Larry Ellison has been wandering around town again with his checkbook out. This time he has bought Skire, a provider of program and facilities management software. With this buy, Oracle adds further functionality to complement its already extensive range of applications in the cloud, as well, of course, as its on-premise applications.

The reason that we mention on-premises applications from the outset is that Skire offers both on-premises and cloud applications, but Oracle has already much of Skire’s on-premises functionality from the Primavera acquisition in 2008.

From this we have to assume that the real focus on this deal is Skire’s cloud functionality, rather than the on-premises applications.

Oracle and the Cloud

Oracle has over the years been ambivalent about its strategy for the cloud, at least until last year’s Oracle Open World, when Ellison outlined Oracle’s general strategy. Oracle has been working to fill in the holes with the recent launch of Oracle Cloud -- formerly Oracle Public Cloud.

The strategy it seems is to buy or build any cloud applications that are needed to mirror Oracle’s on-premises applications. Skire is just an example of how this will work.

It’s not a particularly daring strategy, but it may give some indication of where Larry might start looking in the future when he takes his checkbook out again.

Financial details of the transaction were not released, indicating that it was probably relatively cheap for an IT company.

Oracle and Skire

From the outset, Skire will be pulled into the Primavera universe where it will be used along with Primavera products to create a full lifecycle Enterprise Project Portfolio Management platform that will work on-premises and in the cloud.

It will be able to manage everything from capital planning and construction projects to operations and maintenance for owners, operators, contractors and subcontractors.

Adding Skire to the Oracle Primavera suite will help our customers gain complete visibility, automation, and financial control across their entire project and program portfolio," said Mike Sicilia, senior VP and general manager of Oracle Primavera, in a statement.

If Oracle is buying Skire now it is probably because its competitors in project management for manufacturing, engineer and construction like Daptive and AtTask have taken big leaps in the cloud recently.

Again, it’s a relatively small buy, but shows where Oracle is heading in the cloud where it has already added a number of applications for the enterprise over the last year through a number of acquisitions like RightNow, Taleo, and Involver. More on this when Oracle goes shopping again.