Oracle has swooped for on-demand customer service software firm RightNow Technologies in a $1.5bn deal which will help the company expand its cloud portfolio and compete better with Salesforce.
RightNow's Customer Experience Cloud Platform for the web, social networking sites and contact centres allows companies to engage with customers and monitor interactions as well as offering analytics to improve communications and marketing.
Oracle will integrate the platform into its Oracle Public Cloud offering, announced at OpenWorld this year, on which elements such as the Oracle Social Network, Java Service and Database Service already run.
"Oracle is moving aggressively to offer customers a full range of cloud solutions including sales force automation, human resources, talent management, social networking, databases and Java as part of the Oracle Public Cloud," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development.
"RightNow's leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle's Public Cloud."
The news comes just days after Oracle bought enterprise search and business intelligence firm Endeca for an undisclosed sum.
The move will put Oracle in more direct competition with Salesforce, the software-as-a-service pioneer which fell out with its host at OpenWorld after chief executive Marc Benioff's keynote was cancelled at the last minute.
Ovum analyst Nicole Engelbert suggested that RightNow customers are likely to see a "significant uptick" in industry specific support once the acquisition goes through.
"This will particularly be the case for colleges and universities where RightNow has been successful, as they will now have membership access to the Higher Education User Group, a third-party organisation associated with Oracle, which is well established, large, covers a broad set of products and services and has global reach," she said.
Oracle is clearly ramping up its cloud strategy with some big name acquisitions, and all eyes will now be on NetSuite, the firm in which Oracle founder Larry Ellison already has a large stake, to see whether it will be the next to be swept up.
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