Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BEA-Oracle products assimilation roadmap analyzed, but what about the sales forces?

Here's the third-day story on the BEA-Oracle merger development: How would the various products line up?

Rich Seeley talks with several analysts, myself included, in this in-depth story about the ways in which tools, app servers, portals, transaction monitors, SOA components, and other integration middleware like ESBs would or would not mesh.

It's a well-rounded look at the landscape from the product perspective. Good reading, if I don't mind saying so.

I suppose the next interesting assimilation concern would be the sales organizations. BEA has a large direct sales force, though not as large as Oracle's. Should a deal go through and the redundancies are, err ... managed, that would leave a lot of enterprise IT sales talent looking for work.

Some of the BEA sales veterans may be miffed at the financial restatements and market unease at the stock options backdating issues at the firm. That might complicate their exits and/or assimilation into the Oracle fold. The Oracle sales force has a distinct, err ... culture, that may not be for everyone.

What's more, many of the smaller SOA market vendor entrants are often in a difficult position when it comes to the high early-on costs of assembling a global (or even regional) direct sales force with the knowledge, experience, and contacts to effectively sell such complex and costly products. There are therefore opportunities for these vendors to now bulk up on direct sales veterans in the enterprise software and infrastructure spaces, once the BEA salesforce is in play. Get those resumes polished. And time to re-negotiate the non-competes and severance terms!

The mashup of BEA and Oracle could offer some opportunities for other vendors to come in and make some stock and innovative compensation offers these salespeople can't refuse. I should think the headhunters in the space are smiling today as they make their calls and check in on the golf games and family matters of many sales professionals in the BEA camp.

IBM, Microsoft and SAP recruiters will be sniffing about too, no doubt. Change, as they say, is good.

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