Oracle Reveals Plans to Acquire Endeca Technologies

Oracle announced yesterday that it will buy Endeca Technologies, a provider of unstructured data management, Web commerce, and business intelligence solutions.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed and it is expected to be completed before the end of 2011. 

Based in Cambridge, Mass., Endeca provides products that enable companies to analyze unstructured data and retrieve business intelligence using its core technology, the MDEX engine.

Endeca has two products: Endeca InFront and Endeca Latitude. Infront is a customer experience management platform that helps businesses deliver targeted customer experiences online. Latitude is a technology platform that enables businesses to produce business intelligence reports from unstructured and structured information sources.

Oracle has its own data management product, called Secure Enterprise Search (SES), which is able to sort through unstructured data but has limited capabilities, say analysts.

Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, referred to a "changing data environment" in which the combination of Oracle and Endeca would be extremely compelling. “Together, we will provide best-in-class technology to manage structured and unstructured data together; business intelligence tools to analyze structured and unstructured data together; and a broad suite of packaged applications which extends the value of unstructured data into ERP, supply chain, CRM, EPM, Web commerce, and specialized applications," Kurian said in a statement.

By acquiring Endeca, Oracle appears to be acknowledging the need to pursue the unstructured data market, notes Nick Patience, research director of information management at 451 Group. "For years Oracle has championed the use of relational databases, but now they're finally acknowledging that not everyone is on a relational database and they need a company like Endeca which has a mix of enterprise search, analytics, and e-commerce management [for dealing with unstructured data]," he says.

Whit Andrews, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner Research, says the acquisition makes sense. "Oracle is more agile in its business intelligence solutions, but it is also looking for ways to increase its e-commerce footprint, which makes this acquisition interesting," he says. "There's no reason to think that Endeca won't be a huge asset."

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