FatWire will help put Oracle in front of customers

June 22, 2011, 4:28 PM UTC
Image representing Fatwire as depicted in Crun...
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FORTUNE — Oracle’s (ORCL)  acquisition of FatWire is all about the company putting itself in front of end customers. That is, it’s more or less a retail play.

FatWire is a “customer experience management company,” which means that it helps businesses make their online services work better. Its products include content management, community forums, mobile platforms and the like. ReadWriteWeb says Oracle is “deepening its investments in the world of customer-facing Web experiences as company Web sites move towards replacing the telephone as the most important means of contact with a company.” That site also speculates that Oracle is buying FatWire in response to similar moves by Adobe (ADBE), which acquired Day Software last year.

Oracle’s last acquisition was of e-commerce company ATG.

Oracle says that with FatWire it will help companies “drive customer retention and loyalty through improved online engagement – across Web, mobile and social channels.” (Though ReadWriteWeb notes that FatWire is weak on social media.)

Look for Oracle to integrate FatWire into its Oracle Customer Relationship Management suite of products. It’s not clear whether Oracle really wanted FatWire’s tech, or if they’re more interested in “acqhiring” the FatWire team — a trend among startups, most prominently Facebook, who have been purchasing smaller firms in order to retain their engineering talent. FatWire has been in the news before, as last year EMC (EMC) was rumored to be interested in picking the company up, a deal that never happened. Instead, they signed an agreement to partner up on some projects, and it’s unclear how Oracle’s acquisition of FatWire might affect that. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.