Oracle has continued its summer software spending spree with the acquisition of Involver, a social media platform provider, for an undisclosed sum. The deal, Oracle's third in two months, is expected to close during August.
Involver provides companies with software tools to enable them to interact with customers and potential customers on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter. Using Involver, companies will have a "marketer's system of record", claims the company, bringing everything under a single, easy-to-use interface.
The company is a Facebook Marketing Developer partner and the developer of SML – social markup language – which it released in December 2011.
"SML represents something unique in the social marketing industry, a code layer for front-end developers to quickly build and optimise interactive experiences for their fans on Facebook and the social web. Involver created SML to power its own social marketing platform, and now we're making it available to the developer community," said the company in a blog post at the time of the launch.
"The combination of Involver with Oracle is expected to create the most advanced and comprehensive cloud-based social solution, across marketing, sales and service touch points. Our technology is expected to extend Oracle's social platform to help customers more easily and cost-effectively collaborate and build engaging applications and social experiences across social networks and the Open Graph," wrote Don Beck, president and CEO of Involver in a company blog post.
"This acquisition is a combination of the best of both worlds; we will be combining our industry-leading social marketing solutions with the comprehensive Oracle Cloud," he added.
This foray into the world of social business brings Oracle into closer competition with Salesforce.com, which itself announced an agreement to acquire GoInstant this week.
In the deal, Salesforce.com will acquire GoInstant's technology, which allows companies to connect with customers through "shared web experiences", according to the announcement.
Oracle has been targeting Salesforce.com in recent months, most dramatically with its acquisition of cloud customer service company RightNow for slightly under £1bn in November last year.
This increased rivalry is surprising given that Oracle's founder and CEO Larry Ellison owns a significant financial stake in Salesforce.com.
Additional reporting by Stuart Sumner