Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce presenting at Oracle Open World was in some sense an indication of the change that we will see in the Enterprise Application space. Salesforce had to actually asked if Marc Benioff could present at the Oracle Open World, but then nearly half Salesforce’s API are for SAP and Oracle
The environment which appears quite favorable to the cloud computing services on offer will drive the slow and steady decline will of Oracle & SAP. Oracle with close around $100 million on-demand CRM business can no longer ignore the billion dollar Salesforce in the on demand segment and SAAS.
Oracle and SAP will find it hard to compete with Salesforce on speed and cost. Developing on Salesforce is at least four times as productive and faster than traditional development environments.
Oracle with is Fusion release will go all the way to muscles out Salesforce. For Salesforce to sustain it must gain scale. One of the ways to acheiving scale would be to either acquire or get acquired.
IBM could surely be interested in Salesforce, given Larry Ellison's call that its IBM and not SAP that the want to go after.
Alternatively Salesforce could stay independent and muscle up with bolt on acquisitions.
The probabilities for Salesforce to get acquired would increase once it moves into the 2-4 billion range. Till that time Salesforce can survive independently.