Oracle to acquire Acme Packet

Oracle Corp. today announced it has entered into a $1.7 billion agreement to acquire Acme Packet, a Bedford, Mass-based provider of Internet Protocol (IP) network controllers.

The Redwood, Calif-based hardware and software maker said it intends to leverage Acme’s session border control technology to develop products that would speed up deployment of all-IP networks.

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As so-called rich calls that combine voice and data become increasingly popular, telcos and other organizations are moving towards the all-IP network system which merges all services into a single network. The technology dramatically reduces the cost of supplying a service and introducing new services. All-IP implementations can provide benefits for various industries including e-commerce, healthcare and finance.

“The addition of Acme Packet to Oracle’s leading communications portfolio will enable service providers and enterprises to deliver innovative solutions that will change the way we interact, conduct commerce, deliver healthcare, secure our homes and much more,” said Mark Hurd, Oracle president.

“Together with Oracle, we expect to provide customers with purporse-built, innovative solutions to accelerate the deployment of all-IP networks and help deliver a consistent experience across all services, devices and networks,” said Andy Ory, chief executive officer of Acme.
Getting its hands on Acme at this period is a wise move on the part of oracle, according to Zeus Kerravala, principal of ZK Research.
“If you look at it in paper, Oracle’s move might not make much sense because Acme is not an enterprise play,” said Kerravala. “But the space that Acme moves in has to do with bringing communication to the cloud like voice over LTE.”

This area is set to explode within the next few years and Oracle was smart to pick up a notable player in the field whose value still has room for growth, according to the analyst who specializes in unified communications, cloud computing and network infrastructure.

In so doing, Kerravala said, Oracle is following the footsteps of other non-network companies that have snapped up network firms such as virtual machine developer VMware which bought networking startup Nicira for $1.26 billion last year and hadrware maker HP which bought network equipment maker 3Com in 2009 for $2.7 billion.

Founded in 2000, Acme specializes in developing and distributing session border controllers, multi-service security gateways and session routing proxies. The publicly traded company  employs more than 760 workers in 31 countries.

Acme’s products are deployed by more than 1,900 service providers and large enterprise companies around the world including 89 of the world’s top 100 communications companies.

Oracle is offering $29.25 per share for the company. The Acme board of directors has unanimously approved the offer and the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013 subject to Acme stockholders’ approval.



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