Oracle remains true to its strategic approach of growth trough acquisitions. The next company to become part of Oracle is LogicalApps. LogicalApps, pretty unknown at least here in Europe, is a vendor in the GRC space - more concrete of "automated GRC controls management solutions". GRC is an acronym for Governance, Risk Management and Compliance. The solution supports SoD enforcement, monitoring of business transactions, and evidence (e.g. audit). The vendor is focused on Oracle Applications with - as they claim - hundreds of successful deployments in these environments.

With this acquisition, briefly after announcing the acquisition of Bridgestream, Oracle proves that they are willing to compete with SAP in the GRC field. In fact the combination of Bridgestream and LogicalApps will lead to a solution which can be compared to SAP's GRC Access Control solution which has its roots in the former Virsa products. SAP's advantage is that they are some two years ahead of integrating and enhancing what they had acquired. On the other hand Oracle has proven its ability to integrate products they have acquired. And Oracle has another interesting component in its portfolio with the risk-based authentication/authorization provided through Bharosa, another company they recently acquired.

Both vendors, by the way, face the same challenge: They have to expand the solution scope beyond their own ERP applications. SAP is intensively working on support for Oracle Applications, PeopleSoft and other solutions. Oracle will have to enhance the LogicalApps product to a pre-defined "best practice" support of SAP environments. And both of them will have to enhance the scope of GRC beyond the core ERP solutions to all information (systems) in the enterprise. eMail, for example, is pretty relevant to GRC.

The acquisition strengthens Oracle's competitive positioning and is, from my point of view, a major milestone towards true competition in the GRC field, because Oracle will now be the challenger number one for SAP in this area. It will be interesting to observe whether other major vendors like IBM or even Microsoft will enter this market - and with which approach they'll do that.