Buying your way into more social media analytics capabilities is all the rage as IT vendors try to transform themselves into marketing automation specialists. Oracle(s orcl) bought Vitrue last year and then Eloqua for $871 million; Salesforce.com(s crm) dropped $689 million on Buddy Media. And now Microsoft(s msft) is buying Netbreeze, a Swiss company that it says will beef up its CRM play. This, just five months after Microsoft acquired MarketingPilot, a marketing automation specialist. Terms of those deals were not disclosed.
From the blog post by Microsoft Corporate VP Bob Stutz outlining the Netbreeze deal:
“[Netbreeze]… combines modern methods from Natural Language Processing (NLP), data mining and semantic text analysis to support 28 different writing systems including German, English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Japanese, Traditional Chinese or Mandarin. This is a huge benefit over competing solutions that translate to a common language then analyze sentiment from there. Additionally, they offer their customers the ability to monitor a wide array of social channels including Facebook, YouTube(s goog)and Twitter, as well as 6,000 online news websites, 18 million blogs and 500,000 message boards.”
Netbreeze combines this native language analytics with data mining and transactional and text analysis capabilities, Microsoft said in a statement announcing the deal. It plans to provide that data via its Dynamics CRM software, so customers’ marketing, sales and service teams will have more information at — if you’re pardon the cliche — their fingertips.
InterArbor Solutions principal and GigaOM PRO analyst Dana Gardner says vendors need to help their business customers better grok what’s being said about them online and react quickly. And that takes significant technological prowess given the sheer amount of Tweets, Facebook(s fb) likes and the like floating around out there.
“The true picture or critical information about a business’s actual performance can’t be had without including social media data. But to make that social data into good, clean — and, therefore, actionable — data means you have to capture it at scale and integrate it swiftly, to make it something your systems can digest to analyze it. And so we’re seeing a rush to build, buy or partner to gain the means to do just that,” Gardner said via email.