Who will Oracle buy?

Oracle is on a buying spree. Here are a few open source companies it should consider.

Larry Dignan over at ZDNet has an interesting, though speculative (though perhaps interesting because it's speculative? :-) post on Oracle's acquisition strategy. Since Oracle is not planning to slow its frenetic pace of acquisitions any time soon, Peter Goldmacher of Cowen & Co. asks, "Who would Larry buy?"

The list is interesting. I have a few alternative suggestions to Goldmacher's, to help Oracle get more involved in open source:

  • Medsphere instead of Alphanumeric. Hospital-focused ERP. Not the same market as Alphanumeric's (Hospitality), but a good fit for Oracle.
  • Sakai instead of Blackboard. Sakai, of course, is a project, not a company, but there are solid companies involved in it (rSmart, Unicon), and it has the heart and soul of the Higher Education market.
  • SugarCRM. No, it doesn't replace anything on Goldmacher's list, but I think Oracle needs to experiment with open source at the applications layer, both to see where it's weak and to discover new business models that can drive its applications business forward even in the face of SaaS and open source pressure.
  • Zimbra. No one does better than Zimbra on mashing up Web 2.0 with open source. Here's a way for Oracle to poke Microsoft in the eye (or UI, as it were :-) and drive forward its engineering aspirations, too.

Who would you put on Oracle's list?

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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