Monday, October 24, 2011

Oracle acquires RightNow CRM: Cloud Platform or Cloudwashing?

This morning Oracle announced a deal to purchase RightNow for $1.5 billion.  Oracle's headline reads "Adds Leading Customer Service Cloud Offering to Oracle's Public Cloud."

In 2007 I had written RightNow CRM off as a non-cloud product while competing against them as a Sales Manager at NetSuite.

Unless a product is 100% web based like Google Apps or Norada Solve360 you still have all the costs and complexity of installing, upgrading, supporting, and fixing workstation based software.  Check out the RightNow CX "staff member" system requirements and recommendations to use complex technology like Citrix.  It has a Smart Client that needs 850 Mb of free hard disk space and only runs on the Windows 7 platform.  This means only 39% of the world's computers can fully use RightNow CRM.  True cloud products like Google Apps and Norada Solve360 CRM can be used by 99% of the world's computers.

What's strange is that Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle was an early investor in Salesforce.com and is a majority shareholder in NetSuite.  Larry definitely knows what a 100% web based cloud solution looks like.

Enlighten me with comments please because I'm skeptical how this acquisition will help long term against true cloud computing CRM solutions like Salesforce.com and Norada Solve360 that require nothing more than a web browser on 99% of the world's computers.

Certainly RightNow is more "Cloud" than the rest of Oracle's portfolio.  It is still a big step behind 100% web solutions that allow devices like notebooks, tablets, and smartphones to be portals to the data, which helps people be productive from anywhere, at any time.

True Cloud products allow businesses to spend more time with customers and less time on managing technology.