Oracle has bought mobile workforce management firm TOA Technologies to add offerings that link field operations workers with customer service teams. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
The deal will bring TOA Technologies’ enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution together with Oracle’s Service Cloud and enterprise resource planning apps.
Counting companies such as E.ON, Telefonica, Virgin Media and Vodafone as its clients, TOA’s SaaS manage over 120 million service events a year across more than 20 countries.
No doubt Oracle will be keen to integrate its own products with those of TOA to capitalise on that client base as it looks to build its cloud offerings.
TOA Technologies says its services give clients the ability to improve the “last mile” of customer services, by organising and optimising the activities between call centres, employees in the field and a company’s customers.
This is achieved by using its products to monitor customer service requests coming in from call centres and ensure the request and dispatch of field service workers is handled in a streamlined fashion, it said.
Analytics work alongside these services to help businesses monitor and view their inventories, optimise service operations and accurately predict service windows. All of which aims to save time and money while helping them provide good customer service.
David Vap, group vice president at Oracle Product Development, believes that companies need to have a compelling approach to customer service and core to that is co-ordinating the interactions between call centres and customer-facing service employees.
With the combination of Oracle and TOA’s services, Vap believes this can be achieved and field service teams can be “operated more efficiently and at lower cost”.
V3 approached Oracle for more details on the deal but the company declined to comment.
Michael Maoz, vice principal of CRM Research at Gartner told V3 the purchase of TOA Technologies is a great move for Oracle and “makes perfect sense” as it snapped up the company before rivals IBM or SAP could.
“Oracle’s made a smart decision to get TOA at the right price and time,” said Maoz.
When asked what Oracle stands to gain from TOA, Maoz said that the company already has similar advanced workforce scheduling tools but needed TOA to push those services into the cloud, rather than trying to setup its own cloud-model from scratch.
He added: “The nice thing about integrating middleware is it’s faster than sitting and trying to write all the code when someone else has done it for you.”
However, Maoz added that Oracle faces competition in the market from Salesforce, which also has a workforce management service courtesy of ClickWorkforce. Maoz explained that Salesforce was faster to the market with a more focused offering, while in contrast Oracle is “a much larger entity pushing a broader product”.
Recently, several corporate deals and moves have carried out by major enterprise software and services providers to bolster their offerings with various analytical and service-orientated features.
SAP joined forces with Esri to offer its clients the scope to view their business operations on a map and identify areas of improvement in real time. Salesforce on the other hand updated its Journey Builder cloud marketing tools, acquired in 2013 from ExactTarget, with cloud-powered analytics to help marketers track their campaigns.