We all know that Oracle just bought BEA.
Personally, I would have recommended Oracle to buy TIBCO instead of BEA. TIBCO has great technology and their software stack is richer and more diverse that BEA’s. TIBCO spends a lot of development resources on their graphical user interfaces and design-time and modelling environment to make business integration very easy. TIBCO’s stockholders, like most great companies with a long history of the same executive management and management style, would greatly benefit from the acquisition.
Citigroup’s John Reilly Walsh upgraded TIBCO (TIBX) shares to Buy from Hold based on Oracle’s purchase of BEA. John thinks TIBCO, the last real middleplayer on the block, will also be purchased, and names IBM as the most likely candidate, “but adds that SAP, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Oracle (ORCL), Sun Microsystems (JAVA), EMC and Cisco (CSCO) all could potentially be interested.”
If Oracle bought TIBCO, a very interesting idea, that would leave Oracle the King of Integration (KOI). I don’t think HP, EMC or Cisco would want to purchase a company that is so fundamentally different than their core business.
This begs the question, should Sun buy TIBCO and challenge Oracle, now that Sun has purchased MySQL?
So the three most likely scenarios are:
- IBM buys TIBCO
- Sun buys TIBCO
- Oracle buys TIBCO
In my opinion, the most interesting scenario would be Sun following their purchase of MySQL with a purchase of TIBCO. This could create a strong competitor to Oracle.
On the other hand, Oracle would benefit from the purchase, if only a defensive mechanism against a Sun/MySQL/TIBCO triple-threat, and they would get great technology at the same time.
I would be surprised if IBM buys TIBCO, but if they do, this would also keep things interesting!
From a cultural perspective, the TIBCO culture and the Sun culture are the best match. I don’t think that the SAP or IBM cultures are very suitable for TIBCO employess. So, if you toss in the cultural perspective, Sun, cash rich and in acquisition mode, seems the most likely candidate to buy TIBCO.