January 10, 2009

#4. Integration of Hyperion into Oracle

[This will most likely be a shorter entry, but after some of my marathon, novel-esque, insomnia cure recent blog posts, I'm sure you'll find that a welcome relief.]

The speed with which Oracle has absorbed (assimilated?) Hyperion has astounded me and I mean that in a good way.  The Arbor/Hyperion merger/acquisition/disaster of 1998 is probably being used in business schools today as a case study in how not to bring two companies together.  As such, when I awoke to a brisk Spring morning in 2007 to find out that Oracle was buying Hyperion, I was a bit apprehensive, but I was hoping for the best.  I remember immediately going to my computer to do research into possible methods of dealing with my lover (Hyperion) deciding to marry another man (Oracle).  I think I got the best results when I Googled "How to Tie a Noose."

I didn't realize it at the time, but Oracle really has two core competencies: making software and acquiring companies.  They've got this thing down to an art.  They extended offers to 92% of Hyperion to continue into Oracle.  They put top Hyperion people in charge of BI/EPM at Oracle.  They carried the majority of the development and sales staff across.  Most impressively of all, they managed to deliver a major release of Hyperion (EPM 11x) only one year after the acquisition.

When Oracle first announced the acquisition, one of the first questions everyone started asking was, "how will Oracle change Hyperion?"  Well, I must give major kudos to Oracle, because they actually allowed Hyperion to change Oracle.  This benefited both companies and, I think, makes the EPM products that much stronger and better than their competitors.  Oracle has come a long way since they acquired (and then basically killed off) Express, the forerunner of Oracle OLAP.

Was all rosy with the rapid integration?  No, there have been some hiccups.  The main ones I've seen (and objected to in the past) are the destruction of the user groups and the replacement of Hyperion's support with MetaLink.  All in all, though, I give the integration a B+.  Well done, Oracle.  I doubt you hear that enough.

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