.

Hitachi Data Systems

If Oracle wants to go toe-to-toe with IBM and HP, it will need to beef up its storage offerings. There is no better acquisition candidate for Oracle in our view in that enterprise storage market than Hitachi Data Systems.

Just like Oracle has always been acclaimed for tuning its database to the biggest and most challenging jobs, Hitachi Data Systems has the same reputation with its storage offerings.

Note that HP's pending $2.35 billion acquisition of 3PAR, which it won after a protracted bidding war with Dell, brings HP's long-term OEM relationship with Hitachi on enterprise storage into doubt.

Second, Sun, before it was acquired by Oracle, was a long-term reseller of enterprise and midrange products from Hitachi Data Systems.

Oracle early this year ended that Sun-Hitachi relationship. But we think the time is right to revive it given Hurd's fresh look at strategic acquisitions that will forever change the face of Oracle.

Hurd Acquisition Target Number Five: Terremark

No acquisition hit list is complete without a compelling cloud target. In our view the best fit for Oracle is Terremark.

Terremark's vCloud Express provides the enterprises that Oracle has traditionally served with costly IT infrastructure with flexible, high performance computing on a per usage basis. With computing resources that costs as little as .036 cents per hour for enterprise-level computing resources, vCloud would lay to rest once and for all Oracle's reputation as the company with the highest priced enterprise IT products on the planet.

The biggest game changer, though, is that vCloud is virtualized by VMware. That secret VMware sauce is what made Terremark VMware's service provider of the year. It's also what makes the company such a compelling cloud buy for Oracle.