Oracle Plunks Down $532M for Customer Engagement Firm Opower


ManageEngine OpManager, a powerful NMS for monitoring your network, physical & virtual (VMware/ HyperV) servers & other IT devices. Deploy and start monitoring in less than an hour. Trusted by over a million admins world-wide. Try it for free.

Oracle on Monday announced that it has agreed to acquire Opower for US$532 million in cash.

More than 100 global utilities, including PG&E, Exelon and National Grid, use Opower's customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services, Oracle said. Opower's big data platform stores and analyzes more than 600 billion meter reads from 60 million end customers of utilities.

The transaction is expected to close later this year.

"This acquisition brings together two synergistic areas -- Opower big data-based meter and consumption data with Oracle's CRM and Data as a Service capabilities," said Holger Mueller, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

Utilities are moving en masse to the cloud, a 2014 IDC survey found. Eighty-seven percent of 38 senior utility executives interviewed recognized the value of cloud services to provide better business continuity and disaster recovery than traditional technology.

Oracle and Zpryme jointly surveyed more than 100 utility executives and directors last year. Of those, 97 percent said they were involved with cloud technologies or applications and computing resources delivered as services.

Utilities were considering Software as a Service or cloud-based applications as well as hosted solutions, the study found.

"Deregulation is looming, and with solar, more households have options," Mueller told CRM Buyer. "Moreover, the utility oversight commissions are getting structure on the one side, and on the other, this makes it easier for consumers to complain."

The cloud provider business is competitive, and companies "have learned that the next big area for expansion is in industry vertical cloud solutions," observed Michael Fauscette, chief research officer at G2 Crowd.

"Oracle has for years been acquiring industry-specific solutions. Competitors have been mobbing there quickly -- SAP, Infor, IBM, Salesforce -- so Oracle is looking to broaden its footprint in industry clouds too," he told CRM Buyer.

Oracle "already has a lot of relationships from the other acquisitions and can leverage those as long as they stay with, or ahead of, the competition," Fauscette added.

The acquisition would complement Oracle's own utility cloud solutions.

Opower "is a big data platform that's been collecting data from 100 or so utilities, and their offering uses that data in a few ways," Fauscette said. That makes it unique, and "the relationships are already in place, [which] make it pretty sticky."

Competing directly with such a data solution is difficult, he said.

The acquisition expands Oracle's footprint "with some unique capabilities and also gives them access to a rich data source that might easily be tied into other utility solutions Oracle offers," Fauscette said. It also offers the opportunity for cross-selling if there's some mismatch in the customer base.

With the acquisition of Opower, Oracle "will have more consumer data than anyone, making it more strategic for utilities as a partner," Constellation's Mueller said. Utilities have to integrate consumption and CRM data, and "now they can get this from Oracle in one stop, which is a key value in an industry wary of integration issues."

That is one aspect to the Opower purchase, Mueller said.

The other is "the larger ambitions of DaaS. When I know a consumer's utility profile, I know, for example, when they're at home so I can call them with offerings," he pointed out. "Many more industries see cake in utility data as it tells you much more about a household. This will all be part of Oracle's DaaS strategy."

It's only the beginning of how advanced digital technologies will impact the experience for utility company customers, Mueller remarked, such as seeing real-time consumption or real-time production of electricity from their solar panels.

Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it's all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon's Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+.

0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


  • 5300c769af79e

    HP Sure View Blocks Prying Eyes

    Hackers don't need high-tech digital coding tools to steal your identity—they just need decent eyesight.The new phenomenon of "visual hacking" means anyone at a nearby Starbucks table or library desk can poach information from your computer screen.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Vine Being Converted Into 'Vine Camera' in January, 6-Second Looping Clip Making Lives On

    Now, the Twitter-owned service is backing up just a bit, announcing that instead of a total shutdown, Vine will be turned into an app called Vine Camera, allowing for the continued creation of 6-second looping videos.With Vine Camera, instead of posting your lopping videos onto the Vine platform, you will post them directly to Twitter through your account.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Bluetooth 5 Bringing Quadruple Range, Double Speed

    Next week marks the formal debut of Bluetooth 5, which will double the range and quadruple the speed of the wireless standard.The goal of these improvements is to accelerate such applications as industrial automation, smart infrastructure, smart homes, and location-based services.
  • 5300c769af79e

    What our review scores mean -

    We review hundreds of products in a wide range of categories each year, and our review process centers around how things perform for regular folks, not journalists in lab coats.Our goal to keep things simple extends to our review scores, as well.