The news these days has been that SAP is buying Sybase, a database vendor that has been around for quite some time and was still independent.
Entering the difficult and competitive database market is not always such big news, but what it is more compelling to me is to see that SAP is making another step towards positioning itself as a “viable” strategic SW platform player.
My strong belief is in fact that in the business market there is no room for more than 4/5 players, within the next 3 years; many of the recent years moves from Oracle or IBM were in this direction, and we’ll see numerous acquisitions or alliances shape again.
So, who are the top guys out now?
Well, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft first; and next, SAP or EMC may aspire to enter the league, while there are other folks out there like Google that either have the ambition, or the cash flow, to build or go shopping and buy the missing components.
Is this all?
Nope, I also believe that the cloud and its incarnations will add another disruptive variable in the risiko play, that a Strategic SW Platform vendor needs to address; names like Amazon or Salesforce.com come in play, on either side of the table.
The social media may add some complexity, when it comes to describe a business SW platform: do you integrate or adopt APIs like the ones Facebook is releasing now?
Or there are some players that have to decide if they want to up their play eventually, like Adobe or HP, or pledge their allegiance to one field.