Andy on Enterprise Software

Oracle buys Sunopsis

October 11, 2006

It has just been announced that Oracle has bought Sunopsis, one of the few remaining independent ETL vendors.  Since Oracle’s existing ETL tool (the rather inaccurately named “Data Warehouse Builder”) is pretty weak, this makes a lot of sense for Oracle.  I suspect that their statement about “integrating” the two tools will involve much use of the delete key for the Warehouse Builder code. Sunopsis is a good product, a French company that had been around for some time but had recently made more visible market progress in the US.  No numbers are public, but my information is that Sunopsis revenues were about USD 10M and the purchase price was just over USD 50M, which at a price/sales ratio of over five makes a quite healthy price for the company.  Sunopsis was 80% owned by the founder, who had spurned venture capital, so this is very good personal news for him also. 

Sunopsis made a virtue of using the DBMS functions where possible rather than re-inventing transformation code, so is particularly compatible with Oracle (or other relational databases). This deal should also put paid to the loose marketing relationship Oracle had with Informatica. 

In my view this is a rare case where the deal is good for both companies.  Oracle finally gets a decent ETL capability and Sunopsis gets Oracle’s massive sales channel.