Oracle has made no secret that it is at war with Salesforce.com in the cloud-based sales and marketing services sector.
On Dec. 20 the huge all-purpose IT company re-emphasized this strategy by acquiring Eloqua (NASDAQ: ELOQ), a provider of cloud-based marketing automation and revenue performance management software.
When the deal is completed, Oracle will own Eloqua for $23.50 per share, or approximately $871 million, net of Eloqua's cash.
Oracle's cloud platform and Eloqua will combine to create a new Customer Experience Cloud offering to help companies improve the way they market, sell, support and serve their customers, Oracle said.
The combined offering is designed to enable organizations to provide a highly personalized and unified experience across channels, create brand loyalty through social and online interactions, grow revenue by driving more qualified leads to sales teams and provide superior service at every touchpoint.
Two Software Packages
Vienna, Va.-based Eloqua has two software packages: Eloqua 9 and Eloqua 10—the latter built on SproutCore. Eloqua is used by more than 50,000 marketers, more than any other cloud marketing automation vendor.
Eloqua, which went public last August, has competed in a shark tank of giants, such as Salesforce, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle. New companies, such as Pardot and Marketo, are also competitors.
The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2013, subject to Eloqua stockholder approval, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.
"Eloqua's leading marketing automation cloud will become the centerpiece of the Oracle Marketing Cloud," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle development. "This is an important addition to the Oracle Customer Experience offering, which includes the Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle Commerce Cloud, Oracle Service Cloud, Oracle Content Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud."
Eloqua Chairman and CEO Joe Payne is expected to stay on at Oracle in an executive position.