Blogger: Lori Rowland
Thursday the European Commission gave Oracle its unconditional approval to take over Sun Microsystems. Oracle still awaits approval from other jurisdictions including Russia and China, but given the EU’s ruling it is likely that these approvals will be expedited. It is fair to say that the EU’s approval was the last major hurdle for Oracle to overcome before the acquisition can move forward. The EU’s prolonged approval process had cast a cloud of doubt over the acquisition, leaving Sun’s IdM customers anxious over the fate of their IdM solution. Today’s announcement is particularly good news for those customers.The IdM community has been closely watching the developments of this acquisition. Whereas many of Sun’s products have no direct equivalents in the Oracle portfolio, there is significant overlap between the companies’ IdM products. Since Oracle announced its plans to acquire Sun in April 2009, Burton Group has been inundated with inquires from both Oracle and Sun customers wondering how to move forward with purchases, deployments, upgrades, and product choices.
Oracle remains restricted in the amount of information it can share before the acquisition closes. The company has, however, put a plan in motion to communicate its roadmap and integration strategy over the coming months. On January 27, 2010, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison will host a webcast highlighting the combined Oracle and Sun strategy. Oracle and Sun customers can register for the webcast via this link:Once the acquisition closes Oracle will be able to provide more specific information on its planned IdM roadmap. On January 27, we expect Oracle to lay out its combined IdM strategy and roadmap while discussing maintenance and support implications in line with Oracle’s track record in past acquisitions. Based on what we’ve seen with the BEA acquisition, Burton Group expects that representatives from Oracle will offer to meet with individual organizations to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible. Burton Group encourages organizations that have a strong investment in Sun (or Oracle) IdM products to take advantage of such meetings to express their individual needs and concerns.
Although the European Commission’s approval does not mark the closure of the acquisition, it is significant progress. The pending acquisition has had a measurable impact on the IdM market. The most obvious being the uncertainty it has left for Sun customers. As the adage goes “it’s the not knowing that kills you.” As Burton Group has done in the past, we encourage Sun IdM customers to remain calm – do not rush to any drastic conclusions regarding the acquisition. One thing that Oracle has consistently communicated throughout its past acquisitions is its intention to provide customers with long-term support and maintenance. Burton Group urges customers to attend the January 27 webcast, continue to check the IdPS blog for updates, and schedule a dialogue with Burton Group analysts to discuss our perspective on a combined Oracle-Sun IdM strategy and the implications it may have in your environment. You may also visit the April, 2009 IdPS blog post where we laid out Burton Group’s perspective on the implications of the acquisition.