Oracle stays in valley for latest cloud acquisition, Santa Clara’s Instantis

November 8, 2012

By Jeremy C. Owens

REDWOOD CITY — Oracle’s (ORCL) cloud acquisition spree continued Thursday, when the software giant announced it has agreed to purchase Santa Clara’s Instantis for an undisclosed price.

Instantis offers project-management software that allows employees in multiple departments access portfolios, and can be run both on-premises and through remote servers, known as cloud software or software as a service. The company’s management and employees will join Oracle when the deal closes, expected before the end of the year.

“By adding Instantis, Oracle can help customers gain complete visibility and control of their mission-critical project initiatives,” said Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Primavera, the company’s project-portfolio management division established after Oracle acquired Primavera in 2008.

Oracle has been buying cloud-based software companies offering a wide range of services for more than a year, starting with the October 2011 purchase of RightNow Technologies for $1.5 billion and continuing with its $1.9 billion purchase of Dublin’s Taleo in February and other, smaller deals. Oracle founder and CEO Larry Ellison launched the company’s suite of cloud-based applications in June, but the company has continued to add to its portfolio of SaaS offerings through acquisitions since then.
Oracle’s German rival, SAP, has followed suit with the purchases of San Mateo’s SuccessFactors and Sunnyvale-based Ariba for a combined $7.8 billion; IBM has also been involved in the cloud battle, with its $1.3 billion acquisition of Kenexa.

The software giants are attempting to catch up with San Francisco’s Salesforce, which was established in 1999 as a cloud-software company by former Oracle executive Marc Benioff, ahead of the boom in software running on remote servers.

Instantis also launched in 1999 with a SaaS focus, with founder and CEO Prajad Raje using $30 million in venture capital from US Venture Partners, Goldman Sachs and JK&B Capital to build the company as cloud software became more widely accepted. The company has grown its customer list to include companies like DuPont, Xerox and TD Bank.
“We’re excited to be a part of Oracle as we combine resources to help the business scale more rapidly,” Raje said in Thursday’s news release.

Oracle stock was flat in Thursday’s morning session on Wall Street, with shares selling for $30.79 at 9 a.m. Pacific time, the same price as Wednesday’s close.