Oracle Unveils Data Cloud with Social and Marketing Services

Acquisition of BlueKai Audience Data Marketplace pays off with product designed to help enterprises target customers.

A new cloud service from Oracle Corp. was launched this week, initially providing data services for enterprise marketing and social-related initiatives.

The Oracle Data Cloud Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) offering will fuel "the next revolution in how applications can be more useful to people," the company said.

The new data service takes advantage of Oracle's acquisition of the BlueKai Audience Data Marketplace, which has been combined with other Oracle data products.

The BlueKai service -- which is the world's largest third-party data marketplace, according to the company -- supplies data from more than 200 data providers to provide information such as buyers' past and intended purchases, customer demographics and lifestyle interests, along with much more.

The first services in the cloud include Oracle DaaS for Marketing and Oracle DaaS for Social.

The marketing service -- available through a new subscription model -- "gives marketers access to a vast and diverse array of anonymous user-level data across offline, online and mobile data sources," Oracle said. "Data is gathered from trusted and validated sources to support privacy and security compliance." It uses data from more than 1 billion global profiles to help organizations with large-scale prospecting and deliverance of targeted advertising across online, mobile, search, social and video mechanisms.

The social product -- now in limited availability, bundled with the Oracle Social Cloud -- "delivers categorization and enrichment of unstructured social and enterprise data, providing unprecedented intelligence on customers, competitors, and market trends." It uses data from more the more than 700 million social messages produced each day on millions of social media and news data sites. The service allows for sophisticated text analysis to extract useful and contextual information from the unstructured data.

Oracle exec Thomas Kurian yesterday provide more details in a webcast in which he explained how DaaS fits into overall Oracle strategy, a key tenet of which is combining data from internal and external sources for more useful applications.

"By combining a unified view of data from multiple applications, and enriching data from within a company with data from outside of the company's boundaries, and then bringing that data into a variety of different applications, we believe that applications can be much more useful to organizations, and that people will find that they can make decisions with these applications in a much more useful way," Kurian said.

 DaaS in the as-a-service stack: data abstracted from application.
[Click on image for larger view.]DaaS in the as-a-service stack: data abstracted from application. (source: Ovum)

Kurian provided several example use cases:

  • Marketers can not only use a marketing automation system, but know who to target with marketing campaigns.
  • Salespeople can not just use a salesforce automation application, but know which people to target as leads or prospects.
  • Recruiters can use not just a recruiting application to hire people, but know which people are the best candidates for a particular job.
  • Supply chain people can know which vendors to work with because they have a better view of which vendors and what profile and delivery practices they have.

The news elicited positive reactions from some industry analysts, who emphasized the competitive advantage the Oracle Data Cloud might be able to provide.

"IDC sees data as a service as an emerging category that addresses the needs of businesses in real-time to tap into a wide array of external data sources and optimize the results to drive unique insights and informed action," Oracle quoted IDC analyst Robert Mahowald as saying. "Oracle Data as a Service is addressing this need with a suite of data solutions that focus on scale, data portability, and security that help customers gain a competitive advantage through the use of data."

Ovum analyst Tom Pringle echoed that sentiment in a quote provided by Oracle: "With Oracle's comprehensive and distinctive framework of data ingestion, value extraction, rights management, and data activation, Oracle Data Cloud can help enterprises across multiple industries and channels generate competitive advantage through the use of data." Oracle also provided a detailed analysis of DaaS written by Pringle.

Oracle said it plans to extend the DaaS framework to other business lines -- sales, for example -- and to vertical data solutions.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for 1105 Media.

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