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Oracle's real target with Hyperion: CFOs

Oracle paid $3.3 billion for Hyperion to get better access to chief financial officers.
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Written by Larry Dignan on

Oracle paid $3.3 billion for Hyperion to get better access to chief financial officers.

That's the biggest takeaway from Oracle's brief conference call on the Hyperion acquisition (Techmeme discussion). Yes, Oracle gets a strong business intelligence company. Yes, Hyperion gives Oracle more BI heft and nice dashboards. But this deal is all about selling the folks that pay the bills--CFOs.

Oracle president Charles Phillips acknowledged that Hyperion's 1,900 strong salesforce, which primarily deals with CFOs, was a big attraction. Hyperion's software wraps up financial information into a dashboard and helps companies deliver their regulatory filings to the SEC. While CFOs may write checks for other applications they know Hyperion's software well. 

"There are a lot of other tools we have that we can sell. Normally the CIO reports to the CFO so that relationship was important," said Phillips. 

Oracle's game plan: Use Hyperion's access to the CFO office to sell other applications. CIOs are critical, but CFOs call the shots. And if Oracle has any shot of poaching SAP customers--easier said than done--it needs CFOs on its side. In a nutshell, the Hyperion purchase is about access. Phillips said:

"Analytical applications are critical to CFO's office. This is the system of record for regulatory filings. They have a strong reputation with CFOs. That allows us to focus CFOs on other applications."

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