It's hard to come up with another company in the enterprise IT space that could rival Oracle when it comes to acquisitions.
The company boasts 59 acquisitions, including the high-profile $7.4 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems-a move that generated concern about MySQL - even to the point of triggering a very costly (according to Larry Ellison) antitrust investigation by the EC.
On the bright side, Oracle says its 59 acquisitions have generated some 3,000 new products and made it very good at something that trips up many mergers and acquisitions: integration.
And just as it leveraged those buyouts into new products and markets, Oracle's attempting to develop that integration experience into more business. During this week's Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, co-presidents Charles Phillips and Safra Catz spoke to how this integration experience can help Oracle help you, according to Datamation.
Catz told OpenWorld audiences those acquisitions were about integration, and during Oracle's own internal IT transformation, the company realized how difficult it is for customers:
"We realized most of the hard work is with you. Us and all the other software vendors were sending you little pieces of technology all these years, and it was at your site [that] you had to make it all work together. ... What we thought was this didn't make sense. Long-term, companies like us had to take more responsibility to make it work together."
Of course, that's looking at it from a very positive-spin sort of way. As PC World so eloquently pointed out, Oracle's series of integration demonstrations also answers "...critics who say the vendor's acquisition spree has resulted in a Frankenstein monster-like mish-mash of components."
Oracle also announced its Application Integration Architecture Release 2.5, which includes 10 new cross-industry Process Integration Packs (PIPs) and six new industry-specific PIPs. This release includes more "pre-built integrations across almost all major Oracle and non-Oracle applications, such as SAP," according to the press release.
The company also devoted some time to educating OpenWorld particants about its Rich Enterprise Applications, which are part of its Fusion Middleware 11g and Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g offerings. Ventana Research CEO and EVP Reseach analyst Mark Smith published a useful assessment of this new capability, as well as Oracle's middleware offering in general.