Assessing Eloqua and Oracle

  • 21-Dec-2012

Yesterday Oracle announced its acquisition of Marketing Automation vendor Eloqua, pending final closure some time next year.

Pundits will likely praise Oracle's ambitions here. Along with previous acquisitions in adjacent technologies, the vendor can now check off a variety of functional boxes. Enterprisey Oracle has become a (modest) force in Digital Marketing technology.

That's nice for their salespeople, who will come to your office with more goodies to ply, but what does it really offer you the customer?

Not much.

Oracle is no closer to assembling a coherent suite of tools than IBM or Adobe, two other vendors who have gone on peripatetic acquisition sprees. As subscribers to our Digital Marketing evaluation research know, Eloqua's offering has manifold weaknesses and strengths. It's a comparatively high-end system, too complex for many use cases, and therefore potentially out of sync with some of Oracle's other acqusitions.

Like IBM, Oracle is already struggling to align its Portal, Search, WCXM, and CRM offerings -- many of which came via acquisition. LIkewise, Oracle's snazzy new moniker of "Customer Experience Cloud" conceals a motley collection of SaaS platforms that brings you no closer to an end-to-end marketing environment than before.

In short, it's way too early to declare yourself an "Oracle shop" -- or an IBM, Adobe, or Salesforce "shop" -- for your marketing and customer-facing systems. My advice: continue to evaluate Digital Marketing platforms on their individual merits, rather than their institutional owners.