UPDATE: Or maybe it’s Novell? (NOVL)”
Iona (IONA) announced February 8 that it is likely maybe possibly thinking it might get acquired.
It’s a two-fer winner for this analyst’s recent predictions in that the likely acquisition is
An example of another independent middleware player biting the dust after the Oracle-BEA acquisition and right on the heels of Workday’s acquisition of Cape Clear on February 5
A likely example of an open source software (OSS) supplier pairing up with a proprietary supplier
I do admit that the first prediction–the rapid reduction of independent middleware choices for users–is not that earthshaking. It’s the natural result of the commodization and coagulation of the middleware stack that I began researching at IDC in 2000. Also I appreciate the comments on my earlier blog post by Giva Perry of gigaspaces who points out that there is a new generation of middleware emerging that could change the market dynamics. I will dig deeper into Giva’s ideas in upcoming research.
The second prediction vis a vis Iona is a little more out there. There’s nothing in the press release saying the possible suitor is a “proprietary” software supplier or even a software supplier. Apparently under Irish or EU law, we’ll know pretty soon who the suitor is. It could be Red Hat (RHAT) in which case my prediction is wrong. More likely it’s IBM (IBM), TIBCO (TIBX) or Sun (JAVA). Most likely, it’s a telecom (where Iona has a big presence) or a packaged applications suppliers, acquiring Iona for the same reason Workday acquired Cape Clear.
Of course there’s another disconnect: Although Iona has positioned itself as an OSS player for the last few years, it is clearly in the camp we describe in our research as proprietary/OSS hybrid (see summary feature articles that we release via ebizq.net). So when the OSS blogosphere goes crazy congratulating itself after the likely maybe possible deal goes through, don’t ratchet up your OSS valuation charts. Iona has been in the middleware business since even before the term middleware was widely used and has only adopted an OSS facade in the last few years.
— Dennis Byron