Oracle has announced it will buy software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm Opower for around $532m in a move to build out its utilities business unit, which provides services to the energy industry.
The acquisition will see Oracle acquire Opower’s cloud platform, which is based around using data analytics to sift through data from devices such as energy meters in order to help utilities companies, reduce their costs and better engage with their customers.
Once the purchase is completed this year, Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager at Oracle’s utilities global business unit, said Opower will form the company’s division aimed at the utilities market.
“Utilities want modern technology solutions that work together to meet their evolving customer, operational and compliance needs,” he said. “Together, Oracle Utilities and Opower will be the largest provider of mission-critical cloud services to utilities.”
That might seem like a bold claim for Oracle, but Opower already has major utilities companies such as the National Grid and Exelon on its books.
“The combination will provide the industry with the most modern, complete cloud applications for the entire utility value chain, from meter to grid to end-customers," added Dan Yates, chief executive officer and co-founder at Opower.
The move to buy Opower follows the recent announcement that Oracle is buying specialist cloud software firm Textura for $663m, as part of its creation of a cloud unit targeted at the engineering and construction industries.
Both the acquisitions are indicative of Oracle looking at building out more industry-specific cloud services rather than just offer SaaS and database products to suit all manner of industries.
By having cross-industry products and services targeted at specific sectors, Oracle appears to be creating a portfolio of cloud offerings that have the scope to attract a wide range of customers, whether they have very specific or general cloud needs.
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