Oracle acquires online commerce vendor

November 3rd, 2010 | by Aaron Tan

Oracle is making its sixth acquisition this year with an announcement today to buy Art Technology Group (ATG), a provider of eCommerce software and related on-demand commerce optimization applications, for about US$1 billion.

ATG makes enterprise software that allows businesses to provide an online customer experience with sophisticated merchandising, marketing, content personalization, automated recommendations, and live-help services.

It also offers on-demand commerce optimization applications that provide companies with an online presence, plus the ability to improve customer satisfaction through immediate service response.

Oracle says ATG will complement its CRM, ERP, retail and supply chain applications, as well as its portfolio of middleware and business intelligence software.

The acquisition makes sense as companies are increasingly looking at integrating their e-commerce shop fronts with backend CRM and business intelligence applications to retain their customer base.

“Driven by the convergence of online and traditional commerce and the need to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty, organizations across many industries are looking for a unified commerce and CRM platform to provide a seamless experience across all commerce channels,” said Thomas Kurian, Oracle’s executive vice president for product development, in a media statement.

It is unclear how ATG’s software compares to offerings from competing players such as Baynote, whose Adaptive Web Suite software is used by the likes of SingTel, AT&T, PayPal and Expedia. Unlike recommendation engines that customize a user’s online experience based on past buying behavior, Adaptive Web Suite tracks browsing and site usage patterns and reconfigures a website’s design on the fly to suit customer preferences.

While ATG might have an advantage through better integration with Oracle applications, how and when this might take place is uncertain. Of course, there is also the question of the amount of work needed to marry ATG’s software with Oracle’s newly-minted suite of Fusion applications slated for a general release early next year.

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