BEA Systems announced it will acquire enterprise portal solution provider Plumtree Software Inc.
Plumtree was one of the few pure stand-alone portals remaining and has strong collaboration and workgroup features. This has strengthened my belief that the era of stand-alone portals is over.
Some people think BEA has got it really cheap for $200 million as Plumtree brings with it a lot of cash also (about $70 million). However, I am not sure what BEA will gain by maintaining two products which provide similar functionality. The fact that BEA WebLogic portal is a transactional portal and Plumtree has collaboration, search and analytics is, in my opinion not such a big difference.
The other reason that some people think for this merger, apart from the fact that the deal was good is peer pressure. IBM, Sun, Microsoft and SAP are infrastructure vendors that push their portal as part of their overall offering. IBM and Sun have their hardware, Microsoft controls the desktop and SAP leads the show in ERP. BEA has none of these and they needed something to stand out. Plumtree’s cross-platform (It supports both MS and J2EE based environments) ability gives BEA an opportunity to address J2EE as well as Microsoft markets.