Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Oracle’s Buy of Involver Makes for Three Social Companies in as Many Months

Oracle continued its acquisitions streak by announcing that it will buy the social software firm Involver. It’s a privately held firm that helps large companies develop smarter marketing strategies that take better advantage of social media.

Involver is Oracle’s third acquisition on the social front in as many months. In May, it said it would acquire Vitrue, for a price reportedly close to $300 million.

Then, in June, Oracle nabbed Collective Intellect, a social analytics outfit based in Colorado.

Financial terms of the Involver deal have not been disclosed.

So what has Oracle got up its sleeve? It is assembling a pretty powerful suite of social-friendly marketing tools that will give it a leg up in its percolating rivalry with Salesforce.com and, to a lesser extent, Microsoft and SAP. Marketers want to reach customers on Facebook and Twitter and wherever else they may happen to be, and that’s not too much of a pivot from other core business processes like customer relationship management (CRM) that Oracle does, where it comes up directly against Salesforce. And there’s also the customer service business: Remember that Oracle bought RightNow earlier this year.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been touting the importance of social tools to anyone who will listen for the better part of two years. Also, Salesforce dropped $745 million on Buddy Media last month. Salesforce is, for the most part, favoring relatively bigger deals. Last year, it paid $326 million for Radian6, a Canadian social media analytics concern that essentially became the cornerstone of its social strategy. Other than RightNow — for which it paid $1.4 billion — Oracle is tending toward smaller deals.


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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo