Only a few weeks after it bought Virtue and Collective Intellect, Oracle has been busy in the social acquisition space again. This time it’s the turn of Involver and its cloud-based social marketing solution.
Leaving aside the fact that Oracle doesn’t seem to have released an official statement about this -- Involver just appeared on Oracle’s website -- it continues in the same vein as previous acquisitions that point towards a scramble to overtake Salesforce.com in the cloud-based customer experience space.
Oracle, Salesforce and Customer Experience
The strategy itself is not exactly new and Larry Ellison has said in the past that he intended to leave Salesforce in the dust, but what is maybe startling is the speed that Oracle is buying up technologies to achieve that goal.
Not that Salesforce is going to be too worried by this acquisition; it is already bounding down the social customer experience road at an alarming rate itself and is also fond of munching on smaller companies it deems useful to pushing its own customer experience strategy.
Only yesterday, for example, it bought start-up GoInstant, a Canadian firm that designed co-browsing technology that allows two or more people to browse the same website without any downloads or browser plugins; not exactly essential technology for Salesforce you might think, but still useful.
Involver’s Social Marketing
And so the Oracle vs. Salesforce saga continues. The Involver buy is very interesting and will add some fresh capabilities to Oracle’s already substantial customer experience portfolio.
Involver has been around since 2007 and has had some successful releases since we started covering it two years ago. But those releases only add to the potential of the platform that, according to Involver supports 700,000 brands and agencies who manage audiences of more than 1.6 billion fans!
Broadly speaking, it provides markets with the tools to create rich experiences across the social web through its social media mark-up language Involver SML, a drag-and-drop interface called Visual as well as an Audience Management Platform for publishing, monitoring and assessing social media performance.
It is also a Facebook Preferred Developer and a technology provider for Facebook's internal marketing team that built campaigns for the World Cup and the US elections.
Oracle and Involver
So it can’t have been a cheap company to buy, and while Oracle hasn’t disclosed terms of the deal, it seems unlikely that even with all this functionality it will have even dented Oracle’s war-chest.
Don Beck, the Involver CEO and president, in a blog post said that Involver and Oracle combined will create the most advanced cloud-based social solution across marketing, sales and service touch points.
He said the Involve technology will be used to enable enterprises to collaborate and build applications across social networks and Open Graph. It will also be combined with Oracle Cloud.
The Involver management and employees are to join Oracle, so the acquisition adds not only Involver technology, but also gives social expertise to the Oracle team. Beck also said that Involver will be letting existing customers know about everything as soon as Involver management knows.
Whether that is a good thing or bad is not clear, but it does seem to suggest that some of the terms of the deal have yet to be finalized. It is expected to be finalized during the summer.