What Does the Oracle and Acme Packet Agreement Really Mean

by Istvan Fekete on February 5, 2013

Acme Packet CEO announced just the other day that the company has signed an agreement to be acquired by Oracle. Although the proposed transaction is subject to stockholder approval and certain regulatory approvals – so the first half of this year will pass before the merger reaches the final stage – it is now public that Oracle inked a great deal. In our perspective, Acme Packet CEO Andy Ory is of the same opinion. But what does the acquisition really mean for Acme Packet’s future?

If we look at Andy Ory’s letter to the Acme Packet community, the deal looks like a significant milestone for the company. He seems to be excited at the prospect of joining forces with Oracle, which, by the way, is responsible for developing Java, the software that was vulnerable to hacker exploit. The issue was so serious, that the US Department of Homeland Security has recommended that all Java 7 users disable and uninstall the Java browser plugin until Oracle issues an update.

As for the future, Oracle plans to make Acme Packet a core offering in its Oracle Communications portfolio to enable customers to more rapidly innovate while simplifying their IT and network infrastructures. “The combination of our session border control and other solutions with Oracle’s powerful Communications portfolio will enable service providers to uniquely differentiate and monetize next-generation services, and help enterprises benefit from more effective user engagement and improved employee productivity. This combination will also provide our partners with an expanded portfolio of world-class solutions to help them create even greater value for their customers,” the Acme Packet CEO writes.

From what Mr. Ory says, this means Acme Packet customers will enjoy the global reach and infrastructure of Oracle, while enjoying the expertise of the Acme team, which will join Oracle’s Communication Global Business Unit.

The above words were written in the euphoria of the fresh deal, which obviously emphasizes that the acquisition is business as usual. And I suspect that in the near term, it will indeed look like business as usual.

But looking forward (let’s say just six months or a year after Oracle gets their hands on the SBC Acme Packet’s top service), the possibility of a discrepancy in Oracle’s interest and Acme Packet’s interest is highly likely. As a result, we will see what we’ve already experienced in recent years: Oracle will lose sight of what made Acme successful in the first place.

Acme (and now Oracle) will not be an SBC manufacturer but rather a software company selling applications to Oracle customers. For small, and even larger carriers this will spell the death of their SBC’s. An unfortunate end to an otherwise very successful company. Not the end of Oracle, of course not, but certainly the end of Acme as the world wide leader of SBC’s.

Written by: Istvan Fekete. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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