Eloqua acquisition a step in right direction . . . for Oracle
Oracle buying Eloqua for $871 million is a BIG deal. A big deal that is good for those who own Eloqua stock (as my colleague Robert Rose said, “Merry Christmas Eloqua employees”), but maybe not something to toast if you are an Eloqua customer. Time will tell that tale.
With this announcement, Oracle joins other vendors, big and small, who have seen the future, and that success for Web Content Management (as customer engagement) now includes marketing automation (MA) functionality. Sitecore. Kentico. Elcom. IBM. These are just a few to recognize that the rise in MA popularity is not going to end any time soon, and that marketers want to use this technology to not only manage the channel, but the messages being pushed out through those channels as well. To do this effectively and efficiently they have to move away from the multitude of disparate platforms (that often don’t talk to each other), to an integrated, complete online marketing solution – which has to include web content management capabilities.
Become a contender
Oracle has clearly set a path to become a cloud-contender. Along with its other acquisitions – Vitrue, Taleo and RightNow Technologies – the addition of Eloqua gives them a pretty complete set of cloud-based software.
Add FatWire to the mix, and there isn’t much Oracle can’t do – in theory. But integration, and just how well they can do it, is now the question at hand. This is where current Eloqua customers should get antsy. With it now in Oracle’s broad portfolio, things are only going to get more complicated for existing Eloqua customers like HP, Comcast, LinkedIn and Box as Oracle tries to integrate its newest toolset into its customer experience go-to-market strategy by “augmenting” the platform with its own applications and technologies. If Oracle can get this right, and that is a big IF, it will be a real boost to its customers and their ability to connect with their target markets.
Who is next?
Speculation is that Salesforce.com and Adobe both have their eye on Marketo, but with today’s $871 million dollar deal, and even with their profitability in question, the price tag for Marketo likely just went up.