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Lynton Research Digest - 28th January 2004

More M&A this week, including a stonker from former B2B poster-child Ariba.

Ariba swallows FreeMarkets in a half billion dollar deal

Ariba - former poster-child of the 2000 B2B boom - is snapping up rival FreeMarkets in a $493 million stock deal only a matter of weeks after FreeMarkets itself bought the assets of Covisint, the high-profile e-marketplace established by America's three largest car makers. Combined revenues will be around $372 million. See Ariba to buy FreeMarkets for $493 million.

Cast Iron raises another $12m

After raising $8.3m last July and launching the Application Router in September, CEO Fred Meyer (ex of Tibco) has raised a further $12m in a new round led by INVESCO Private Capital.

See ebizQ: Cast Iron Attracts $12M In New Funding.

That seems like a lot of money to bring what is essentially a rather simple XML based "EAI hub in a box" to market. Given that most of the software content could be cobbled together from open source projects, where's the added value for all those millions?

Informatica Q4: revenue up "significantly"

Revenue of $56.7m was well up on Q4/2002's $50.1m, with both license and service revenue growth - though annual figures show a less stellar but still respectable performance, up from $195.4m to $206.4m. Net income grew from $1.5m to $4.0m (turning around a loss of $15.6m in 2002 into a gain of $8.2m for 2003).

With 75 new accounts in the quarter, Informatica should crack the 2000 customer barrier soon; meanwhile its purchase of Striva is helping it expand business from the all-important IBM relationship.

See Informatica reports fourth quarter revenues.

JBoss and MySQL get together

Meta Group says that the alliance "is a great example of how the open-source infrastructure software is organizing itself to become not just a bunch of components but a solution". Both companies operate what could be seen as a hybrid between open source development and proprietary business models. See NewsFactor: JBoss and MySQL Join Forces.

IBM and friends launch WS-Notification pub/sub standard

Just a couple of weeks after Microsoft and Tibco launched WS-Eventing, here we have IBM (amd others including HP and Sonic Software) with WS-Notification, another proposal for web services based publish/subscribe messaging. An HP spokesman thinks the standard will eventually be submitted to OASIS (where it could well end up meeting and merging with WS-Eventing).

See SearchWebServices: IBM, Microsoft on opposite sides of standards fence. Also make time to read IT-Director: Grid and Web Services to converge which explains how WS Notification and WS Resource Framework will help make the grid computer resources available ("on demand") to applications without the applications themselves having to be grid aware.

Oracle signals new push at data integration

Recently promoted Oracle president Chuck Philips said at Oracle AppsWorld that Oracle now recognizes that customers live in more than an Oracle-only universe. As a result of that realization, Oracle has developed a road map of products and services designed to help enterprises connect applications and data from Oracle competitors. Oracle will be launching a "Data Hub for Information Access" that would give (eBusiness Suite) users a single view of customer definitions, allow for real-time synchronization, include data cleansing of duplicate data, and include single views of key customer data such as order, contract, and service history. See InfoWorld: Oracle launches data integration initiative.

Oracle has tended to assume that data integration means a job for its pricey consultants, with a little help from SQL*Loader or Oracle Warehouse Builder. Perhaps now they are going to take it more seriously - but can Oracle really do a good impartial job of this?

Virtual data integration: Bloor's view on data federation and reference data management

Phil Howard sees the increasing commoditisation of traditional ETL as database vendors like Microsoft and Oracle ramp up the effectiveness of their built-in capabilities; now companies like Attunity, DataMirror and others are talking up data federation; this is leading to the development of (generic, rather than pure finance systems based) reference data management solutions. See IT-Director: Trends in Data Integration: Data Federation and Reference Data Management.

Vignette continues consolidation with Tower Technology acquisition

In another major M&A deal this week, content management specialist Vignette has acquired Australian document management software supplier Tower Technology in a $125 million deal, continuing an 18 month buy-up program that already includes Epicentric, Revenio and Intraspect.

See IT-Director: Vignette and Tower Technology fit well together.

Expect a shakedown in Web services

As heavyweights like CA and HP stake their claim in Web services management, analysts expect very few startups to survive the next couple of years. Customer acquisition will be key. See ZDNet: Web services shakeout looming

Revision r1.4 - 28 Jan 2004 - 09:33 GMT
Parents: Lynton Research > 2004 > Jan04
Copyright © 2001-2004 Nigel Thomas. External material referenced from this page is the property of its respective authors.