Oracle has entered into an agreement to buy webexperience management vendor FatWire Software in deal that is expectedto close in the middle of this year. Now, the enterprise contentmanagement vendor has a complete customer experience solution. But hasit come to the playground a little too late?

Oracle Buys Web Experience Management Vendor Fatwire Software

Oracle Get Web Experience Management

Financial details ofthe agreement were not released, and the exact position of FatWire oncethe deal has been closed is not clear although a statement from Oracleon the acquisition suggests that it will be incorporated into Oracle (newssite) once the deal has been concluded.

Oracle has been busy in the web engagement spacefor some time and with the addition of FatWire will be able to offerits clients a complete customer experience management solution that willdrive customer retention and loyalty through across web, mobile andsocial channels.


The Oracle + Fatwire Functionality, as Presented by Oracle

It also fits nicely into Oracle’s existing portfolio of applicationsincluding its Customer Relationship Managementand ATG Web Commerce,which it bought in November last for US$ 1 billion.

That buy also added to its web engagement portfolio with an eCommerce software platform that complemented Oracle’s CRM, ERP, Retailand Supply Chain applications, as well as middleware and businessintelligence technologies.

The FatWire buy follows in a similar vein and will extend Oracle’stechnology and applications product offerings for customers seeking tobuild a unified customer experience across channels.

"Together, Oracle and FatWire plan to deliver the most complete webexperience management solution that will enable companies to fulloptimize the customer experiencewith innovative social tools that enable user generated content in amanaged environment," said HasanRizvi, Senior Vice President atOracle.

Both companies will act independently until the deal closes, andneither has given any indication of what will happen after that, butOracle’s history on acquisitions also suggests that it will be takendirectly into Oracle.

Learning Opportunities

Has Oracle Been Down This Road Before?

Youhave to ask why Oracle has made this move now. It made a significantinvestment in web content management back in 2006 when it acquired Stellent for US$440 million. Now though, with Stellent comfortably integrated and a robust enterprise content management system available (see our review of Oracle's Universal Content Management system), we see that Oracle is really offering a document management system (at least in the context of its Fusion middlware platform).

What About WebCenter?

And what about WebCenter, Oracle's current solution for customer experience management? Oracle updated WebCenter this past January,finally pulling together and expanding on the capabilities offered fromits BEA WebLogic (web server/portal) and Plumtree (Web CMS/Portal)acquisitions.

There's a certain amount of overlappingfunctionality between WebCenter and FatWire and you have to wonder whatwill be incorporated into WebCenter to further extend its capabilities.


Let's Not Forget the FatWire, EMC Relationship

Although maybe this acquisition shouldn't be surprising -- we've been expecting more mergers in the WCM space -- most of us likely expected it to be an EMC/FatWire deal, not an Oracle one. FatWire has a key relationship with EMC, whereby EMC offers FatWire as its Web Experience Management Solution and FatWire integrated EMC Digital Asset Management offering.

That relationship however, may have soured a bit when EMC announced it would also offer SDL Tridion as its Web Experience Management solution for large enterprises.

Will Oracle Push Ahead in the CEM Race?

FatWireis a well known WEM solution catering to some very large organizationsglobally. Adding its WEM capabilities, including its mobile servicesshould give Oracle an added push into the Customer Experience Managementmarket. But on some level, you have to wonder if this is going to cometoo late for Oracle. It will take time to complete the acquisition and then integrate FatWire's capabilities into its own solutions. There are already a number of CEM platforms available that can compete quite well with Oracle.