Sybase announced Thursday that it has purchased the assets of CEP (complex event processing) vendor Aleri, in a move that highlights the increasing competitive stakes in the space and shores up Sybase's position in real-time analytics.
Terms were not disclosed, but Sybase said the deal would not have a material impact on its finances.
CEP software monitors the torrent of transactions that occur in a company's IT landscape in real time, looking for patterns and correlations and triggering alerts or corrective actions if needed. The technology is popular among companies such as financial institutions, which may use it to make rapid-fire stock trades or detect fraud.
Rumors of the acquisition began surfacing over the past week.
Sybase was already licensing CEP technology developed by Coral8, which merged with Aleri last year. Aleri hadn't finished merging the code lines yet, but Sybase plans to finish that job over time, said Neil McGovern, director of product marketing. A specific road map hasn't been finalized, but in the meantime, current customers will be supported, he said.
The companies are a very good fit together, Gartner analyst Roy Schulte said via e-mail.
"Aleri is a major player in event processing in financial services. Financial services is Sybase's largest vertical market and is also the largest vertical market for event processing," Schulte said.
The move significantly improves Sybase's hand in CEP versus competitors such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM, he added.
"The market is increasingly aware of the value of this kind of software," Schulte said. "All of the major vendors are making the 'build' versus 'buy' decision. It's an arms race and there are some advantages to building your own and other advantages of buying the technology. But vendors that don't have the technology at all are at a disadvantage."
Sybase's acquisition also increases the value of remaining independent CEP vendors, such as Streambase, Event Zero and Truviso, he said.
Aleri's customers should benefit as well, since Sybase is "a firm with a much bigger balance sheet behind it" and thus more development resources, said Larry Tabb, CEO of the financial markets research firm Tabb Group.
It's fairly inevitable that the CEP market will grow over time, Tabb added.
"More and more things are going to be generating data, and more and more decisions will be made in real time leveraging this data," he said. Within three to five years, CEP will be a core part of major vendors' infrastructure, he predicted.
Meanwhile, Aleri competitor Streambase tried to capitalize Wednesday on potential uncertainty among Aleri customers following the acquisition, by offering those users an migration program for its CEP platform.
In a statement, the company claimed some customers have already approached Streambase.
Customers' previous investment in products that are now part of Sybase's lineup will be credited to their adoption of Streambase, and free porting services are available for any users who buy Streambase this year, according to a statement. The offer runs through Feb. 28.
It's not especially likely that existing Aleri customers will rip-and-replace those systems with Streambase, but the offer could entice companies that are in the process of choosing a CEP platform, Tabb said.