Oracle buys RightNow

by CXO staff    Oct 25, 2011

At Oracle’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco early this month, the company had shown signs to adopt an aggressive strategy in building a portfolio of cloud-based platforms and services.

The software player has entered into an agreement to acquire RightNow Technologies, a provider of cloud-based customer service, for approximately $1.5 billion.

RightNow provides customer services via the Web, social networks and call centres. The transaction is expected to close by late 2011 or early 2012.

“We are 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 in a media statement. “RightNow’s leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle’s Public Cloud.”

Oracle is making its biggest purchase since Sun Microsystems last year after introducing the Oracle Public Cloud at the OpenWorld conference, which delivers software online via cloud computing, to spur demand for its programs.

The company has a strong competition in Salesfore.com, whose software as a service customer relationship management (CRM) offering competes with Oracle’s own suite of applications and CRM software.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com, had made a public statement that Oracle did not have a strong focus on cloud computing and social media. By this acquisition, analysts believe that Oracle will emerge as a strong challenger to Salesforce.com

According to US-based market research firm, Seeking Alpha, with this deal, Oracle is squarely targeting Salesforce.com and NetSuite in the burgeoning market for cloud-based CRM software. While Oracle is a leader in traditional CRM, cloud-based solutions, with their lower up-front costs and faster rollout times, have become a growing threat.

Denis Pombriant, analyst at Boston-based Beagle Research, wrote in his blog that RightNow has a great focus on customer experience and Oracle will leverage this in its offerings.