The answer is yes in the long run but no in the short run.
There is a dual reality here: Oracle will eventually acquire several credible social computing tools (Reality #1 - some of BEA's stuff, especially Pathways, is really good). However, it is not clear at all, how those social computing technologies will be positioned, integrated and/or discarded (Reality #2 - a lack of transparency creates uncertainty which is a legitimate customer concern to postpone any buy decision or direction on continued deployment).
These two news items, announced merely four days apart (see below), should be a stark reminder. Until the dust settles, I would rate any move to adopt BEA's social computing tools as high risk until product road maps are aligned with Oracle's social computing directions. Ditto on the collaboration and content fronts. Business and IT strategists need to be informed as to what components within the BEA platform survive vs. their Oracle counterparts. This includes knowing what tools will be retired and how similar products will converge over time (or not - perhaps some will remain separate but equal (another duality which might be hard to rationalize but BEA has two portals so it's been tried before).
If BEA persuades me otherwise - I'll post my updated thoughts.
BEA Announces Stockholder Approval of Merger with Oracle Corporation
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Apr. 4, 2008 – BEA Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: BEAS), a world leader in enterprise infrastructure software, today announced that at a special meeting of stockholders held on April 4, 2008, its stockholders adopted the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated January 16, 2008, among BEA, Oracle Corporation and Bronco Acquisition Corporation, pursuant to which BEA will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oracle. Approximately 99.9% of the shares of BEA common stock entitled to vote and present at the special meeting were voted to adopt the Agreement and Plan of Merger, constituting approximately 68.6% of the outstanding shares of BEA common stock.
BEA Systems Releases Platform for Enterprise Social Computing
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 8, 2008 --The new release of BEA AquaLogic® Interaction 6.5 delivers the industry’s first full-fledged social computing platform, with a variety of new features that can help users harness the implicit interactions of day-to-day business – project updates, new documents, process steps, key relationships, expertise, data changes in underlying systems - that are often shared inefficiently through e-mail. The release also introduces improved usability designed to empower knowledge workers to more easily share community information, find specific expertise and communicate more flexibly, by providing tools that are user-driven and community-centric, and by immersing users in a highly flexible collaborative experience bolstered by desktop, RSS and Web-based tools.
New features include:
- Social profile pages: energized end-user profile pages, with new features that are designed to allow users to communicate their status and enable social networking and activity-sharing;
- ActivityService™ and new extensibility points for harvesting user interactions: a new REST-based API designed to allow systems to publish activity updates to a centralized service that can render those updates in end-user profile pages;
- Comprehensive RSS production and consumption: a comprehensive notification and subscription service that supports RSS generation to track new activity on common objects, as well as immediate or summary email updates. Additionally, the release features an RSS crawler, to import content into the search index and knowledge management framework via RSS;
- Additional usability improvements: these include human readable URLs, one-click page creation and edit menus, simplified wizard menus and more;
- Infrastructure improvements: these include support for .Net Framework 2.0 and IBM DB2