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5/1/2014
09:16 AM
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Oracle Lets Customers Shift Money To Cloud Apps

Oracle unveils new Marketing Cloud and "Customer 2 Cloud" plan that lets enterprises convert on-premises investments to the cloud.



Oracle rolled out its new Oracle Marketing Cloud at a flashy event in New York City on Wednesday night, but it also announced a new "Customer 2 Cloud" plan that will be of interest to a far broader swath of would-be cloud customers.

For those running Oracle Siebel, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, or JD Edwards EnterpriseOne applications on-premises, the Customer 2 Cloud plan will let customers "use their existing on-premises support spend to adopt Oracle Customer Experience Cloud and Oracle Human Capital Management Cloud services within the same product family," Oracle said in a statement.

That means those 22% per-year fees spent keeping Siebel deployments running could be shifted to paying for cloud-based alternatives in Oracles Marketing, Sales, or Service clouds. And ERP system support could be shifted to the Oracle Human Resources Cloud or Talent Management Cloud.

[ Want more on more on the competition? Read Adobe Takes On Marketing Rivals. ]

"This program aims to remove the financial and integration challenges that can impact a company’s adoption of these modern innovations and accelerate their journey to Oracle Cloud," said Rod Johnson, group VP, Oracle Applications and Industries Solutions Group, in the statement.

The integration challenges will be addressed by Cloud Express services that will accelerate cloud adoption and by packaged integrations between Oracle's most popular on-premises and cloud applications that will support cloud and hybrid deployment, Oracle stated.

Oracle isn't the first software vendor to enable customers to convert on-premises investments to the cloud. SAP, for example, has previously announced the ability to convert existing licenses to subscriptions. But this is the first plan from Oracle to, as the company put it, "re-direct existing Oracle Applications investments toward Oracle Cloud solutions in a way that strategically makes sense."

Oracle's growing Marketing Cloud incorporates recent acquisitions including BlueKai, Compendium (content marketing), and Responsys.
Oracle's growing Marketing Cloud incorporates recent acquisitions including BlueKai, Compendium (content marketing), and Responsys.

The Oracle Marketing Cloud plan rolled out Wednesday incorporates recent acquisitions including Responsys, BlueKai, and Compendium and older acquisitions including Eloqua and Vitrue. Acknowledging that there are "five or six" big tech companies investing in marketing technology, Oracle senior VP and Makerting Cloud general manager Kevin Akeroyd said the difference in success among these companies will be in the quality of the integrations they can build.

"We can all buy [companies] and say 'I've got more toys on the shelf,' but the best integrator, not the best acquirer, will be the one that extends its lead," Akeroyd said.

It's easy to guess that Akeroyd had Adobe, IBM, Microsoft, SAS, and Salesforce.com in mind, but there are plenty of other tech firms, including Infor, Teradata, and SAP, that have at least some investment in marketing technology. Oracle's Marketing Cloud integration work has only just begun, acknowledged company president Mark Hurd in a kick-off speech at Wednesday's event, but he promised deep integration as well as big investments in research and development.

"We're going to drive this business, so we have to continue to add to the depth and breadth of our capabilities," Hurd said. "This is now a big business for us, representing hundreds of millions of dollars in cloud revenue, so it's a material part of Oracle."

Customers including Comcast, Jetblue, Verizon Enterprise, and Wiley media were on hand at the event and shared accounts of improved automation, personalization, clickthrough rates, and conversions using Oracle's technology.  Akeroyd promised that Oracle's integration work would allow customers to "get rid of more than we ask you to invest in," promising an end to disparate and disconnected marketing tools.

Too many companies treat digital and mobile strategies as pet projects. Here are four ideas to shake up your company. Also in the Digital Disruption issue of InformationWeek: Six enduring truths about selecting enterprise software. (Free registration required.)

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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