AdExchanger asked Blackstone's Ken Allen, Managing Director, Head of Digital Media and Internet Advisory with Blackstone Advisory Partners, LP, his reaction to the deal. The commentary can be found on AdExchanger.
This is a very interesting, although not unexpected, move by Oracle.
There is currently an arms race among Enterprise Software players seeking to build out integrated marketing stacks / clouds. We have seen increased M&A activity in the sector for some time now among CRM vendors such as Oracle and Salesforce.com, highlighted by such deals as Oracle/Vitrue and SFDC/Buddy. These deals follow other interesting moves in the sector such as IBM/Unica and Teradata/Aprimo, whereby horizontal software vendors have increasingly moved up-stack into the marketing vertical. There is inherent synergy between the CRM system-of-record (and the data therein) and Marketing Automation; by making this move Oracle can now offer another tool to marketers that already house their data on the Oracle platform.
I expect consolidation in the sector to continue. The “holy grail” for Enterprise Software vendors is to build an integrated CMO dashboard in the cloud that can execute a full spectrum of marketing activities, including database marketing, marketing automation, social, mobile, email, video, search and display. No one has combined the full suite of solutions yet, but this is clearly where we are headed. To this end, I expect more M&A across the stack, and in particular, within the Marketing Automation segment – this is too strategic of a capability for the key players in the ecosystem not to own.