Oracle buys Instantis, yet another “cloud” company

November 8, 2012

By Barb Darrow

It never ends. Oracle says its latest acquisition — Instantis — will make it a bigger player in cloud-based project portfolio management. Instantis capabilities will be combined with Fusion and Primavera functions, the company said. Oracle competes with — who else? — SAP in this space.

Oracle is positioning its buyout of Instantis, announced Thursday, as another way to beef up its cloud applications, although Instantis’ project portfolio management capabilities are available in both on-premise and cloud deployment modes. Instantis capabilities will be used in conjunction with the company’s Fusion and Primavera applications. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The purchase augments a push into portfolio management that Oracle started with its 2008 acquisition of Primavera. Per usual, the move seems to take on ERP giant SAP, which fields its own project portfolio management. These two enterprise software giants have been one-upping each other for the past three or four years, after Oracle started competing more with SAP in business applications and SAP launched a full-on onslaught against Oracle in databases with Hana, its in-memory database appliance.

Instantis’ Enterprise Track SaaS product gives work groups the ability to build and share dashboards of their individual projects or a portfolio of related projects that lets them track the life cycle from inception to proposal to execution and results.

Once again, the database market leader shows a willingness to buy customer lists and revenue streams. Instantis claims customers including Dupont, Grace, Cardinal Healthcare and NCR.

In early October, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said the company was not planning any “big” acquisitions but did not rule out smaller, tactical buys.

Over the past 14 months, Oracle has bought RightNow to boost its cred in CRM Software-as-a-Service, Vitrue for social marketing, Taleo and SelectMinds for talent acquisition; Xsigo for networking expertise, and Endeca for big data wherewithal.