Two legacy hardware heavy hitters announced separate cloud-based acquisitions: SAP (NYSE: SAP) is acquiring cloud business firm Ariba, and Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) plans to buy cloud-based social marketing specialist Vitrue.

Global enterprise application software corporation SAP AG announced that its U.S. subsidiary, SAP America Inc. will acquire Ariba, a cloud business network specialist, for approximately $4.3 billion in a deal expected to close in Q3 of 2012. SAP is seeking to establish new models for B2B cloud-based collaboration in a fast-growing segment by combining Ariba’s buyer-seller network with its own customer base and business process expertise.

“In our personal lives, networks are playing an increasingly important role in how we connect, share, and shop -- bringing more insight and efficiency into everything we do,” said Bob Calderoni, CEO of Ariba, in the press release. “Businesses are looking for the same connectedness, insight and efficiencies in the processes and collaboration with customers, suppliers and partners beyond the walls of their companies. By combining Ariba’s open global trading network and SAP’s solutions and analytics, we are ushering in a new era of business-to-business collaboration and driving new levels of productivity.”

In its press release, SAP offered some statistics about Ariba: With 2,600 employees, it is a market leader in cloud-based commerce applications, according to SAP, which also said it is the second-largest cloud vendor by revenue (personally, I would love to know this for sure). In 2011 it had $444 million in revenue, and enjoyed 38.5 percent growth. The Ariba network handles more than $319 billion in transactions among 730,000 organizations, with a customer base of more than 190,000 companies. Interestingly (I have to admit), 63 percent of global transactions involve an SAP system, according to the company.

Meanwhile, hardware and enterprise software corporation Oracle announced that it agreed to purchase Vitrue, a cloud-based social marketing platform that enables marketers to centrally manage their campaigns on networks such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google+. Terms of the agreement were not shared in the press release.

Oracle expects the combination of its sales social data management and analytics capabilities with the Vitrue acquisition will help customers “develop more meaningful customer engagements with consistent brand experiences, and enhance customer service through real-time responsiveness and high touch relationships.”

“The proliferation of social media and an increased demand by consumers to engage with brands across multiple social channels is driving chief marketing officers to look for an integrated social marketing platform,” said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of Oracle Development, in a prepared statement. “Vitrue’s leading social marketing and engagement platform coupled with Oracle’s leading sales, service and commerce products offers a complete social experience solution to our customers.”

Last week Oracle announced its recently launched RightNow CX Cloud Service has been integrated with Oracle Fusion Sales, with the goal of enabling enterprises to achieve growth through “relevant, cross-channel customer interactions that can increase revenue opportunities and drive organizational efficiencies.” Having a view of those cross-channel interactions along with their context and status, according to the company, will help organizations target their customers with more relevant products and services.

Talkin’ Cloud readers can click here to read up on the SAP partner program, and can do the same for Oracle by clicking here.