Less than a week removed from its acquisition of cloud-based construction and engineering firm Textura for $663 million, Oracle has announced another purchase to expand its cloud offerings. Oracle said it will acquire Opower, "the leading provider of customer engagement and energy efficiency cloud services to utilities" for an estimated $532 million, net of Opower's cash. The deal is expected to close this year, pending shareholder approval and standard closing conditions.

Once it adds Opower's customer base of "over 100 global utilities" serving 60 million consumers via its cloud-based, big data analytic solutions, Oracle will be the "largest provider of mission-critical cloud services" in the utilities industry. As per Oracle, the utilities cloud market is valued at $2.3 trillion.

Oracle's deal for Opower is in line with its ongoing efforts to focus on specific, fast-growing niche industries within the cloud market. Like its deal for Textura, bringing Opower into the fold positions Oracle as a leader in one of the earliest industries to adopt cloud computing, as its market size indicates.

Oracle isn't at the top of the cloud provider list currently, but as demonstrated last quarter -- and reinforced with its recent acquisitions -- co-CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd intend to change that. Much of Oracle's last quarterly earnings announcement and conference call on March 15 centered on its cloud results -- and for good reason.

Oracle's hardware sales declined 13% to $1.1 billion in its fiscal 2016 third quarter, but a 57% jump in cloud software and platform sales to $583 million, and another $152 million in cloud infrastructure revenue more than made up for that. Oracle may have been late to the cloud party, but as its recent industry-specific cloud deals make clear, it intends to make up for lost time.

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Tim Brugger has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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