Oracle has bought marketing automation company Eloqua for $871m, further bolstering its Cloud-based sales and marketing services and heating up competition with rival Salesforce.com.
Thirteen-year old Eloqua, which went public last August, provides web-based software that enables companies to measure the ROI of their sales and marketing campaigns.
Oracle said it is planning to use the acquisition to create a Customer Experience Cloud solution which will help brands deliver a personalised multichannel customer experience, enhance brand loyalty and drive revenue through marketing automation.
Eloqua’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the transaction which is expected to close in the first six months of 2012.
Thomas Kurian, EVP of Oracle Development, said: “Modernmarketing practices are driving revenue growth and is a critical area of investment for companies today. Eloqua's leading marketing automation cloud will become the centerpiece of the Oracle Marketing Cloud and is an important addition to the Oracle Customer Experience offering, which includes the Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Content Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud."
Joe Payne, chairman and CEO at Eloqua, added: “Exceptional customer experience starts with knowing your customer's preferences and delivering a highly personalized buying experience. Together with Oracle, we expect to accelerate the pace of the modern marketing revolution and help our customers transform the way they market, sell, support and serve their customers.”
John O’Brien from TechMarketView said of the deal: “Having released an impressive set of Q2 results earlier this week (see Oracle: customers keen to close orders), Oracle continues to perform well. But its appetite for M&A shows how keen it is to both protect existing revenue streams and find new growth areas.
“Eloqua should help do just that, fitting well with its existing CRM systems, and expanding into the marketing department. Oracle now wants to create a ‘customer experience cloud’, which will offer a 'highly personalized and unified experience across channels, creating brand loyalty through social and online interactions, and growing revenue by driving more qualified leads to sales teams'.
“We see the marketing and communications department as a big opportunity for many software/BP providers over the next few years as they seek to reduce costs while capitalising on new multi-channel interactions with their end customers (see:Communications-focused BPS: opportunities beyond document outsourcing and Infosys partners with WPP for business platforms). The convergence of B2B and B2C will continue to fuel this demand.”