Oracle’s agreement to acquire Collective Intellect is a wisely timed move into social analytics. To capitalize on the purchase, Oracle must continue to innovate and integrate its social offerings into a compelling portfolio.
On 5 June 2012, Oracle announced its plans to buy Collective Intellect, a producer of cloud-based social intelligence tools that enable organizations to monitor, understand and respond to consumers’ conversations on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2012.
Gartner views this acquisition as a positive move for Oracle. Collective Intellect is a small company that we recognized as a Cool Vendor in 2011 (see “Cool Vendors in CRM Marketing, 2011” ). Collective Intellect’s solutions represent the next wave of social analytics, in which social can move beyond monitoring for positive or negative sentiment and instead use advanced latent semantic text and semantic analytics for customer predictive modeling, automated identification and classification of subject/topic, people or content. We expect that, over time, social analytics will also evolve capabilities for prescriptive recommendations about what to do with the social data it is gathering. By connecting social data to business strategy and processes, social analytics can deliver greater and more measurable business value to sales, marketing and customer service.
Acquiring this technology is a clear win for Oracle. This purchase puts it in the same league as other advanced social-analytics-focused vendors such as Attensity, Telligent and Clarabridge. At the same time, it can more seriously compete with vendors identified as Leaders in the Gartner Social CRM Magic Quadrant, such as salesforce.com, Jive and Lithium.
What remains to be seen is how Oracle will define and execute on its social strategy. This purchase follows Oracle's recent deals to acquire RightNow (completed in January 2012) and Vitrue (expected to close in the summer of 2012 ; see "Oracle Agrees to Buy Vitrue to Expand Capabilities in Social CRM" ).Oracle must now orchestrate these capabilities with a competitive value proposition. In the days after this acquisition announcement, Oracle announced plans for what it calls "social relationship management." To succeed, Gartner believes that Oracle will need a strong executive to set product strategy and lead execution, including further rounds of product innovation and the retention of key talent at the recently acquired companies.
Collective Intellect customers:
Assess Oracle’s related social offerings to determine if they will add value to your social CRM capabilities.
Ensure that Oracle’s developing strategy and multiple product integration plans fit with your organization’s plans and contract.
Monitor Oracle’s plans to address product integration issues, which are key to the delivery of social CRM and engagement business value.
Take these accelerating acquisitions as a sign that social analytics is a critical component of any social CRM strategy and allocate resources accordingly.
Develop use cases for social analytics and intelligence capabilities and make plans to add these services to your toolbox and budget.
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"Magic Quadrant for Social CRM" — The social CRM market saw rapid consolidation during 2011, and large business application vendors are now adding social CRM capabilities through acquisitions. By Adam Sarner and others
"The Concise Social CRM Vendor Guide, 2012" — This guide helps you select vendors that are best-suited for realizing your organization’s social CRM potential. By Michael Maoz and others