Oracle given OK to buy Agile

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Oracle given OK to buy Agile

Oracle's planned purchase of product life cycle management (PLM) firm Agile Software has been given the thumbs up by industry experts.

A newly-published Gartner research note predicts that the acquisition will deliver improved PLM functionality, while Agile customers will benefit from a company with long-term viability.

"This planned acquisition supports the observation that enterprise resource planning, supply chain management and customer relationship management applications do not meet business needs without PLM," said Gartner analysts Marc Halpern and Kenneth Brant.

"Oracle recognised that its customers need PLM to streamline product life cycle activities from concept through retirement."

The report added that it expects the purchase to help propel PLM from an engineering-centric to an enterprise-centric role in enterprises.

Joint Agile and Oracle customers will benefit most from this acquisition, according to Gartner.

"Oracle customers now have a PLM option with richer functionality that will deploy faster than Oracle's current offering," the report said.

"Agile customers that were questioning its future as an independent vendor now have a large parent company with longer-term viability.

"We expect that Oracle will support Agile's plans for the convergence of the Agile 9 platform and the e6 platform acquired from Eigner Software in 2003 into a single PLM platform.

"We also expect that Oracle will continue to support Agile's ongoing SAP NetWeaver certification. Therefore, we do not see any immediate risks for Agile customers committed to SAP."

Although Oracle has stated that it recognised the potential of integrating Agile applications into its Oracle E-Business Suite, Gartner does not expect this to occur before 2012.

The analyst firm advised joint Agile and Oracle customers to review contracts to understand terms and conditions, and inquire if the acquisition will cause any changes.

Oracle E-Business Suite customers that adopted Oracle's PLM offering should evaluate Agile's PLM and visualisation applications to complement existing PLM capabilities.
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