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Oracle acquires CSM provider Front Porch Digital

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September 16, 2014

The apparent endless gobbling up of smaller IT companies and startups by larger corporations has seen Oracle acquire content storage management provider Front Porch Digital (FPD).

FPD's software products reside in a server between a media network on one hand and a storage resource storing files, such as videos in online and archive media, at the other end of things.

The FPD server integrates a media customer’s proprietary content commands and formats them with those in the storage library and does whatever the media customer requires, such as retrieve and distribute them, and receive and store them.

Another method of describing FPD's mission is to say it IDs a world-wide broadcast archive management supplier against a media background of migration to digital workflows.

We can observe that its customers’ rich media assets are a niche on the overall Big Data market.

Privately-owned FPD has some 550 customers, ones like the BBC's Studios and Post Production division’s Digital Media Services business – the commercial subsidiary of the BBC that preserves, remasters and manages content for clients such as the Imperial War Museums – is installing Front Porch Digital’s DIVArchive CSM and DIVAdirector media asset management (MAM) systems.

FPD claims that it is “the global leader in solutions for migrating, managing, and monetizing media content,” and operates both on a customer’s premises or in the cloud.

Other customers include NASCAR and the U.S. Library of Congress. This is the business Oracle is buying, and it's basically the only business it's interested in.

We'll provide you with a bit of history on Front Porch Digital. The company was founded in 2000 with its headquarters in Colorado. Mike Knaisch became CEO in 2002. Its initial funding came from Equity Pier, Incentra Solutions and Sumitomo Capital.

The company was then acquired by Managed Storage International in a reverse merger in August 2004 by Toronto private equity group Genuity Capital Partners for $38 million.

Front Porch Digital then acquired Samma Systems in 2008 and its videotape migration and preservation technology.

Oracle says it and Front Porch Digital “will help organizations more effectively and efficiently manage the growing complexities associated with the migration, integration, storage and delivery of rich media content,” and the Oracle/FPD combo will “create the most comprehensive enterprise-grade cloud and on-premise content storage management solution.”

Oracle vice president for systems John Fowler said-- “Front Porch Digital’s success and unique capabilities complement Oracle’s existing high performance and scalable engineered storage solutions.”

Knaisch said FPD was “thrilled to be joining Oracle to continue our long-standing partnership. This combination will enable us to better serve and support our customers at a global scale.”

The price was not revealed by either party. We expect it to be in the $100 million range at least. By and large, FPD employees are expected to join Oracle, without too many losses of jobs due to duplication.

Oracle is reviewing FPD’s product roadmap and FPD customers will get to hear the results of the review in due course.

It stated-- “Oracle is committed to maintaining Front Porch Digital’s open integration platform with third-party systems and applications, and it plans to further augment Front Porch Digital solutions with Oracle technologies to deliver enhanced features and functionalities.”

So we can expect Oracle technology to feature strongly. The deal gives Oracle a well-defined market niche in which to sell FPD-integrated and optimized storage gear, and a useful cloud service business and opportunity.

Source: Front Porch Digital.

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