Blink and you would have missed it -- for lost in the all the headlines of Oracle's acquisition of BEA (or which more to say later today), and Sun's acquisition of MySQL -- was a much smaller acquisition by Oracle of Captovation, a document capture software firm in Minneapolis.
We have noted in our ECM Suites Report that we believe that Oracle's 2006 acquisition of Stellent was in part driven for their desire for the somewhat neglected Optika technologies, which provide high-end imaging capabilities. The acquisition of Captovation today confirms that, and provides Oracle with a platform (once it is fully integrated tested and released) to compete head to head with EMC and IBM / FileNet for major imaging driven deals (still the ECM deals with the largest price tags). Captovation may not have been the best-known image capture firm around, but its technology is mature, and its Minneapolis locale places them near the old Stellent team.
As always we urge buyers to proceed with serious caution in the ECM market. Products are changing at a rapid pace, and some firms are changing strategy and position at an equally fast pace. In the long run we will see much larger, better funded and improved ECM product offerings -- all in all a good thing. But for now in 2008, I encourage you to take a step back and see what ultimately emerges.