Oracle Buys Endeca: What it means

 

The eCommerce technology landscape continues to be reshaped in 2011. This morning the music stopped, and Endeca was sitting in the laps of Oracle, as they announced it has acquired the search, CXM, and BI* solution provider. This acquisition is a strong signal of Oracle’s focus on commerce and is a key piece in a larger puzzle.

Why did Oracle buy Endeca?

·         CXM. When Oracle bought Fatwire they cited the emerging CXM trend. But there was one problem, what was going to pull that all together with a strong, well-attributed, rich index of content, customer, and transactional data? Question answered as Endeca will fit in very nicely as a complement to ATG, Seibel, and Fatwire as a CXM solution to drive personalized, dynamic, contextual experiences across consumer/client touchpoints.

·         B2B. Endeca may be known as a search and guided navigation solution for B2C commerce sites, but it has a particularly strong value proposition for B2B companies with large complex product assortments – such as manufacturers and distributors across many industries. This acquisition will strengthen Oracle’s value proposition in B2B opportunities. Some may argue that search has been largely commoditized by Solr, but in these applications that is not yet the case. (That is evidenced by the combined success hybris and Endeca were enjoying together up to this point.) This acquisition will strengthen the Siebel, Oracle ERP, and ATG B2B offerings all together.

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Oracle Finally Gets Serious About Cloud, But It's IaaS, Not PaaS

 

After three days of cloudwashing, cloud-in-a-box and erector set private cloud musings at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco this week, CEO Larry Ellison chose day four to take the wraps off a legitimate move into cloud computing. 

Oracle Public Cloud is the unification of the company's long-struggling software-as-a-service (SaaS) portfolio with its Fusion applications transformation, all atop Oracle VM and Sun hardware. While Ellison spent much of his keynote taking pot shots at his former sales executive and now SaaS nemesis, Salesforce CEO Mark Benioff, the actual solution being delivered is more of a direct competitor to Amazon Web Services than Force.com. The strongest evidence is in Oracle's stance on multitenancy. Ellison adamantly shunned a tenancy model built on shared data stores and application models, which are key to the profitability of Salesforce.com (and most true SaaS and PaaS solutions), stating that security comes only through application and database isolation and tenancy through the hypervisor. Oracle will no doubt use its own Xen-based hypervisor, OracleVM rather than the enterprise standard VMware vSphere, but converting images between these platforms is quickly proving trivial.

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Are You Ready For A World Of Consumer-Managed Data?

It has been a few years since Forrester delved deeply into the issues surrounding consumer privacy, and in that time, an awful lot has changed:

  • Facebook Connect, Google ID, Yahoo Identity, and Sign In With Twitter have emerged as a whole new way of being recognized across a myriad of websites across the Net. As little as a decade ago, most adults online couldn’t have imagined the convenience of single sign-on.
  • At the same time, data capture methods have not only proliferated, they’ve become exceptionally sophisticated. Tactics like Flash-based cookies and deep packet sniffing surreptitiously collect behavioral data about online consumers, while loyalty and membership cards provide more insight into consumers’ purchasing habits at the line item level than ever before.
  • All that extra data is hard to protect without big changes to governance policies and technology stacks, and when data breaches happen, they're public and ugly.
  • Finally, legislators have forged ahead with regulations to protect consumer data. Europe's answer is the Data Protection Directive – a regulatory framework that governs the capture, management and use of consumer data, while in the US, congressional leaders, egged on by consumer advocacy groups, are introducing bills designed to limit data capture and to provide remediation in cases of data and security breach.
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