The future is in the cloud. Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) has acknowledged this reality and is spending some of its cash hoard to position itself to compete with the horde of cloud software providers chipping away at its market share.

Oracle

The recent roll-out of several new cloud software products and a revamping of their marketing strategy is just the first salvo in Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s move into the cloud. Although Oracle has already snapped up half a dozen smaller companies this year, rumor has it the company also has its eye on several other small and mid-tier cloud software players.

Responsys acquisition by Oracle

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s most recent target is Responsys Inc (NASDAQ:MKTG), a rapidly growing cloud marketing software company. The $27 a share, $1.5 billion deal was just announced this morning. The offer of $27 per share represents a 38% premium to the company’s closing price yesterday. Responsys shares were hovering around $27 Friday morning.

Responsys Inc (NASDAQ:MKTG) went public less than three years ago in December 2011. The company got off to a slow start, with shares dropping below $6 at one point, but Responsys has bounced back strongly over the last few quarters and share prices were approaching all-time highs even before today’s buyout announcement.

Company statements

The board of Responsys Inc (NASDAQ:MKTG) has approved the offer and supports the buyout. “Responsys has always been focused on helping marketers realize their largest opportunity — coordinating their marketing touch points across channels, across the customer lifecycle, and across industries,” according to Dan Springer, the CEO of Responsys. “As a part of Oracle, we will only accelerate our efforts.”

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL)’s president Mark Hurd was also enthusiastic about the deal. “Our strategy of combining the leaders across complementary technologies signifies Oracle’s overwhelming commitment to winning and serving the C.M.O. [chief marketing officer] better than any other software company in the world.”

Responsys Inc (NASDAQ:MKTG) shareholders will vote on the buyout in Q1 2014. Oracle is trading at $36.74, up 14 cents, at 11:35 AM EST Friday.