Oracle’s $1 billion planned purchase of e-commerce software maker Art Technology Group underscores the software giant’s desire to bulk up its e-commerce and customer relationship management business, especially as transactions increasingly expand to mobile devices. It’s no secret that the next revolution in computing will be delivered on the go for both consumers and enterprises, and buying things via handsets or other mobile devices is still an awkward proposition.
By buying ATG, for $6 per share, Oracle plans on combining ATG’s e-commerce platform, applications and optimization software with its current portfolio of customer relationship management, retail, enterprise resource management and supply chain applications. The combination will be especially potent in industries like retail, communications and technology, where ATG and Oracle already share customers.
ATG is already used by more than 1,200 business who build their e-commerce sites on its platform or plug in its software to speed up and personalize transactions. Customers can use customer service, marketing or analytics applications to improve sales or they can use cross-platform optimization tools that offer live help, lead performance and recommendations.
The ATG acquisition will help Oracle further extend its reach into mobile. A key part of ATG’s offering is its ability to reach users on multiple channels; online, in-store and mobile. ATG’s Catalyst program, launched last year, is aimed at helping companies, like launch partner Tommy Hilfiger, easily create mobile commerce apps. The program included an ATG Mobile for the iPhone application, which was joined recently by an Android version. ATG found in a survey it commissioned last year that more than three-quarters of consumers use two or more channels to research and complete a transaction.
Oracle’s own David Dorf, director of technology strategy for Oracle retail, summed up the growing importance of mobile in a blog post last month saying it’s a game changer for retail. He said businesses need to go “omni-channel” and mobile commerce apps need to go beyond shopping assistants and must delve into improving a consumers lifestyle with features not found elsewhere. A pick-up of ATG would certainly help build on Oracle’s mobile plans.
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Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Peter Kaminski