Oracle to acquire RightNow for $1.5 billion

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Database company Oracle announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire CRM company RightNow Technologies, for $1.5 billion. The transaction is expected to close by late 2011 or early 2012.

Oracle said in a statement that the deal will enable it to provide its clients with technology to enhance customer experiences across every channel. Oracle also agreed to acquire data management and Web commerce company Endeca Technologies on Oct. 18.

Oracle refused to provide additional comment until the RightNow acquisition closes. It is unclear if Oracle will allow RightNow to retain its brand or how the company plans to use RightNow's leadership team.

Paul Greenberg, managing principal of The 56 Group, an enterprise applications consulting firm, said the two acquisitions may enable Oracle to integrate both companies “so that unstructured information about service issues and customers with service issues can be brought into RightNow customer records.”

Greenberg said “the jury is still out” on whether the acquisition makes sense.

“RightNow is certainly a well established player in the CRM space,” he explained. “But I was surprised that Oracle was that needy when it came to customer service offerings.”

RightNow clients include Drugstore.com, Jackson Hewitt and J&P Cycles. The company generated $185.5 million in fiscal 2010, an increase of 22% compared with fiscal 2009.

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