Oracle has acquired the assets of Thinking Machines, including its Darwin data mining software, and will integrate it into its data warehousing division.
The database supplier is believed to have paid $4.7 million for the software, the company's 33 staff, its brandname, intellectual property and think.com URL (see VNU Newswire, 4 June, 1999). Thinking Machines' staff have already been transferred to Oracle's offices in Waltham, Massachussetts.
Bob Deretti, Thinking Machines' president, will stay with Oracle until the end of the year to help with the transition, but only a shell company now remains of the original organisation.
He explained his decision to sell the privately held company: "Oracle has been a business partner of ours for over a year and it came to us and said it would prefer to own Darwin rather than partner with us. It has 9,000 sales and field support staff and so we took the opportunity to create new opportunities for the product."
Michael Howard, vice president of Oracle's data warehousing unit, said: "We completed the acquisition today and we'll now move forward rapidly. We intend to integrate the current version of Darwin - version 4.0 - with our business intelligence offerings and our customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning applications."
He added: "Darwin will become a major staple for analytics in our ebusiness strategy and will enable our customers to target their advertising, see key performance indicators and the like. We're currently working on our strategy with regards to our other data mining partners, but we see a perponderance of them working out."
He refused to provide timescales for product integration, however, although he said Darwin would be integrated into the firm's Express online analytical processing engine and into its 8i database over time. It is also available immediately as a standalone product.
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