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Analyzing Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion

What's your take on Oracle's recent purchase of Hyperion? Why did they choose Hyperion, and why now? Do you think they're trying to lure Hyperion users away from SAP?

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Oracle's acquisition of Hyperion is just the latest multibillion-dollar deal in recent years for a company that has shown an appetite for expanding via mergers. Oracle acquired CRM software vendor Siebel Systems in 2006 and archrival PeopleSoft in late 2005. Oracle is using the Hyperion acquisition to take aim at rival SAP, a leading CRM software vendor for ERP systems.

Although the Siebel and PeopleSoft acquisitions had product overlap with Oracle to varying degrees, the Hyperion deal is expected to have little product overlap or redundancy with Oracle's existing business. Hyperion sells business intelligence (BI) tools and financial applications to corporations. The company's BI software is used to analyze business data, such as sales history, and for financial planning and budgeting. Oracle, too, provides BI tools, but many analysts expected that it would make a large acquisition of a standalone BI vendor to fill out its product line and provide the platform for competing in the enterprise performance management sector of the applications market.

Oracle has typically sold to CIOs, whereas SAP has typically targeted CFOs. Now, with the Hyperion acquisition, Oracle will have an easier time selling to the business side of the house, like CFOs.

This was first published in March 2007

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