Oracle's mid-May acquisition of AdminServer made for some interesting conversations at this year's ACORD/LOMA Systems Forum, which was underway when the news broke. Exactly what that development portended was a somewhat contentious subject, as I documented in a recent story. But this week's announcement that Oracle will acquire Skywire Software makes it all but irresistible to conclude that Oracle's activities will have some discernible effect on the insurance vendor space.Oracle is clearly on the move in the insurance vertical space, and now counts two significant industry vertical vendors in its stable. It would be hard to identify a hotter policy admin vendor than AdminServer, and Skywire also brings important industry-specific capabilities to Oracle, as TowerGroup research area director David West attests:
"Skywire is a respected brand and their prior acquisition of DocuCorp made them an even more attractive acquisition target," he comments. "The combination of Skywire's insurance data model and Oracle's database along with the document management capabilities should make Oracle a formidable force in the industry."
The effect of this latest development on insurance-focused vendors remains highly debatable, but perhaps the first question is not what others will do but rather what Oracle will do next.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Novarica's Matt Josefowicz thinks that Oracle isn't finished yet, but he emphasizes the effect of its moves not on the large horizontal players active in the space, such as IBM, SAP and Microsoft, but rather the insurance vertical portfolio players, such as CSC, Fiserv and SunGard.
"Oracle certainly has the capital and mindset to run rampant in this space," Matt comments. "We haven't seen a predator of this size in this ecosystem before."
Bearing in mind the scale of Oracle's BEA acquisition, the vendor could eat up a large portion of the available acquisition targets without suffering any serious indigestion, Josefowicz suggests. "You could roll up much of this space for a billion dollars," he says. Mixing his metaphors, Matt adds, "Oracle has that kind of money in its couch cushions."Bearing in mind the scale of Oracle's BEA acquisition, the vendor could eat up a large portion of the available acquisition targets without suffering any serious indigestion, Novarica's Matt Josefowicz suggests. "You could roll up much of this space for a billion dollars," he says. "Oracle has that kind of money in its couch cushions."
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio