Not to be outdone by IBM, Oracle has purchased enterprise mobile management provider Bitzer Mobile and some say it could become a major mobile player in enterprises.
Just days after IBM purchased enterprise mobility management (EMM) provider Fiberlink,, Oracle Corp. bought up Bitzer Mobile, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based EMM company, according to Oracle's website.
It's unclear what will become of Bitzer Mobile's existing products or if they will continue to receive support. Oracle is currently reviewing Bitzer's existing product roadmap and said it will provide guidance to customers in accordance with their standard product communication policies.
Oracle could not be immediately reached for further comment and Bitzer Mobile's website now directs visitors to the Oracle page for the Bitzer acquisition.
The transaction has closed and the purchase is meant to help Oracle customers shore up the challenges posed by the ever-growing trend of bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace, the company said.The company expects Bitzer to be a "core component" of its mobile security strategy going forward.
Jumping into mobility has been long overdue for Oracle as they've watched competitors like IBM and SAP AG acquire smaller mobility players and make bigger footprints for enterprise mobility.
"This is the first, definitive event that's signaled they are figuring out a mobile strategy," said Eric Klein, senior mobility analyst at VDC Research, Inc., a mobile analyst firm in Natick, Mass.
There were signs that Oracle was getting ready to make such a move, with Klein saying there were enterprise mobility-related demonstrations at Oracle OpenWorld this fall.
"They're a little late here," Klein said. "I expect there will be more significant acquisitions they make in this field than Bitzer."
This continues a trend of smaller providers being acquired by the bigger companies and disappearing, said Jack Gold, principal analyst and founder of J. Gold Associates in Northborough, Mass.
"These infrastructure companies need mobility, it's not a small niche they can ignore anymore," Gold said. "[Oracle] has been absent in the mobile space."
Bitzer offers Oracle what Klein called the "best in class" authentication, identity management and security features for EMM, noting Bitzer's work with Chevron Corp.
"They got their start in oil and gas and they've made great progress," Klein said, adding their features should make a "seamless" integration into what Oracle already provides.
While they are getting into the game late, it's not a too-little, too-late scenario for Oracle just yet, according to Gold.
"Is [Bitzer] everything they need? No. They have to do more,” he said. “Bitzer Mobile is not a huge company and they don't have a huge market share. But [Oracle] needs all the help they can get."