EMC takes on Oracle with Greenplum buy

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BOSTON, USA: Hardware maker EMC Corp, plans to buy small software firm Greenplum Inc, taking on Oracle Corp in the fast-growing area of selling programs to analyze business trends.


Oracle, the longtime leader in the database software market, entered EMC's core business of selling storage equipment in January with its purchase of Sun Microsystems.

Now EMC is fighting back with its all-cash purchase of seven-year-old Greenplum, which sells software for data warehousing computer systems that large companies use to analyze data about business trends.

Also read: Cloud is the next big wave believes EMC


Top providers of data warehousing software and hardware include Oracle, Teradata Corp, International Business Machines Corp and Netezza Corp.

Entering the database market represents chief executive Joe Tucci's latest bid to grow his company by buying businesses in areas adjacent to EMC's core business of building data storage equipment.

"It's another way to grow their available market," said Wedbush Securities analyst Kaushik Roy. "Data warehousing is a rapidly growing market. They are probably doing the right thing."


EMC said it will set up a new division to sell Greenplum's software and also develop specialized data warehousing hardware systems that will come pre-installed with Greenplum. Those computer systems will compete with Oracle's Exadata database machine, a product championed by Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison. Ellison's company last month said that the Exadata order pipeline is approaching $1 billion.

The new data warehousing division will be headed by Greenplum chief executive Bill Cook, who spent 19 years working at Sun Microsystems - which Oracle took over in January - before joining Greenplum.

Sun Micro co-founder Scott McNealy is an executive advisor to Greenplum, helping the company in areas such as strategic planning and business development.


McNealy receives no compensation for his work with Greenplum and will continue to work for EMC on a volunteer basis following completion of the sale, according to EMC spokesman Michael Gallant.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter and will have no impact on EMC's 2010 per-share net income or per-share profit excluding items, the companies said.

After the announcement, shares in Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based EMC were unchanged from their New York Stock Exchange close of $18.16.