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Is the Next Big Gamification Acquisition Imminent?

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Oracle might be in the market for a gamification acquisition now that Oracle has joined Bunchball’s board of advisors. This news follows a very recent article from Gigaom, in which Chief Product Officer and Founder of Bunchball, Rajat Paharia, said that big gamification acquisitions will be happening very soon by the ”SAPs, Oracles, Microsofts and Salesforces of the world”. Then 3 weeks later, a person from Oracle becomes a founding member of Bunchball’s advisory board. Bunchball’s deepening relations with Oracle combined with Bunchball’s increased focus into the enterprise-gamification space means that Rajat’s predictions might have more weight than it sounds.

Enterprise software vendors have to be looking at gamification vendors due to the increasingly prevalent consumerization of the workplace. Both the iPad and Yammer have come to workspace ubiquity from this ground-up introduction and given Gen-Y’s susceptibility and this generation’s increasing exposure to gamification, employees will increasingly want gamification implementation. Oracle’s increased participation on behalf of Bunchball could be recognition of this trend.

Bunchball has already made their first enterprise connection with Salesforce but it is still in its early days. Gamification implementation still isn’t strategic enough for large firms and in fact, many of the leading gamification vendors might actually be too large or valuable to be bought out at this point. The Oracles and SAPs might just seek to “acquahire” some of the smaller gamification vendors coming into the space.  In an interview with Gabe Zichermann, he stated:

I would expect the first real acquisition to happen in 2013. Gamification will become a strategic senior level strategy at many of these companies, and in the next 2 – 3 years, gamification will be a strategy at most companies in general.

Bunchball is still the most likely candidate for acquisition at this point and we might see this taking place within the next 3 – 6 months. Gamification is still growing strong and in 2013, we’ll be seeing some major changes in the enterprise-gamification space.

 

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