Monday, April 17, 2006

Oracle acquires Portal Software

Sadagopan says:

“…..Portal, the billing and Revenue Management solution provider for telecommunications and media markets is being acquired by oracle. The acquisition price is set at $220 million. On the face of it Oracle eBiz suite, Siebel CRM & Portal billing and revenue management nicely supplement each other. Telecom billing is not part of core offering for any standard enterprise player. Billing solutions are seen as a critical infrastructure for telco service providers and this is a fast growing high yielding market. Portal covers the entire gamut of billing creation, mediation and rating functionality with support for wireline, wireless, broadband, cable, voice over IP, IPTV, music, and video. The telecom industry itself is in the midst of massive transition. Besides heightened M&A activities, the dynamics and metrics of operator offerings towards end consumers are changing with numerous cross selling, up selling package options. With the increasingly felt trend of convergence of publishing, media, and entertainment services converge, a unified /homogeneous solution for billing, customer interaction, and management of digital services and content is indeed an attractive proposition.”

Here is the SAP view of the deal:

“Portal is an SAP partner and indeed there is a joint product offering to provide telco billing functionality. Portal covers the billing creation, mediation and rating functionality that SAP doesn't have in the core product. Other partners provide this functionality as well, but this is the only joint offering that I'm aware of.

With this acquisition, Oracle is able to offer a pretty complete billing solution to telco service providers. In addition, Siebel and Portal have a joint offering. Siebel has a strong presence in Telecom CRM market. The acquisition increases the Oracle CRM/billing advantage. SAP will likely need to concentrate on working more closely with other partners as its unclear what Oracle will do with the joint offering. (They may sunset it as it doesn't behoove them necessarily to have a product which expands SAP's functionality in telco).”

IMHO: Portal will certainly help Oracle on the way to realize the stated vision of verticalized offerings. These acquisitions of smaller, niche industry players will probably continue till Oracle is able to offer the whole technology stack—databases, middleware, and vertical-specific applications—to various industries.

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