Oracle buys sales order automation specialist

With the acquisition of BigMachines, Oracle makes a move against rivals Salesforce.com and SAP

Oracle is hoping to differentiate its CRM software from competitors with the acquisition of BigMachines, whose cloud-based system helps salespeople quickly put together and price complex orders.

Terms of the deal, which was announced Wednesday, weren't disclosed. It is expected to close this year.

BigMachines' software will be combined with Oracle's products for marketing, sales, customer service and e-commerce, according to a statement.

Some 275 companies, including Coca-Cola, ADP and Siemens, use BigMachines' software, according to Oracle. It has products for both small companies and large enterprises.

The lower-end product, BigMachines Express, is built on Salesforce.com's Force.com platform, while the flagship one is based on Oracle and Java, according to a document released Wednesday.

BigMachines has integrated its products with Salesforce.com, SAP and Microsoft applications.

Business will "continue as usual" for partners and Oracle intends to "continue to invest in the development and support of existing integrations with third party sales force automation systems," according to an FAQ document on the acquisition.

Oracle had been working on cloud-based CPQ (configure, price, quote) software already but buying BigMachines will help it get this functionality into its Sales Cloud more quickly, according to the FAQ.

BigMachines' competitors include Selectica and Cameleon Software. The CPQ market has seen some consolidation in the past, such as IBM's purchase of Sterling Commerce and Infor's acquisition of TDCI.

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