Would You Trade Integration Woes for One Stack to Rule All?

Loraine Lawson

Is the tech market ripe for a slew of acquisitions?


Certainly, that's been the case with master data management, but a recent InformationWeek column has me wondering if we might soon see some major movement in the tech sector.


Bob Evans is TechWeb's senior vice president and content director, but he also writes the Global CIO blog. On Monday, he offered three reasons why he's predicting a spending spree by the likes of IBM, SAP, HP, Microsoft and-of course - Oracle:

  1. CIOs are demanding more from tech vendors.
  2. IT divisions are tired of spending their time and money on integration. Evans calls this "integration and interoperability fatigue."
  3. IT vendors are holding a large surplus of cash right now. (Must be nice.)


Obviously, reason No. 2 caught my eye. And I'll be honest: I was a bit disappointed by his justification, which amounted to quoting Oracle President Charles Phillips. It's a good quote, but if you trace that quote back to its original context, an April 23 Global CIO post where Evans interviewed Phillips, you'll see that it's all part of Phillips' argument for standardizing on Oracle's enterprise stack.


As Evans says in that post, using only one vendor is one way to solve integration problems - that's what I call the "ugly truth." But you only have to skim the comments from Evans' readers' to see a slew explaining why that approach can be a very bad idea.


All of which is fine as long as it's your choice. But what happens if tech vendors do go through a massive consolidation phase?


The remainder of Evans' Monday post is dedicated to daydreaming about what he calls acquisitions that would "rock" the tech industry. After viewing his suggestions, I couldn't help but think of Merlin's self-description in "Excaliber" : "A dream to some, a nightmare to others!"


Evans believes these 10 deals would "not only continue to shake up the status quo in the tech business, but also unleash new value for customer-side CIOs." His integration-related acquisition ideas include:

  1. SAP buying Informatica, which will likely play into the perpetual rumor that Informatica is for sale-a rumor Informatica very much denies.
  2. Hewlett-Packard buying Teradata, which he says would give HP "a powerful and deep presence in the white-hot field for specialized high-end integrated machines."
  3. Accenture, a consulting and systems integrator, buying HCL, an Indian software and services company; and-are you ready for this?
  4. Microsoft buying Red Hat.


Are CIOs really so sick of integration, they would welcome the level of consolidation Evans proposes? Maybe, but the reader comments would suggest many aren't interested in dealing with overly powerful mega-tech vendors.


But you never know with tech. Informatica is a great example of that. People have been predicting Informatica would be acquired since the ETL market consolidated-and yet, this year, Informatica acquired Siperian and overnight became a major player in MDM.

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