Oracle takes aim at Salesforce with RightNow buy

Oracle has bought RightNow Technologies, a provider of customer service software via the cloud, as the company seeks to take share from companies like Salesforce, SAP and SAS
Written by Jack Clark, Contributor

Oracle plans to buy customer relationship management SaaS company RightNow Technologies, as it moves to broaden its suite of software-as-a-service products.

The $1.5bn (£939m) acquisition is due to close by the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012, Oracle said on Monday, subject to regulatory and RightNow stockholder approval.

"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," Thomas Kurian, an executive vice president for Oracle Development, said in a statement. "RightNow's leading customer service cloud is a very important addition."

Bozeman, Montana-based RightNow has offices across the world. Its main software, RightNow CX, helps companies plan and manage their interactions with people across the web, social networks and contact centres, and is broadly similar in functionality to Salesforce's Radian 6 technology. The company estimates RightNow CX is used by almost 2,000 companies worldwide.

Oracle launched the Oracle Public Cloud in October, offering full integration with its suite of Fusion applications. It hopes to expand its technologies beyond databases and dependent applications and into the burgeoning fields of big data and data analytics.

RightNow sells products with similar functions and technology to that sold by companies such as SAP, SAS and Salesforce.com. Salesforce's chief executive, Marc Benioff, has had a simmering public spat with Oracle's chief executive Larry Ellison, which culminated in Oracle banishing Benioff from the Oracle OpenWorld conference.

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