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Posted by Rob Brosnan on April 25, 2013
"Logan: That's the way things are. The way things have always been."
In Redwood City this week, the answer I heard from Oracle was an emphatic yes. At Oracle's Industry Analyst World, the company stressed its cloud bonafides against Salesforce, IBM, and SAP with its new Customer Experience (CX) Suite. The CX Suite is a horizontal offering, assembled primarily from acquisitions, newly rechristened as Oracle Marketing (Eloqua), Oracle Commerce (ATG, Endeca), Oracle Sales (Oracle CRM On Demand), Oracle Service (RightNow), Oracle Social (Collective Intellect, Vitrue, Involver), and Oracle Content (Fatwire).
The Software as a Service (SaaS) suite promises to deliver a lower total cost of ownership, easier integration, and faster time to value for a business looking to streamline its enterprise software providers. While Oracle's approach is to lead with SaaS, it also promotes an Enhance, Augment, Migrate strategy, enabling existing customers to extend an on-premises deployment --- think Siebel Loyalty --- with one or more CX products, say Eloqua's email delivery capabilities.
So what does it mean for Eloqua? Marketers using or considering Eloqua should recognize that Oracle:
So Oracle Marketing finally gives the company the ability to go after B2C marketers? If you're a Siebel marketing or loyalty customer, perhaps your eyebrows are steadily climbing your forehead? We've seen this story before, and Teradata is still trying to figure out how to position, support, and grow its Casanova-like conquest of campaign management products (Teradata Relationship Manager, Aprimo Marketing Studio, and eCircle).
Oracle takes a reasonable-for-the-moment position on Siebel and Eloqua. Essentially, it boils down to two common use cases (see the table below). First, Oracle will direct B2C marketers who want on-premises software to Siebel, and second, B2B marketers who want SaaS product, will go to Eloqua. A less common case, B2B marketers who need an on-premises application will stay with Siebel.
|On-Premises Delivery||SaaS Delivery|
What about that upper right quadrant? What should B2C marketers who want to move to the cloud do? Lacking a definitive position from Oracle, the best I can say is, it depends: perhaps you'll choose to augment your Siebel solution with Eloqua for email delivery, or perhaps you'll migrate to Eloqua in order to focus on marketing automation over traditional batch campaigns. And perhaps that's good enough.
Oracle only announced the Eloqua acquisition 5 months ago. Siebel and Eloqua product management teams are, quite literally, just getting to know each other. These teams each have their roadmaps to execute against, so building a third roadmap, a common path for both, is a not a top priority yet. But there are clear signs that Oracle will need to address it sooner or later. Oracle must:
For the time being anyway. Other marketing technology vendors are gearing up to run this race. Firms an acquisition or two away from changing the course of the race. Hurry up: consumers, running away from traditional campaigns, aren't going to wait for us to tiptoe around past technology offerings.
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