Oracle is stepping up their game through the acquisition of two new software companies that will enhance their enterprise content management offering in very specific industries. Some say it may finally put them in front of the pack of big boys like IBM and EMC. But how will this new offering stack up against rival Interwoven?
Adding to the Insurance Portfolio
Skywire Software Oracle has purchased Skywire Software, a provider of insurance software and document management solutions. This software assists in managing the lifecycle of an insurance policy starting with creation of the policy right down to insurance/broker management and information exchange solutions.
"Insurance is a strategic industry for Oracle with growth focused on integrated packaged applications. Insurance applications, such as Skywire Software's for insurance policy life cycle management, help insurers navigate an increasingly complex business environment," said Oracle President, Charles Phillips.
With this new addition of functionality to their ECM suite, and the Oracle database and middleware for technical infrastructure, Oracle believes they have the "most complete software suite for the insurance enterprise".
The fact that Skywire has a strong document management solution isn't hurting Oracle's ECM solution either. Customer communication management and document automation capabilities will be integrated into the ECM suite providing Oracle ECM customers with end-to-end, multi-channel content capabilities in a number of industries.
With the deal not expected to be complete until the second half of 2008, the financial details of the acquisition are being kept a close secret. Employees of Skywire will join the Oracle Insurance Global business unit and their almost 1500 customers will more than double Oracle's existing insurance customer base. AdminServer The announcement of Skywire Software comes just weeks after Oracle announced the acquisition of AdminServer, a provider of insurance policy administration software. This new software falls directly into place with Oracle's existing insurance software which includes: Oracle Billing, Siebel Claims and Siebel CRM for Insurance.
Oracle President Charles Phillips said, "Together, Oracle and AdminServer plan to deliver the most modern, comprehensive, standards-based and well-integrated enterprise software suite for the insurance industry."
Again, financial details were not disclosed, but the deal is expected to close very soon.
Stacking Up Against the Competition
How Will Oracle Fair Against Interwoven Interwoven offers solutions for the insurance industry as well. According to their website "19 of the Financial Times top 25 financial institutions have put Interwoven at the core of their businesses". This includes a number of insurance providers.
Upon closer look at their offering, the solutions are not core insurance-based solutions, but customized content management, customer management and document management solutions. So Oracle does appear to have the better placement for core insurance service solutions.
In a recent trend blog on CMS Watch, analyst Alan Pelz-Sharpe indicates that "the acquired technology -- and just as importantly the domain expertise -- gives Oracle a bit more heft against EMC and IBM". We think they add Interwoven to that list. Component Content Management Contender? Even more interesting is that Alan believes the integration of Skywire's multichannel, component-level publishing software could help Oracle move further into the Component Content Management space serving a broader market of users.
Of course by the time the software is integrated into Oracle's core offering, that market may have broadly changed. As Alan rightly indicates, the integration process will be challenging and likely take awhile. So time will tell if Oracle has truly built a solution offering that will outlast the competition.