Oracle merging its marketing software into a tighter-knit suite

The vendor has built up its Marketing Cloud through a series of acquisitions

After spending billions to acquire a series of marketing-related software companies, Oracle is now undergoing the process of creating a unified suite it can take to battle against competing offerings from the likes of Salesforce.com and Microsoft.

Oracle bought marketing automation vendor Eloqua in December 2012, followed by more recent deals for Compendium, maker of content marketing software, and Responsys, which focuses on business-to-consumer marketing campaigns.

Product teams from each company are working to eventually align release cycles for all of the products on a roughly quarterly basis, said John Stetic, vice president of products for Eloqua.

The Compendium deal has closed and its software has been added to Oracle's Marketing Cloud family, Stetic said. Oracle is also rolling out a series of updates to Eloqua, including improved and easier-to-use tools for creating campaigns, better language support and new analytics that give marketers a sense of how their campaigns are doing.

Marketing has become one of the hottest areas in enterprise software as companies try to reach customers and leads across an increasingly complex digital landscape.

Oracle is trying to differentiate itself from the pack on a number of fronts, according to Stetic. One is the "openness of our platform," he said.

Oracle will make it purposely easy for companies to build integrations between the Marketing Cloud and other data sources or enterprise applications, Stetic added.

In addition, Oracle's tools can give companies "the most complete view of the customer," with advanced collection of attributes and their online behavior, he said.

While chief marketing officers are increasingly buying software like Eloqua directly, Oracle has a sales pitch for IT departments as well, with features such as single-sign on and role-based access control.

Moreover, marketers can be trained on how to use Eloqua and other applications to create campaigns in just a few days, Stetic said. This is a change from the past, when marketers with an idea for a campaign had to "get into IT's queue" in order to have it executed, he added.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Tags EloquaSalesforce.comSAPit strategysoftwarebest practicesApplication servicesIT managementOracleservicesoutsourcingMicrosoft

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