Oracle Spends over $1 Billion to Bolster Vertical Clouds

With two recent acquisitions, Oracle exhibits a renewed focus on industry verticals.

Oracle is spending nearly $1.2 billion across two deals, both less than a week apart, to bulk up its portfolio of industry-specific cloud services.

On May 2, the company announced it is acquiring Arlington, Texas-based Opower for $532 million. Opwer is best known for its energy efficiency, home energy management and customer engagement software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings for utilities.

In a letter to customers and partners, Rodger Smith, senior vice president and general manager of the Oracle Utilities Global Business Unit, revealed how the buy will grow his company's cloud product and services slate for the energy industry vertical.

"Opower's solutions enable over 100 global utilities, including PG&E, Exelon and National Grid to deliver a modern digital customer experience," wrote Smith. "Opower's big data platform stores and analyzes over 600 billion meter reads from 60 million utility end customers, enabling utilities to proactively meet regulatory requirements, decrease the cost to serve, and improve customer satisfaction."

The week prior, on April 28, Oracle announced it was acquiring Textura, a cloud-based construction management SaaS provider, for $663 million. Over 85,000 general and subcontractors use Textura's cloud services platform to manage and budget their projects, according to Oracle. Each month, the Deerfield, Ill. company's cloud processes $3.4 billion in payments covering over 6,000 construction projects.

Textura's tech will be matched with Oracle's Primavera project and risk management product. The combined entity will be called the Oracle Engineering and Construction Global Business Unit, providing a "cloud-based project control and execution platform that manages all phases of engineering and construction projects," said Oracle in a statement.

Both deals represent major opportunities for Oracle's enterprise SaaS business, which currently lags well behind cloud giants like Salesforce and Microsoft.

Combined, Oracle and Opower will lay the foundation for an all-encompassing, integrated cloud services suite for utilities that stretches "from meter to grid to end-customers," added Smith. Once the buy is complete, Oracle will have a head start. Opower currently stores and analyzes two-thirds of all smart meter data in the U.S.

Meanwhile, citing figures from a recent report from Global Construction Perspectives and Oxford Economics, Oracle is betting that a dash of cloud-enabled automation will help the world's property developers make the most out of the $17.5 trillion that they are expected to spend annually by 2030. "The increasingly global engineering and construction industry requires digital modernization in a way that automates manual processes and embraces the power of cloud computing to easily connect the construction job site, reduce cost overruns, and improve productivity," said Mike Sicilia, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle's new Engineering and Construction Global Business Unit.

The boards of both Opower and Textura have approved their respective deals, which are expected to close sometime later this year, pending regulatory approvals and meeting other legal conditions.




Tags: Oracle, cloud computing, acquisition, vertical cloud


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