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Oracle Snaps up Vitrue's Social Marketing Cloud

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Posted May 23, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Tweet long and prosper. With its latest acquisition, Oracle bets on cloud-based, Facebook-friendly marketing services as social CRM picks up steam.

In a sure sign the social CRM market is booming, Oracle today announced it is acquiring cloud-based social marketing specialist Vitrue. Although the companies have not officially disclosed the deal's worth, TechCrunch pegs the transaction at $300 million.

The firm's claim to fame is its Vitrue Social Relationship Management platform, which helps businesses align their marketing efforts across popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter.

The software-as-a-service (SaaS) application suite also allows businesses to track the effectiveness of social media campaigns, a prime consideration that drove the deal, says Oracle. Currently, Vitrue's platform manages over 1.3 billion social interactions for more than 500 brands, including such big names as American Express, AT&T and Proctor & Gamble.

This isn’t the software giant’s first social CRM acquisition. In October Oracle bought cloud customer service specialist RightNow Technologies.

In the Cloud with Social Consumers

Bringing Vitrue's tools into the fold is a response to market demand, according to Oracle. Thomas Kurian, Oracle Development's executive vice president, said chief marketing officers want integrated solutions that allow them to navigate a turbulent marketplace where consumers increasingly turn to social media to engage with brands.

Adding Vitrue's technology to the Oracle Cloud will create a "social relationship platform" that incorporates several social media-enabled capabilities including monitoring, analytics and lead generation. "Vitrue's leading social marketing and engagement platform coupled with Oracle's leading sales, service, and commerce products offers a complete social experience solution to our customers," said Kurian.

The deal also adds momentum to Oracle's efforts to boost its cloud offerings. In February, the company announced it was spending $1.9 billion to acquire Taleo and bring its cloud-based talent management technology -- and 5,000 business customers -- to Oracle Public Cloud.

Oracle isn’t the only on-premise software company seeking to expand its line of cloud solutions. Just yesterday competitor SAP bolstered its cloud portfolio by announcing plans to purchase cloud services provider Ariba.

Social CRM on the Rise

Despite some early struggles to accurately measure social CRM ROI, Oracle is betting the sales productivity enhancing technology will resonate with a growing number of its customers as the company ushers them onto the cloud. A recent forecast by Gartner indicates that is a safe bet.

Revenues in the social CRM software license and subscription market reached $850 million in 2011. This year, Gartner expects the market to more than double, reaching $2.1 billion. Social CRM revenue will make up 10 percent of the total CRM market, Gartner predicts.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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