Social media acquisitions continue at a brisk pace this week. Barely had the dust settled after the Salesforce.com purchase of Buddy Media, when the very next day Oracle struck back: Larry Ellison and Co. announced its acquisition of Collective Intellect, a provider of cloud-based social intelligence solutions that enable organizations to “monitor, understand and respond to consumers' conversations on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.”

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, which is just as well since many of us are still recovering from sticker shock after the flurry of M&A activity. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2012.

While it’s not clear exactly when social media ceased being just a fad for big business, it is clear this has already transpired. Just two short weeks ago, Oracle acquired Vitrue, a cloud-based social marketing platform. Oracle’s self-proclaimed goal in the press release announcing the acquisition is to “create the most advanced and comprehensive social relationship platform.”

According to Oracle, Collective Intellect's “semantic analytics engine” processes tens of millions of conversations via social media every day, turning the chatter into actionable business intelligence. The value proposition to marketers from Oracle’s enhanced social/CRM platform includes: targeted marketing campaigns, rapid response to customer feedback on social media, targeted leads and opportunities for sales teams, and stronger brand image using the Internet and social media.

“Gaining intelligence from consumer conversations across social media, and knowing customers’ intentions and interests helps organizations create better products and deliver better service,” said Thomas Kurian, EVP of Oracle Development, in a prepared statement. “Collective Intellect’s leading cloud-based applications for social media monitoring, combined with Oracle’s social relationship platform, offers a complete social experience to our customers.”

Commenting on Oracle’s acquisition, Forrester analyst Zach Hofer-Shall wrote:
Collective Intellect was a smart purchase because it offers a unique technology focus. Among the 100+ social monitoring, analytics, and listening platforms out there, I’ve covered Collective Intellect extensively in my prior research because of its ability to integrate social and customer data and its experience exporting data into third-party technology systems. These are cornerstones of driving intelligence from social media and … are a core component of social CRM. Although many listening platforms offer the ability to capture and analyze social media, successful business strategies require more integrated functionality.”

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