Oracle buys operations planning vendor Interlace

Oracle agreed to buy Interlace Systems, maker of operations planning software, for an undisclosed price.

Oracle continues to snap up smaller software companies even while it battles to acquire middleware vendor BEA Systems. Mid-week Oracle said it had agreed to buy Interlace Systems, which makes operations planning software, for an undisclosed price.

Interlace sells software that pulls together data from different sources and allows companies to run "what if" scenarios on the data to determine the outcome of changes they make.

Its Integrated Business Planning product has been aimed mainly at manufacturing companies. Customers include Seagate Technologies, the disk drive maker, and Eaton, which makes electrical systems and power systems.

Oracle said it would integrate the software with its Enterprise Performance Management System, including the Hyperion software it bought earlier this year, to give customers better financial and operational planning tools. It won't discuss a timeline for integration until the merger closes, which is expected to happen next month.

Oracle will also continue to offer Interlace's products on a standalone basis and continue to work with databases and application servers from other vendors, including Microsoft's SQL Server, IBM's WebSphere, and SAP's NetWeaver, according to a FAQ on Oracle's Web site.

Oracle said it would retain Interlace staff with "significant domain expertise" in its products.

Interlace is the 10th acquisition Oracle has announced this year and the 36th since 2005. The company said it has become fast and efficient at integrating them all, with specially assigned staff and "proven templates and processes for repeatable success in integration."

On October 12 Oracle offered US$6.7 billion to buy middleware vendor BEA. BEA called the offer too low, but Oracle said it was a "generous" offer and gave BEA until the end of this week to accept.

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