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Oracle to acquire CRM cloud provider RightNow

Oracle will pay $1.5bn for RightNow to add to its Public Cloud offering

Oracle to acquire CRM cloud provider RightNow
Oracle has announced two acquisitions in the past week.

Oracle has jumped back into acquisition mode, with the announcement that it is to acquire cloud-based customer service solution provider RightNow.

The company will pay $1.5 billion for the US-based RightNow, which specializes in customer service through call centres, online and social network. Oracle says the deal will complement its Public Cloud offering.

"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, Oracle Development. "RightNow's leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle's Public Cloud."

The deal is expected to close by late 2011 or early 2012, dependent on stock holder and regulatory approvals.

RightNow has around 2,000 organisations using its customer service cloud, with particular higher education.

Nicole Engelbert, an analyst with Ovum, said the deal will help Oracle further penetrate the education sector, but that it may cause some confusion over strategy as Oracle already has two other solutions targeting the segment.

"We anticipate that clients of the Bozeman-based firm will experience a significant uptick in the level of industry-specific support with Oracle's acquisition of RightNow Technologies (RNT)," said Engelbert. "This will particularly be the case for colleges and universities - where RNT has been successful - as they will now have membership access to the Higher Education User Group (HEUG), a third-party organisation associated with Oracle, which is well-established, large, covers a broad set of products and services and has global reach.

"However, as Oracle will now have three CRM solutions targeting higher education, Oracle CRM On-Demand, PeopleSoft CRM for Higher Education and RightNow, there may be some short- to medium-term anxiety around Oracle's product development & support strategy," she added.

Last week, Oracle announced the acquisition of enterprise search specialist Endeca. The privately held company, which specialises in unstructured data management, web commerce and business intelligence solutions, will be acquired for an undisclosed amount.

Oracle said it plans to develop a comprehensive technology platform to process, store, manage, search and analyze structured and unstructured information together enabling businesses to make stronger and more profitable decisions. The company said that it will combine Oracle ATG Commerce with Endeca's InFront web commerce solutions to enhance cross-channel commerce, merchandising, and online customer experiences, and that the addition of Endeca Latitude software to Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBI EE) is expected to provide a single unified user interface for analysis of structured and unstructured data.

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