Oracle announced that it is acquiring DataRaker, a firm that specializes in cloud-based analytics for energy companies and water utilities. The financial terms of the transaction are being kept under wraps by the companies.
One thing is clear; Oracle had its eye on Big Data technologies and solutions providers that target utilities for a while.
In July, Oracle released a study that took the pulse of the smart meter landscape called "Big Data, Bigger Opportunities." The business software giant discovered that smart meters -- precise and feature-rich household electrical meters -- generate 180 times more data than the traditional meters, on average.
Market Energized by Big Data Demand
To manage and gather business insights from that deluge of data, Oracle found that most utilities expect to invest in Big Data solutions during the next five years. And that spells good news for Oracle.
DataRaker's cloud-based analytics platform is geared toward electric, gas and water utilities with the aim of helping them make business decisions with insights gleaned from the mountains of data that they generate. Its platform can be leveraged to provide Big Data-driven guidance to the meter operations, billing support, demand response and energy efficiency programs of utilities.
It's a feature set that dovetails neatly with Oracle's business cloud ambitions. "The combination of Oracle and DataRaker's cloud-based solutions is expected to provide utilities with the most complete solution to harness the benefits of utility Big Data to improve operational performance and enhance customer experience," says the company.
In a company statement, Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Utilities, said, "With DataRaker, Oracle can provide customers a complete and integrated set of products to further unlock efficiencies and create data insights that maximize business value."
Oracle Doubles Down on Big Data Analytics
This year, amid tightening competition, Oracle kicked its Big Data business strategy into high gear.
In February, the company officially launched its Exalytics in-memory appliance. The hardware helps make short work of performing analytics on massive data sets by enlisting the help of huge stores of RAM, which that can shuttle data from databases to a CPU faster than the hard drives found in most enterprise storage infrastructures.
This summer, Oracle President Mark Hurd took to the stage during Oracle OpenWorld Tokyo to reaffirm the company's commitment to analytics. He said that the company was spending roughly $5 billion this year and the next in its pursuit of cutting-edge analytics technologies. He also added that the company was working toward tighter integration between its Big Data, analytics offerings and its cloud offerings.