Oracle Primavera Acquisition Could Re-Ignite PSA Movement in Enterprise Software


It's deja vu all over again at Oracle, which said October 8 that it has agreed to acquire Primavera. Primavera sold over $150 million in Project Portfolio Management (PPM) enterprise applications in 2007. Actually that should read project, portfolio and (risk) management software -- with the comma -- because the Primavera that Oracle is acquiring is itself the combination of classic Primavera project software with Prosight portfolio management software and Pertmaster risk management software. The latter two companies were acquired by Primavera in late 2006 and integrated operationally into Primavera's operations over the last year.


Fusion needed: For Oracle, integrating Primavera technically will approach the challenge of the ongoing technical integration of PeopleSoft, which consisted of classic PeopleSoft with J.D. Edward, Vantive and a handful of other acquisitions when Oracle acquired it in January 2005. Like PeopleSoft with its multiple underlying architectures, Primavera brings an all-over-the-park mix of dependence on or tuning to IBM WebSphere, Microsoft .NET and in-house-developed middleware. Classic Primavera runs in JEE environments but interestingly does not list Oracle Application Server as a supported platform; it does list BEA -- now Oracle -- Weblogic, however. Add this to the fact that -- as at the time of the PeopleSoft acquisition -- Oracle has its own competing products.


There are also some interesting, possibly conflicting Primavera partnerships, including one recently announced with SAP.


Catching up with SAP and PSA: Of course, Oracle has to follow this path to catch up with the industry breadth and width of enterprise application market leader SAP.


Oracle has been down the Project path before with its more cross-industry, as opposed to project-industry-specific, offerings. I am not sure in which yearthis announcement occurred but I think it was 2002. This was during the period when all the buzz centered around Professionl Service Automation (PSA). I confess to contributing to the buzz. The classic Primavera lineup is more along the lines of what PSA was all about but the Oracle features/functions could bring an IT/management consultancy feel on top of that.


What's next? Oracle is not even going to hold a public meeting with analysts until October 14, so it's wait-and-see to get some of these questions asked and answered.


As a user of any of these products, you need to hold off on upgrades until a credible roadmap appears some time in 2009.


If you were thinking of becoming a user of any of these products... well, those budgets just got cut anyways!