Are enterprise software companies all about the software suite? That may have been truer in the past. Software as a service allows customers to more easily pick and choose what they want and, as a result, even the largest companies like Oracle have been forced to become a bit more nimble.
Customers come to businesses from a variety of places, and it's up to those companies to guide them to paying, loyal customers. Naturally, Oracle and other enterprise companies have been buying up the requisite technologies they feel they need to do this faster and cheaper.
It takes years to tightly integrate enterprise systems, and Oracle is doing that now with Eloqua, which it bought late last year. It would be folly to think every Oracle system will be touched by Eloqua. So far, Oracle social and sales clouds have been integrated, and now the Eloqua team is working to integrate its own acquisition, a content marketing tool called Compendium. More on that in a minute.
While Eloqua works to integrate Compendium, Oracle is working on getting its customers excited about Eloqua, and Eloqua customers are no doubt hearing about Oracle's many other systems and services. Oracle customers are likely accustomed to this, and Eloqua customers perhaps less so. Just how much cross pollination between the two is a bit nebulous, but we did learn there are a host of Oracle social customers that are not yet using Eloqua's marketing automation tools yet.
At the Eloqua Experience conference in San Francisco, many Oracle customers were likely getting a first look at Eloqua, and also some Eloqua customers probably scoping out more Oracle tools. What they saw was a freshly integrated Oracle Social Cloud with Eloqua's automation tools.
Oracle social customers will likely be eyeing Eloqua's ability to track unknown prospects that hit their websites, and Eloqua customers will benefit from Oracle resources that let it buy companies like Compendium.
Producing multi channel content will be done in Eloqua with Compendium, including features like targeting by personas.
Oracle Customers Can Look to the AppCloud
Beyond the Compendium, Oracle social and Oracle sales integrations, the Eloqua team has yet to fully flesh out its integration plans, technology wise. However, customers who are looking for other integrations need to look no further than the Eloqua AppCloud for the tools they want to connect.
There are now more than 100 apps for things like video and web content management, as well as webinar and event tools. All the data those connectors generate gets plugged into Eloqua, and that data can then be used to further segment and personalize campaigns across channesl. Many are free, but some of the vendors charge for connecting their services.
Either way, customers who need to connect Eloqua to their CMS, for example, don't have to wait for a deeply integrated system to develop and can do so right from the cloud. As more and more tools get added to the AppCloud, we will likely see which types of companies are using what kinds of tools.
The reason: apps won't get built if there is no demand, so if we see a proliferation of video apps, it's a good bet it means more and more marketers are investing in video. We were interested in finding out about content management systems, of course, and we asked around the conference to see what Oracle's plans are for integrating its own Web CMS, WebCenter Sites into Eloqua.
For now, there doesn't seem to be concrete plans to develop a tight integration with WebCenter Sites, according to John Stetic, VP products at Oracle Eloqua. That sentiment was echoed by a couple of Eloqua sales and service people we chatted with on the exhibition floor.
Demand for such an integration appears to be low and when it does come time to integrate, it sounds like it will be an AppCloud app rather than a deeper integration, Stetic hinted. That makes sense, but it also echoes a bit of what the recent Gartner MQ for Web Content Management reported about WebCenter Sites. Oracle is seeing its market decline for WebCenter Sites in the last year at least in part becuase it doesn't seem to be making much noise about it outside its own customer base, Gartner found.
The same trend appears to be at work here as well as there don't seem to be many WebCenter Sites integrations with Eloqua at all in the customer base. Over the next year, as Eloqua integrates with Compendium and whatever other tools Oracle customers are demanding, we'll be curious to see what direction the company goes with tools like Sites.