Following intensive consolidation in the enterprise applications sector, the market leaders have switched tack and are now cherry-picking smaller, little-known players.
To complement its push into retail software with its acquisition of Retek, Oracle swooped on Profitlogic, a privately-owned specialist in retail profit optimisation software. Already retailers such as Bloomingdale’s, Toys R Us and Nordstrom are using ProfitLogic to analyse customer behaviour when making decisions on inventory, pricing and merchandising.
This purchase follows Oracle’s June agreement to buy Timesten, a provider of ‘in-memory’ database software. The TimesTen/Cache provides lightning-fast SQL operations by loading Oracle data into a database held in memory for processing. The technology is used in high-performance applications such as real-time billing, stock trading, call centres and airline operations.
Also keen to boost real-time performance, SAP picked up Lighthammer Software Development, a collaborative manufacturing software specialist, in July. Lighthammer’s Illuminator analyses performance in the extended manufacturing chain, reporting on exceptions and performance variances, while its Xacute is a collaborative manufacturing platform that enables users to visually automate business processes.
Such deals, however, looked tiny compared to the consolidation underway in the call centre software market. Concerto Software announced that it was absorbing its larger rival, Aspect Communications, in a $1 billion transaction.
The acquisition is being bankrolled by Concerto’s owners, Golden Gate Capital and Oak Investment Partners. These private-equity firms have been mopping up both inbound and outbound call centre technology companies including CenterForce Technologies and Rockwell Firstpoint Contact. The merger creates a contact centre company with combined revenues of nearly $600 million.