IBM vs Oracle: Who is more innovative?

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Integral service around a transaction
BY : Diego GutiérrezJune Mon, 2018

We analyse IBM and Oracle, their various innovation policies and their different acquisitions during the first half of 2018.

Innovation policy

IBM is a global technology and innovation company headquartered in New York. It is the world's largest technology and consulting employer, with more than 400,000 employees serving customers in 170 countries. Also, they devote 20% of services to hardware manufacturing and 80% to consulting in the fields of IT and technology.

IBM offers a wide range of technology and consulting services; a broad portfolio of middleware for collaboration, predictive analytics, software development and systems management; and the world's most advanced servers and supercomputers. Using its expertise in business consulting, technology and R&D, IBM helps clients become "smarter" as the planet becomes digitally interconnected.

The US giant's consulting programmes share a common characteristic of being smart and revived IBM's innovation strategy and creativity in a world that demands an equitable balance of social, economic and environmental concerns.

Strategic innovation at IBM can be reflected in the number of patents it holds. IBM invests more than $6,000M a year in R&D, and has just completed its 21st year of patent leadership. The company's active portfolio contains around 26,000 US patents and around 40,000 worldwide as a result of its investments.

Part of the strategic innovation at IBM is the established corporate policy on environmental protection, whereby they have significantly reduced hazardous waste from their production. And finally, IBM has chosen to reduce its employment in the US and Europe in order to increase it in the emerging markets of India, China and the Philippines.

On the other hand, OracleOracle, an integrated cloud applications and platform services firm that offers complete SaaS application suites for ERP, HCM and CX, is a US company that is changing IT complexity, taking it out of the enterprise by engineering hardware and software to work together, in the cloud and in the data centre. By eliminating complexity and simplifying IT, Oracle enables its customers - 400,000 of them in more than 145 countries around the world - to accelerate innovation and create added value for their customers.

By designing out the complexity that stifles business innovation, Oracle is designing in speed, reliability, security and manageability. The result is best-in-class products across an integrated stack of hardware and software, with each layer designed and engineered to work together according to open industry standards. Oracle's comprehensive, open and integrated solutions deliver extreme performance at the lowest cost, all from a single vendor. Integrated, industry-specific solutions are designed to address complex business processes across a wide range of industries.

IBM acquisitions

IBM has in the last year invested in companies, but has also acquired some companies:

  • Armantaan online platform that allows its users to develop decision support applications to solve business problems, was acquired on 3 May 2018. It has no past investments.
  • Oniquaa global innovator in Maintenance and Repair Inventory Optimisation (MRO) solutions and services. IBM acquired its services on 15 June. It did not invest in it in the past, so it has no further capital.
  • Vivanta leading business innovation delivery company, was acquired on 4 October 2017. It is a company that has received two investments, one of $260,000 and the most recent of $60,000.
  • Cloudigoa company that is building the next generation of data centre infrastructure and network services. It was acquired on 24 September 2017 and does not have any realised investments.
  • Verizon-Cloud Services was acquired on 2 May 2017 and develops the options and features to create and configure a cloud deployment.
  • Agile 3 Solutionsbuilds products to help clients transform their business operations. IBM acquired it on 23 January 2017 and so far the company has no investments.

Oracle Acquisitions

Similarly, Oracle made both investments and acquisitions during the year. As for the companies acquired:

  • Zenedgea provider of cloud-based artificial intelligence-based cybersecurity solutions, was acquired on 15 February 2018. It received three rounds of funding, one of 4 million, one of 6.2 million and one of 3.5 million.
  • Sparklinedataprovides an analytics platform, SNAP, for Fortune 10 companies to consume data in their data lapses in seconds in tools such as Tableau. Oracle bought the company on 10 April 2018.
  • Grapeshotis a contextual intelligence platform that enables brands to bring relevance to every customer experience. The company was acquired on 24 April 2018. It has five rounds of funding, including four equity raises (£3.2M, £1.9M, £1.5M and $3.3M) and a Series C worth $8.5M.
  • Vocado, was created by a team of software innovators with extensive experience in the development of enterprise systems. The company was acquired at the end of May, on the 30th to be exact.
  • DataScience, provides an enterprise data science platform. On 16 May of the same year Oracle acquired the company. It had three rounds of financing of $1.5M, $4.5 and $22M.
  • Aconex Limitedis a developer of construction software that connects teams in construction and engineering projects through its online platform. Oracle acquired it on 17 December 2017 for $1.2B. The company had a $85M funding round and three acquisitions.
  • Moatis a SaaS-based search engine for graphical ads, allowing users to find and discover their favourite brands. It has four rounds of funding totalling an investment of $67.5M.
  • Wercker was acquired on 17 April 2017 by Oracle. It is a platform and tool for rapidly developing, building and deploying containerised applications and microservices for the modern cloud, with 3 investments totalling $7.9M.
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