Oracle today announced it is buying GoldenGate Software for an undisclosed sum, likely a couple of hundred million dollars. To revisit some facts from an earlier post, Goldengate had been in business 15 years, with some 500 customers, 4000 solutions deployed, and strong partnerships with Oracle, 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.
Goldengate did not disclose finances. The WSJ suggests $100M in annual revenue, but I suspect that’s high; as I said in my first post on Goldengate I thought Hoover’s $9.7M for 2007 was low. The presentation given to analysts offered no new information on that score. Still, if Oracle invests even modestly to sustain and grow sales, this acquisition should be a substantial win.
It’s not clear how the Teradata relationship, or for that matter Goldengate’s HA business, will figure in Oracle’s future, but one doubts that helping Teradata was the key value Oracle sought. The companies did tout active-active availability as a key value of the acquisition, so the possibilities are interesting. Where Teradata would turn next would 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 platform 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. How GoldenGate’s architecture will be integrated in Oracle Streams, how long that will take, and the impact on the users of the existing products as they evolve remain to be discussed.
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.
Finally, there is Informatica. While it has avoided direct competition for the most part, adjacent spaces are getting harder to come by without running into Oracle more an more. Alliances will be tested and realignment is a likely future.
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 not aggressively exploited this market, 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.