Business software maker Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) may be setting its sights on Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM) but the deal may not be an imminent one, according to an analyst at Global Equities Research.
Historically, Oracle has acquired companies after fiercely competing with them and then buying them at a low price. In the past, Oracle first competitively crushed PeopleSoft, Siebel Systems and BEA Systems before acquiring them at cheaper prices.
Salesforce.com is going to face increased competitive challenges, which may reduce Salesforce.com win-rates, lengthen sales cycle and put margin pressure, analyst Trip Chowdhry wrote in a note to clients.
Oracle has recently raised the bar on cloud computing, something which will be extremely difficult for Salesforce.com to meet, especially at the architectural and business levels. Additionally, Oracle is expected to launch Oracle Public Cloud anytime now and it is based on Virtualization Architecture vs. Multi-tenancy.
Customers we spoke to find Oracle architectural approach to be superior to that of Salesforce.com as it provides a better isolation and control environment vs. Salesforce.com, the analyst said.
Oracle is also expected to launch Enterprise Applications in the cloud, which include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Capital Management (HCM) and Social Network.
In terms on pure raw functionality Oracle CRM probably has feature parity with Salesforce.com, which does not offer HCM. This could very well mean reduced win-rates for Salesforce.com, as customers may prefer both CRM and HCM from the same vendor.
In addition, Salesforce.com Database Service offering may struggle as Oracle has access to source code and has optimized the database all the way from the chip level to the cloud level, which makes Oracle offerings extremely performance efficient, which Salesforce.com's Database may not be able to match.
We don't rule out that Oracle may acquire Salesforce.com, but if the past acquisitions of PeopleSoft, Siebel, BEA Systems provide any reference points, the acquisition may happen probably 3 years from now, and at 50 percent to 60 percent below where CRM is trading right now (~$130), Chowdhry said.
Shares of Oracle closed Monday's regular trading session at $32.77, while Salesforce.com ended at $133.17 on the NYSE.