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Welcome to my BeyeNETWORK blog! Please join me often to share your thoughts and observations on new analytic platforms, BI and data management. I maintain a vendor-focused practice that uses primary research, briefings, case studies, events and other activities that stimulate ideas as a source for commentary on strategy and execution in the marketplace. I believe the emergence of a new class of analytic platforms, and emerging data management and advanced tools herald a next step in the maturity of information technology, and I'm excited to be present for its emergence. I hope my blog entries will stimulate ideas that will serve both the vendors creating these new solutions and the companies that will improve their business prospects as a result of applying them. Please share your thoughts and input on the topics.



Oracle today announced they are buying GoldenGate Software for an undisclosed sum. Goldengate may not be a well-known name, except in circles where transactional replication is a hot topic, but after 15 years in business, they had assembled a sizable base of some 500 customers, with 4000 solutions deployed, and partnerships with vendors beyond Oracle, including names as diverse as Teradata and Ingres on the database side, and Microstrategy and Amdocs in the app and BI space. Their message revolved around 3 key attributes of their changed-data-based replication technology: heterogeneity, real-time (log-based) performance, and high-volume transactional support (committed only.) And despite Goldengate's notoriously closed-mouthed approach to their finances, it's fair to say that they were generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue yearly (Hoover's says $9.7M in 2007, but I believe that's low). If Oracle invests even modestly to sustain and grow sales, this acquisition (price unspecified) should be a substantial win.

At its founding, GoldenGate focused on developing replication technology for high availability (HA), originally pointed at creating live standby copies for Tandem. (Today, the Tandem technology lives on in HP's NeoView database.) Financial customers like US Bank, Bank of America, Chicago Mercantile, and Visa came aboard, and are still clients. GoldenGate went to application vendors on the Nonstop platform, like ATM processing software vendors, and partnered with them to sell the product.

HA is still a key piece of the business; beginning with multi-node high availability for Teradata 4 years ago, GoldenGate continued to enhance that offering; it is being used by a number of customers for active/active configurations. A large network equipment manufacturer recently purchased GoldenGate for that purpose, and although Teradata apparently drove the deal, GoldenGate was brought in to participate actively and expected its relationship with Teradata will continute to drive future opportunities. One can expect that to nbe an open question for a while. It's not clear how that relationship, or for that matter the HA business, will figure in Oracle's future, but one doubts that helping Teradata was the key value Oracle sought. Where Teradata turns next will be an interesting question.

Another target market is the exploding data warehouse load/real-time reporting space, and GoldenGate had been courting vendors like Teradata, Netezza and Greenplum to become their recommended choice with some success. And after focusing on financial customers for many years, GoldenGate saw healthcare as a next opportunity. Companies there also want to offload critical data for reporting, and as they begin to demand software to target SQL Server or Oracle environments, companies like Cerner and GE Healthcare are selling partners in that space today. Telco is also promising. Is the fit right? Will prospects go with replication, or choose ETL? Use cases will dictate, and there's room for both. The likelihood that buyers will choose Oracle to ship data when other database vendors are the target platfrom may be minimal, but there are ample opportunities within the already vast Oracle base for new projects. And when Oracle is the source, the value proposition will be attractive.

Oracle's new acquisition thus has a well-understood competitive field to operate in. Goldengate had already claimed some success positioning against IBM. Despite IBM's acquisition of DataMirror in July 2007 for changed-data capture, the multiple IBM replication offerings are badly in need of more rationalized, coherent messaging. There are numerous IBM products - for zOS, Infosphere, WebSphere, IMS, DB2 Propagator - inside or outside IBM Information Server. Oracle will likely follow its aggressive, in-your-face marketing strategy to go after IBM soon, and the fireworks should be interesting.

Sybase is also a player here, and has new Oracle replication capability. They may have waited too long. Goldengate already claimed that Sybase tended not to be in the same deals they were in, and that's unsurprising considering the minimal attention Sybase has paid to heterogeneous opportunities. GoldenGate already had some success in Oracle shops, especially around Siebel migrations, and claimed a good relationship with the database team there. Oracle may well now forestall whatever erosion Sybase had hoped to capitalize on by competing with Oracle's old, less effective replication to its own database.

IT Market Strategy believes that GoldenGate has plenty of upside - if Oracle chooses to go after it.  A significant uptick in marketing visibility and a hugely larger sales force will pay rich dividends. The competition has left this market unexploited, and with Oracle's sizable direct sales teams, they can create substantial competitive pressure. We expect a nice bump in this business, and renewed discussion in the months ahead.

Posted July 23, 2009 9:39 AM
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