Eye on Oracle

Jan 3 2013   6:35PM GMT

Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water…

Lena Weiner Lena Weiner Profile: Lena Weiner

Oracle’s gone and done it again. Just when small cloud-based firms think it’s safe to go in the water, Oracle does their best imitation of Jaws and gobbles them right up.

This time, the victim is Eloqua, a multi-national, formerly publically held cloud marketing and marketing automation firm. Eloqua enables users to track the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across different kinds of media and weigh the interest of different sales leads. All the usual talking heads seem to agree that Eloqua was a great catch for Oracle, as marketing is anticipated to take up a large part of the content management industry. Business intelligence is just part of marketing’s job nowadays. It’s going to be important, even for giants like Oracle, to have the best brains and best technology ready to go in the BI, social CRM and online marketing spaces. Also, online marketing being a growing field, it makes perfect sense for Oracle to start beefing up on that front right now. Additionally, Eloqua had a very impressive client list, including household names as Comcast, Johnson & Johnson and Harvard Business Publishing. It’s not like Oracle was hurting for clients or anything, but being able to cross sell to some of these folks almost certainly caused dreams of sugar plums to dance in Larry Ellison’s head. True, Eloqua’s expenditures have been higher than income over the past few years, but with Oracle’s capital, that will be so inconsequential, we can pretty much just forget about it.

The strongest motivator for Oracle, though? Oracle wants to be able to compete with (and beat) Salesforce.  Salesforce and Oracle compete directly in CRM and social sales, and Oracle knows that they must develop an edge in order to outmaneuver their rival. While their recent acquisitions gave them a pretty nice cloud portfolio, this addition rounds out their competitiveness in the growing field of online marketing. Well played, Oracle, well played.

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