Oracle has completed its $1.5 billion acquisition of RightNow Technologies. The deal brings a respected customer service offering into Oracle's Public Cloud.
The company is betting that RightNow's tech will help them meet the needs of enterprises that want to deliver a unified, personalized customer experience from start to finish, from the marketing and sales phase all the way through customer service and support. The value proposition of RightNow, as it becomes Oracle's new CRM component, is to maximize loyalty, advocacy and repeat business.
Expanding the Public Cloud
Offerings of the Oracle Public Cloud include cloud applications for managing sales, marketing, human capital, social networking, database, Java, data and security. With RightNow, Oracle is pacing to compete more fiercely against CRM vendors with a Customer Service Cloud, namely Salesforce.com.
"Like IBM and some of its other primary competitors, Oracle is very much an enterprise-focused vendor," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "If it's had any weak spots, it's been mostly in the mid-market. The RightNow product and service set fits very well with that group.
"Not only does the RightNow acquisition notably broaden Oracle's solution set and the number of customers or the types of customers it can go after, but it also gives it a very viable competitive alternative to more successful vendors in that space, including Salesforce.com."
From a merger standpoint, the Oracle Customer Service Cloud aims to blend Oracle's marketing, sales, e-commerce, search and business intelligence software with RightNow's service capabilities to deliver customer experiences across all channels and customer touchpoints: on the Web, in a store, over the phone or via mobile devices.
Beyond the toe-to-toe competition with Salesforce.com, King sees Oracle's move to integrate RightNow Technologies into its Public Cloud -- a move toward the middle market -- as an important one. King noted that much of the action in business IT tends to happen on the enterprise side.
"Small- to medium-sized businesses make up a huge portion of the market and a large majority of employees as well. It's understandable that vendors want to go after the 5,000-plus employee companies because that's where the real money lies," King said.
"One of the interesting things about the cloud computing model is that it provides a dynamic that allows an enterprise-centric vendor like Oracle to reach out to smaller companies, and in a more profitable manner."