Oracle today announced that it will acquire Responsys, a marketing cloud software and services company, in a stock deal worth approximately $1.5 billion.
Oracle will incorporate Responsys' offerings into its Customer Experience Cloud, which includes Commerce, Sales, Service, Social, and the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Oracle says that by bringing together Responsys and Oracle Eloqua in the Marketing Cloud, marketers will be equipped to drive exceptional customer experiences across marketing interactions and throughout the customer lifecycle from a single platform.
"Recognizing the unique needs of the CMO in B2B and B2C industries, the Oracle Marketing Cloud is now the only platform to unite enterprise-class leaders in these historically distinct marketing-automation fields," said Mark Hurd, president of Oracle, in a statement. "Our strategy of combining the leaders across complementary technologies signifies Oracle's overwhelming commitment to winning and serving the CMO better than any other software company in the world."
Dan Springer, chairman and CEO of Responsys, which was founded in 1998 and based in San Bruno, Calif., called the acquisition "an incredible win-win opportunity for both our customers and our business."
"Not only does Oracle share our vision, but they are also the proven leader in bringing together best-in-class technologies and companies," he wrote in a letter to the company's shareholders. "The Oracle Marketing Cloud is the only platform to unite enterprise-class leaders like Responsys, Eloqua, and Compendium, into a single marketing cloud platform, giving CMOs across every industry a way to orchestrate their marketing interactions across channels and throughout the customer lifecycle.
"As a part of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, we'll be able to service the needs of today's marketer better than any other software company in the world," Springer continued.
Ray Wang, principal analyst and founder of Constellation Research, calls the acquisition a sign that Oracle "is serious about customer experience."
"The move to acquire Responsys covers a hole in B2C marketing that helps [Oracle] with cross-sell of commerce and sales across the stack," Wang says.
Dale Renner, CEO of data management and marketing software provider RedPoint Global and former global managing partner at Accenture, where he founded the firm's CRM practice, said in an email that the acquisition "reaffirms that there's a clear recognition that companies need and want marketing technology."
"After all the acquisitions that have happened this year, this is just one more proof point that the intersection of marketing and technology is a good place to be," Renner added.
Still, he was cautious in his projections: "It will be interesting to see if companies want to buy all of their marketing technology from one source, which may result in compromises some companies may not be willing to make," he stated.
Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group, agreed. "This is really a time-will-tell kind of acquisition," he says. Oracle needs to both focus their message and define their framework when it comes to their customer-facing applications, and doing that will determine whether this was a good move or not."
"While on the surface you could say that Oracle's acquisition of Responsys is a direct response to the salesforce acquisition of Exact Target and the Adobe acquisition of Neolane, I suspect there is more to it than that," Greenberg adds. "They are actually entering the customer engagement world with Responsys' ability to personalize offers in a way that both Exact Target and Epiphany can do, though not quite at that level.