Why Read This
Conventional wisdom says that SAP's acquisition of Business Objects, Oracle's buying BEA, and IBM's purchase of Cognos will initiate a new wave of high-profile software market consolidation. Such an acceleration of market consolidation would be alarming to business apps professionals, because changes in ownership of core software partners can be highly disruptive. Business apps professionals can relax a bit, though, because we think the conventional wisdom is wrong. In a global software market that is growing at double-digit rates, vendors don't need to go through the headaches that come with super-sized acquisitions to support growth and satisfy investors. Still, business apps professionals should expect small-scale acquisitions to continue as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and SAP strive to fill out their product portfolios. Each vendor has different needs and priorities, so expect to continue to see each of the Big Four software vendors pursue their own distinct acquisition strategies.