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In its largest acquisition since it took over Sun Microsystems, Oracle has become a major player in the network switching market, competing against the likes of Cisco and Huawei.

Oracle has acquired Acme Packet for US$1.7 billion. It is Oracle’s biggest purchase since it acquired Sun Microsystems for US$7.4 billion in 2010. Acme is the leading global provider of “session border control technology”, and competes strongly in the unified communications IP applications markets.

Acme says its products are employed by 89 of the world’s top 100 communications companies. It specialises in the IP management of voice and data, using emerging ‘software defined network’ technology. The deal immediately makes Oracle a major player in the networking space.

“The proposed acquisition of Acme Packet is another important piece in Oracle’s overall strategy to deliver integrated best-in-class products that address critical customer requirements in key industries,” said Oracle President Mark Hurd. “It will enable service providers and enterprises to deliver innovative solutions that will change the way we interact, conduct commerce, deliver healthcare, secure our homes, and much more.”

Hurd says the acquisition will accelerate the migration to all-IP networks by enabling secure and reliable communications from any device, across any network. “Users are increasingly connected and expect to communicate anytime and anywhere using their application, device, and network of choice. Oracle Communications along with Acme Packet can help service providers and enterprises meet these demanding requirements by delivering an end-to-end portfolio of technologies that will support the deployment, innovation and monetization of all-IP networks.”

The Board of Directors of Acme Packet has unanimously approved the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013, subject to Acme Packet stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

“Acme Packet brings deep domain expertise and proven, mission-critical solutions to enable all-IP networks,” said Andy Ory, Chief Executive Officer at Acme Packet. “Together with Oracle, we expect to provide customers with purpose-built, innovative solutions to accelerate the deployment of all-IP networks and help deliver a consistent experience across all services, devices and networks.”

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Graeme Philipson

Graeme Philipson is senior associate editor at iTWire and editor of sister publication CommsWire. He is also founder and Research Director of Connection Research, a market research and analysis firm specialising in the convergence of sustainable, digital and environmental technologies. He has been in the high tech industry for more than 30 years, most of that time as a market researcher, analyst and journalist. He was founding editor of MIS magazine, and is a former editor of Computerworld Australia. He was a research director for Gartner Asia Pacific and research manager for the Yankee Group Australia. He was a long time IT columnist in The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is a recipient of the Kester Award for lifetime achievement in IT journalism.

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