Oracle has just come good on the BlueKai acquisition, but probably not in a way anyone really expected.
Yes, Oracle was going to use BlueKai’s database of 700 million consumer profiles to improve its marketing technology. But Oracle has taken this one step further and is using it to improve the performance of all its data-centric applications.
Oracle will do this through its newly released Oracle Data Cloud, a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform that enables business users drive more competitive action from their data. For data junkies, it also offers the potential of unsiloed access to data located inside and outside the enterprise.
Oracle’s BlueKai Acquisition
This release stands on the shoulders of BlueKai, which Oracle bought for a relative pittance in March. At the time, it was estimated that the price tag was in the region of $400 million, which is really just small change for Oracle.
However, the potential of the deal, even at that stage, was seen to be enormous. The buy was focused on Oracle’s personalized marketing programs and the customer experience. Omar Tawakol, then CEO of BlueKai, said his company's products "convert fragmented and disparate marketing data into high-performance results for companies.”
He also said that the Data Management Platform (DMP) keeps the customer and audience data in the cloud to target marketing campaigns and deliver better results.
In short, BlueKai is one of the largest providers of data that help provide those super-targeted ads you see in your browser. Four months later and BlueKai has emerged again with a lot more muscle and the potential to reach into every corner of the enterprise and then some.
Omar Tawakol has also been reborn as General Manager of Oracle Data Cloud and launched the new DaaS last night.
Data’s Value Proposition
In a webcast about the new services he said that the unique value proposition in the product is that it separates data from any one specific application and create standalone solutions that plug into any application.
Data is the connective tissue that helps enterprises gain competitive advantage, and Oracle DaaS lets companies use data fully without having to first clear the many underlying platform hurdles," Tawakol said.
Oracle DaaS for Business offers a licensing model where data is provided as a cloud service. The data is portable to applications, which run independently of the data services they rely on.
We're making it so that any application can tap into our data service," he said. "Think of Oracle DaaS as a data aggregator somewhat like NASDAQ, in the sense that data from a whole range of sources flows through the service at Oracle, from B2B to social to transaction and commerce sites — to the tune of several billion profiles a month."
Building On RDB Strategy
Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of product development at Oracle, explained that the release is just the latest development in what he described as Oracle’s “heritage in data management.”
He also pointed out that the development of DaaS was an extension of Oracle’s Relational Database (RDB) strategy over many years.
The core value proposition of the RDB is the following: that you could store and manage information in a database separated from a particular application and allow multiplied applications to access a shared piece of data. If you look at what has happened over many years, applications have evolved and today they have many pieces of information buried inside the applications.”
The other thing that has happened is that the amount of data that is outside the enterprise and which can enrich data sets inside the enterprise has grown dramatically.
This is where DaaS comes in. Kurian says that Oracle aims to offer enterprises three basic abilities that will make their data more useful and efficient:
- Separate the data from applications so it doesn’t become siloed
- Enrich data by incorporating data sets from outside the enterprise.
- Enriching business processes with better data sets.
The result, Kurian says, is that marketers can not only use their marketing systems to build campaigns, but also know who to target in their marketing campaigns.
We believe this is the next revolution in how applications can become more useful to people, by enriching their business processes not only data that is in their applications already, but also by data from outside the enterprises boundary."
Oracle Data Cloud
So what do you get with Oracle Data Cloud? Oracle Data Cloud includes Oracle Data as a Service for Marketing (Oracle DaaS for Marketing) and Oracle Data as a Service for Social (Oracle DaaS for Social).
Oracle DaaS for Marketing, which is available in new subscription model – Oracle hasn’t outlined the model in detail — gives marketers access to a vast and diverse array of anonymous user-level data across offline, online, and mobile data sources.
According to a statement from Oracle, data is gathered from trusted and validated sources to support privacy and security compliance.
For it’s part, Oracle DaaS for Social is still only in limited release but offers the possibility of enriching social and enterprise data, including intelligence on customers, competitors, and market trends.
It offers insights derived from more than 700 million social messages daily, across more than 40 million social media and news data sites
The combined result is that users will be able to connect with data sources inside and outside the enterprise for smarter decision making. Those data sources are also bundled with the commercial, compliance, and privacy rights required for usage.
It goes without saying that this is only the tip of the iceberg in what is a substantial release for Oracle. It also feeds into a growing business in DaaS, which Gartner identified two years ago as one of the emerging markets in information management.
This is not just about information or data management though. This is about any application that feeds off data and Oracle is positioning itself to be one of the top players in this emerging market.