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5/23/2012
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Oracle Buys Vitrue For Social Marketing

Vitrue could provide the social marketing hook to drive sales into RightNow and Oracle's CRM systems.

11 Management Systems That Can Help You Get A Handle On Social
11 Management Systems That Can Help You Get A Handle On Social
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Oracle will enter the social media publishing and campaign management market with the acquisition of Vitrue, the company announced Wednesday.

Vitrue is a cloud service for managing social media publishing and structured marketing campaigns across Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, with particular emphasis on Facebook for embeddable page tab content and applications, such as the Vitrue Shop social storefront. Vitrue also offers analytics to measure the effect of social campaigns. Buddy Media is Vitrue's most direct competitor.

Oracle declined an interview request, pointing to an acquisition announcement on its website for the answers to all questions. "Vitrue's social marketing platform helps organizations enhance their social marketing efforts to the next level of social engagement by giving brands the ability to scale across multiple social networks, target messages from global to local, create unique and consistent brand experiences, and publish content that engages fans and drives leads," read the statement. "Together, Oracle and Vitrue plan to enable a unified social experience across customer interactions, resulting in meaningful customer engagements with consistent brand experiences across all channels and media; improved return on investment for social sales and marketing campaigns across paid, owned, and social media; and enhanced customer service through real-time responsiveness and high-touch engagement."

The purchase price was not disclosed, although TechCrunch reported it to be $300 million. Vitrue is a private company, based in Atlanta. Oracle said it expected the transaction to close this summer.

[ Can an ERP vendor find happiness in social software? Read SAP Plays Social Collaboration Game By Own Rules.]

Within minutes after the announcement, Constellation Research Group analyst Alan Lepofsky posted to Twitter that the purchase of Vitrue made sense as a follow up to Oracle's acquisition of RightNow, which offers cloud software for managing online and social customer support and engagement. Announced in October and valued at about $1.5 billion, it was one of the biggest technology acquisitions of 2011.

"By combining Vitrue + CRM + RightNow, Oracle provides end-end engagement w/ customers from marketing to sales to support," Lepofsky tweeted.

In an interview, Lepofsky said he sees the purchase as part of a larger trend toward major enterprise software companies putting their stamp on social business by trying to control core business processes, end-to-end. Oracle already had multiple CRM technologies for tracking customer contacts, and with RightNow it got technologies for online support and customer engagement across multiple channels, including social media. What Oracle didn't have until now was the marketing piece--the technology for pushing content into social media and creating the interest that creates the leads, some of which will eventually find their way into CRM as sales opportunities.

"Vitrue was definitely strong on the content side, so it's a logical fit," Lepofsky said. When a lead is generated, "if a RightNow monitor brought that in from Twitter, it would be interesting to know if that customer contact came from content broadcast by Vitrue," he said.

Because Vitrue is a relatively small company, he said it would make sense for it to become a part of the RightNow suite of products.

While entering social media publishing might seem a stretch for an enterprise software company like Oracle, "it does make sense to me in this changing landscape of what customer interaction looks like," said Zach Hofer-Shall, a Forrester Research analyst. "Whether Oracle wanted to be in it or not, all of Oracle's customers have to start caring about this." Buying Vitrue is "a very big signal that they know their customers know the world has to start caring about social relationships," he said.

Follow David F. Carr on Twitter @davidfcarr. The BrainYard is @thebyard and facebook.com/thebyard

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David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
5/25/2012 | 2:37:38 PM
re: Oracle Buys Vitrue For Social Marketing
So when is Oracle buying your company?
Timothy Bernard Jones
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Timothy Bernard Jones,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 7:50:01 PM
re: Oracle Buys Vitrue For Social Marketing
Actually, the integration of social with existing Oracle CRM apps is already provided by our company, Buzzient. We integrate social with CRM OnDemand, Siebel, and soon Fusion CRM.

Buzzient also integrates social directly with CRM from Salesforce.com, SugarCRM, as well as others. Vitrue was a pending partner of ours; they do front end social marketing, but not the back end integration.

www.buzzient.com
Mark Fidelman
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Mark Fidelman,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 7:17:17 PM
re: Oracle Buys Vitrue For Social Marketing
LOL - how anti-social is this statement? "Oracle declined an interview request, pointing to an acquisition announcement on its website for the answers to all questions."

They should have provided someone set up to respond to you.

Some things never change.
NucleusResearchHP
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NucleusResearchHP,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/23/2012 | 7:07:04 PM
re: Oracle Buys Vitrue For Social Marketing
Oracle isn't just interested in understanding the end result of social media outreach from a marketing and sales qualification perspective. They're interested in root cause analysis associated with success. That's why they needed the Vitrue piece.

Hopefully, other social media monitoring and content management companies are paying attention and will understand that a pure technology, indexing, or sentiment-based approach is not what will ultimately lead to an optimal exit.
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