Oracle Aims To Expand Cloud CRM Lineup With RightNow Bid

The move will expand Oracle's on-demand CRM offerings and strengthen its competitive stance against and its Salesforce Service Cloud cloud-based applications.

RightNow provides a range of "customer experience" cloud services for business-to-consumer companies and government agencies, including call center services and online marketing capabilities. Customers include British Airways, Black & Decker,, the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Founded in 1997 and based in Bozeman, Mont., RightNow has 1,000 employees worldwide.

Earlier this month Oracle unveiled plans for the Oracle Public Cloud, a set of Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service offerings through which it will offer its own software, including its next-generation Fusion applications, as well as host customers' internally developed software.

Oracle plans to offer the RightNow services through the Oracle Public Cloud once the acquisition is complete.

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"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," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle development, in a statement. "RightNow's leading customer-service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle's Public Cloud."

Under the agreement, Oracle will pay $43 per share for publicly traded RightNow, putting the cost of the acquisition at approximately $1.5 billion net of RightNow's cash and debt. RightNow's directors have approved the deal, but the acquisition is still subject to a stockholder vote and other regulatory approvals. Oracle said it expects to complete the acquisition late this year or in early 2012.

The RightNow buyout is Oracle's second major acquisition in as many weeks. Last week Oracle disclosed an agreement to acquire Endeca, a developer of software for managing and analyzing unstructured data, for an undisclosed sum. The company expects to wrap up that acquisition by year's end.