Oracle has announced it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Opower for approximately $532 million, seemingly continuing its efforts to muscle into the lucrative cloud space through acquisition as opposed to organic growth.
Opower, which provides customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services to the utilities industry, boasts a healthy customer list of more than 100 utilities including companies such as PG&E, Exelon and National Grid. The announcement follows a similar one from last week, with Oracle acquiring Textura, a provider of construction contracts and payment management cloud services.
“Utilities want modern technology solutions that work together to meet their evolving customer, operational and compliance needs,” said Rodger Smith, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Utilities Global Business Unit. “Together, Oracle Utilities and Opower will be the largest provider of mission-critical cloud services to utilities.”
Oracle has certainly changed its tune in recent years, as it was once one of the foremost critics of the technology. “The computer industry is the only industry which is more fashion driven than women’s fashion. I was reading W and it said that orange is the new pink. Cloud is the new SaaS,” Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison said in an analyst briefing in 2008.
While other organizations seemingly embraced cloud as a technology during its embryo days, and have in turn developed a portfolio to compete in this competitive marketplace, Oracle appear to be using financial muscle as a means of levelling the playing field and catching up with industry leaders.
Although the aforementioned acquisitions have increased Oracle’s share in the cloud market place, the company has been on the receiving end of some unfavourable reports recently. Research from JP Morgan highlighted while there are still a number of enterprise organizations who will continue to utilize the services of Oracle, this is more due to the complications of migrating their systems to another vendor, as opposed to the technological strength of the tech giant.