SAP acquires Business Objects: The big get bigger

SAP just bought Business Objects. CNET Blog Network contributor Matt Asay asks: What does this mean for the industry and for open-source companies?

This blog initially misstated what day SAP announced it would acquire Business Objects. It is Sunday.

If you're an enterprise looking for a choice of vendors, your choices just got constrained even further. Oracle has been the primary consolidating force in the industry, but SAP apparently wants to get in the consolidation game, as well. Sunday it announced the acquisition of Business Objects for $6.8 billion.

As Jason Maynard of Credit Suisse writes, this "validates Oracle's consolidation strategy. It will be interesting if this leads to even more SAP deals despite their longstanding assertion that Oracle's approach was flawed."

More interestingly, it also puts SAP on a collision course with Microsoft. Maybe this even means that SAP gets into the Sharepoint game?

Is there a future for open source in this SAP-Business Objects conglomerate? Maybe, but SAP hasn't traditionally been a huge advocate of open source, despite its work with MySQL and other open-source toe-dipping. To the extent that SAP sees the need for a disruption agent, it seems to be focused on software as a service (SaaS) rather than open source (i.e., ByDesign).

Regardless, this deal has important implications for the industry. It means enterprises will buy more software from fewer vendors. I would guess that this is an opportunity for disruptive SaaS and open-source companies, as departments within larger enterprises get lost in the consolidation shuffle. But we'll see.

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