Oracle (news, site) may be trying to strengthen its position in the highly competitive customer relationship management (CRM) market. The company announced that it is acquiring InQuira, creators of analytics and knowledge management offerings for CRM.
CRM Is Big Business
According to analyst firm Gartner, the SaaS segment of the CRM industry alone, which represents only a third of the entire market, will exceed US$ 4 billion in revenue by 2014. That amount of cash is certain to result in a lot of vendors trying to get their share.
Oracle is facing stiff competition for market share in the CRM space from Microsoft (news, site), SAP and SalesForce.com. For example, Microsoft released a cloud-based version of its Dynamics CRM this year that integrates with its popular Office suite. Given the competition, vendors are constantly adding features and introducing features such as social media integration in an attempt to differentiate themselves.
Oracle’s newest acquisition will give the software giant lots of new features for its CRM without writing a single line of code.
Why Are Oracle, InQuira Merging?
InQuira provides knowledge management and customer self-service products that improve the efficiency of customer interactions in areas from customer support to sales by allowing information to be located more quickly. InQuira has patented its natural language process and semantic search technology, which is the foundation of many of the products. According to Anthony Lye, SVP of Oracle CRM, Oracle will use InQuira’s technology to
provide an integrated suite of proven solutions that deliver a comprehensive and highly personalized experience for every customer, across all channels.”
Oracle is a huge software company and its Fusion suite is massive. Many may wonder why Oracle elected to acquire InQuira’s knowledge management technology instead of building its own. Knowledge management is a specialized area and InQuira is one of the market leaders. Acquiring InQuira means Oracle acquires the InQuira’s market leadership -- if Oracle can do a good job integrating the technology into its existing product offerings.
InQuira has partnerships with other large software companies such as SAP and IBM. According to Oracle, these partnerships won’t be affected until the merger is complete. Afterwards, Oracle indicated partners will benefit from increased investment in the product line.
Today’s announcement is not the first relationship Oracle has had with InQuira. The companies share several major customers and InQuira’s technology has been integrated with Oracle’s CRM On Demand platform for a little over two years.
We will definitely be watching to see how successful Oracle is at gaining an edge on its competition due to its latest purchase.