In case you disconnected from the world of CRM this summer, here’s a round-up of the main stories: and Oracle – peace breaks out

One minute and Oracle were at each other’s throats, the next peace had broken out. Following a disappointing set of fourth quarter results that saw their shares drop 9%, Oracle announced a series of alliances with Netsuite, Microsoft and Salesforce. The deal with Salesforce sees Oracle integrating its Fusion HCM and Financial Cloud with, while Salesforce commits to using Oracle’s Linux, Exadata systems, Oracle database, and Java middleware. Salesforce will implement Fusion HCM and Financial Cloud throughout the organisation, replacing its Workday systems.

Whether this will prove to be a lasting peace is debatable, but while it lasts CRM news may prove a little duller for it. acquired ExactTarget

In June Salesforce announced the acquisition of ExactTarget for $2.5 billion, dwarfing its previous largest purchase, Buddy Media, for $689 million in 2012. Since it announced its Marketing Cloud in September last year there’s been speculation that Salesforce would look to fill out the white spaces in its product line up, though the most talked about target was Marketo. ExactTarget gives it an email marketing platform and, through ExactTarget’s acquisition of Pardot, marketing automation capabilities. While the move seems to make a lot of sense from a product perspective, the price is pretty eye-watering.

SAP acquires Hybris

SAP was also on the acquisition trail announcing the purchase of Hybris, a Swiss e-commerce technology company, in June. The deal closed in August, and while terms weren’t disclosed, speculation puts the deal size at around the billion dollar mark.

SAP’s Q2 disappoints

While total revenue was up 8% year on year to 4.09 billion Euros, and profit after tax up 5%, software licence revenues dropped 3%, the first decrease since 2009. This seemed to disappoint analysts who seemed to be expecting revenue growth in the 10-12% range and saw its shares dip 3%.

Sugar raises $40 million

In August SugarCRM announced it had raised $40 million from Goldman Sachs to help speed up its global expansion. The latest round of funding will be used to invest in research and development, as well as sales and marketing. The company also announced it had added 600 customers in the second quarter, with revenues up 30% year on year. What those revenues actually were was not disclosed, and, in the absence of any updates on the rumoured 2013 initial public offering, it may be some while before we find out.

Microsoft changes its online CRM licensing

Perhaps one of the nicest things about Microsoft’s online pricing model was its simplicity. One monthly price of $44 gave you access to everything. This looks set to change. The company announced in July that as of the next update there will be three versions: Professional, Basic, and Essential, charged at $65, $30, and $15 respectively. It’s not clear exactly what will be included in each version, but it looks as if some at least customers will be facing a hefty price increase.

Microsoft announces its fall release

In July Microsoft also announced its fall release. Code-named Orion the release will be for both online and on-premise customers and will include an new user interface, fuller integration with Lync, Yammer and Skype, a connector to its marketing automation acquisition, Marketing Pilot, as well as support for the iPad and Surface. Support for the iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone 8, will follow shortly thereafter. Curiously, this release appears as if it will be marketed as Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013, which seems an odd decision given that 2014 will be nigh by the time its available.

CRM to overtake ERP by 2017

According to Gartner predictions, the size of the worldwide enterprise CRM software market will overtake that of ERP by 2017. Its latest forecast shows the CRM market increasing to $36.5 billion by 2017, a projected growth rate of 15% per annum, making it the fastest growing software sector.’s Q2 results

While SAP and Oracle’s recent results may have disappointed,’s Q2 results appeared to exceed analyst expectations with revenues up 31% year on year to $957 million. The company raised its guidance for the full fiscal year to $4 billion. Shares were up 7% in after-hours trading.

Adobe buys Neolane

Salesforce wasn’t the only one filling out their marketing cloud. On June 27 Adobe announced it was buying Neolane, a Paris based provider of cross-channel marketing functionality, for $600 million in cash. Neolane becomes the sixth solution in the Adobe Marketing Cloud, building on to its acquisitions of Omniture, Day Software, Demdex, Autitude, and Efficient Frontier over the last four years.

Anyway, that concludes my take on the news for summer 2013. If I’ve missed or misunderstood anything significant please feel free to comment!

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