In my last post about Oracle's Collective Intellect acquisition, I wrote:
... I suspect Oracle will make more acquisitions in this space and then package these multiple acquisitions as a platform...
Oracle did not disappoint. This week they announced yet another acquisition, this time lapping up social marketing developer Involver. Involver's social markup language (SML) and visual, drag and drop editor allow developers to create applications and campaigns for Facebook et al.
Oracle and other big vendors like IBM and Salesforce have zeroed in on digital marketing technology as a new battleground and, are busy acquiring companies in this space. This is probably good for the industry and will bring in much-needed resources and engineering bandwidth for their R&D needs. Most of these acquired companies are small, standalone outfits and in our experience don't understand enterprise needs as well as the big software firms do.
However, if you were evaluating these vendors, some level of uncertainty remains, and we recommend you do extra due diligence in your evaluation process. For example, Oracle themselves say:
All product roadmap information, whether communicated by Involver or by Oracle, does not represent a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions.
In any case, in the short term, don't assume any significant benefit in terms of integration of acquired products with each other or with rest of the Oracle stack. Each of these tools has completely different architecture, application programing interfaces (APIs), user management, repositories, etcetera. So integration -- if and when it occurs -- will take time.
In fact, integration issues are becoming increasingly important for cloud-based tools. Not all cloud-based tools adhere to similar standards for integration and interoperability. Stay tuned for more research on that topic...