In the last several years, we have seen rapid industry consolidation, as weaker competitors are gobbled up by stronger players. The most significant transactions are below (note that the dollar amount quoted is the value of the deal when initially announced):
For the majority of the deals, the purchase represents an effort by the buyer to expand into other areas of data warehousing (Hyperion's purchase of Brio also falls into this category because, even though both are OLAP vendors, their product lines do not overlap). This clearly shows vendors' strong push to be the one-stop shop, from reporting, OLAP, to ETL.
There are two levels of one-stop shop. The first level is at the corporate level. In this case, the vendor is essentially still selling two entirely separate products. But instead of dealing with two sets of sales and technology support groups, the customers only interact with one such group. The second level is at the product level. In this case, different products are integrated. In data warehousing, this essentially means that they share the same metadata layer. This is actually a rather difficult task, and therefore not commonly accomplished. When there is metadata integration, the customers not only get the benefit of only having to deal with one vendor instead of two (or more), but the customer will be using a single product, rather than multiple products. This is where the real value of industry consolidation is shown.