Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) has announced plans to acquire cloud-based customer service provider RightNow Technologies (NASDAQ: RNOW) for $1.5 billion.
RightNow's Customer Service Cloud spans call centers, the Web and social networks. Oracle says it will add RightNow to its new Public Cloud offering spanning CRM, HR and the new Oracle Social Network.
"Oracle is moving aggressively to offer customers a full range of cloud solutions including sales force automation, human resources, talent management, social networking, databases and Java as part of the Oracle Public Cloud," Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, said in a statement. "RightNow's leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle's Public Cloud."
In a presentation on the deal, Oracle said it envisions making RightNow part of a complete customer experience and service platform for both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) environments, combined with analytics, CRM, marketing, ecommerce, financial, procurement and supply chain applications.
Earlier this month, analyst Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research said the Oracle Public Cloud could challenge Salesforce.com (NYSE: CRM). "Oracle is the only vendor that provides a comprehensive Suite of enterprise solutions in the cloud, which includes both the Application Services and Platform Services," he wrote in a research note.
The deal is expected to close late this year or in early 2012.