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ARS today reported that Oracle was buying the software-as-a-service provider RightNow for $1.5 billion. With this purchase Oracle is buying out a ready made cloud service whose customers include Department of Defense’s private cloud! This is also Oracle’s biggest acquisition after Sun Microsystems. Oracle Executive Vice President Thomas Kurian said in a statement that the acquisition will bolster Oracle’s own cloud computing efforts.
“RightNow’s leading customer service cloud is a very important addition to Oracle’s Public Cloud,” he said. Oracle is gearing up to compete head to head with the SalesForce.com’s service cloud offering. RightNow’s SaaS is focused on “customer experience management,” providing Web-based customer access to account information, call center applications, and social tools such as community-based support and integration of customer service with Facebook.
The company also offers its cloud platform as a service for customers to build their own applications. The RightNow CX Cloud Platform is primarily focused on knowledge base and natural language search tasks, but can be integrated into e-mail, collaboration, telephony, and ERP systems as well.
RightNow has high profile customers such as DoD agencies, including the Air Force Personnel Center, which uses the company’s software for service members to gain access to and update their own records and get access to support services. RightNow was the first SaaS provider to get its software hosted within the Defense Information Systems Agency’s data centers.