Oracle makes wily buy of Bedford's Acme Packet
Feb 05, 2013 (Boston Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Software giant Oracle's announcement yesterday that it will acquire Bedford's Acme Packet for $2.1 billion will likely create interest by other leading tech companies in making similar deals with more rising stars, one analyst said.
"It's indicative of an overarching trend in the business-to-business space: a movement toward data services," said Max Wolff, senior analyst at Greencrest Capital. "What they're trying to do is stay relevant in the collection, storage, movement and analysis of rapidly proliferating data, which is moving increasingly into the Internet."
Acme's telecom hardware is used by more than 1,900 service providers and businesses -- technology that Oracle is expected to bundle into its server products.
"Clearly Oracle wants to provide a breadth of data services to stay competitive with Cisco Systems and Juniper Networks," Wolff said. "The new law of big tech is everyone is trying to be the enterprise supermarket, so customers don't need to purchase the service from another vendor. Cisco is coming into some areas that are traditionally more the Oracle area. So this is a move to counter that."
It's the third Bay State acquisition Oracle has made in as many years. In 2010, the company agreed to acquire Art Technology Group, a provider of e-commerce software, for about $1 billion. Less than a year later, Oracle bought Endeca, a provider of business intelligence and web commerce software, also for $1 billion. Both operations remain in Cambridge.
Acme, founded in 2000, employs about 880 people. Customers include service providers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Vonage and Skype, and businesses including Samsung, Siemens and Medtronic.
The Acme deal "is cause for celebration, but it would be great if we could grow some tech companies that could remain on their own without being bought," said Debi Kleiman, president of the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange. "What we don't know is what we would have gained if Acme had remained on its own as a local success story."
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