Oracle enters new field with Agile buy

Product lifecycle management latest endeavor for acquisitive enterprise software vendor

After a brief lull, Oracle may be resuming its feeding frenzy in earnest. The enterprise software developer has been busy the past few years, spending billions of dollars on technology assets across a wide range of both competitive and expansionist product lines. Add another half-billion dollars to the tally, as Oracle recently announced it would purchase Agile Software, a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions. PLM is viewed as a critical component in modern manufacturing and product development, allowing for faster and more collaborative designs to meet customer requirements. PLM has also found application in consumer services and marketing as well-McDonald's, for one, is among Agile's clients.

Reportedly, Agile will continue to be sold as a stand-alone product, but Oracle will also look to quickly integrate it into its enterprise application stack. Oracle's existing PLM play will find its way into the Agile base. Industry watchers were quick to evaluate the move against Oracle archrival SAP's interests in PLM. Like Oracle, SAP already has a stake in the PLM marketplace through an internally-developed product, but Agile is seen as one of the very top providers both in reach and product innovation in the space, which could give Oracle a considerable advantage for the foreseeable future.

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