At Oracle’s Marketing Cloud Show, The Data Cloud Takes Center Stage

oracle cloud imgOracle Data Cloud has become a big business driver for Oracle’s CX Cloud Suite, which includes software for marketing, sales, commerce, social and customer service.

In the past 18 months, Data Cloud has also become a big acquirer, with deals for Moat, Crosswise and AddThis. And it has a strong presence even in announcements about Oracle’s execution software.

When Oracle released its “Adaptive Intelligent Apps” Wednesday at its Modern Marketing Experience conference in Las Vegas, the press release proclaimed how the products are “powered by insights from the Oracle Data Cloud.”

Product development and road mapping for the Marketing Cloud are becoming more involved with the Data Cloud, Marketing Cloud group product VP Steve Krause told AdExchanger. “The only reason that they’re separate is that the Data Cloud’s mission is to cross many different customer business needs, like B2B services or HR and recruiting.”

The portal between Oracle’s marketing and data clouds isn’t new – BlueKai was split into a Marketing Cloud-based DMP and a separate audience marketplace within the Data Cloud – but it’s seen as a promising way to expand existing accounts.

“We didn’t just get into the data business to sell data,” Krause said. “It was about making other parts of Oracle smarter and more appealing by having data.”

Focus on the Data Cloud comes back to marketing and all the other elements of Oracle’s cloud suite, company CEO Mark Hurd told AdExchanger in a press briefing on Tuesday.

“We look at that as a shared asset, the data assets,” Hurd said. “It gets you into this bigger conversation about customer experience and everything (clients) do across their business.”

There’s still a lot of untapped opportunity for integrating Data Cloud into other Oracle software.

Less than 10% of Oracle’s accounts involve “cross-process deals,” where Data Cloud elements are applied to sales, marketing, HR or other parts of a client’s organization, Hurd said.

While it’s clear Oracle still has a lot of cross-sell work to do, not everyone wants the Data Cloud to drive Oracle investments.

One customer who only uses Oracle’s Eloqua to extend and measure email campaigns is concerned about product and account resources dwindling if Oracle becomes laser-focused on the Data Cloud.

“We really are built into this one marketing cloud piece that’s ‘mature’ now, so the worry is [Oracle] stops thinking it needs much attention,” he said on background due to a nondisclosure agreement.

But others don’t believe Oracle will neglect its other cloud products.

“There are active smaller players in cloud automation, not to mention Marketo getting much more aggressive under a new CEO and Salesforce looking to undercut Oracle on price,” said Peter Isaacson, CMO of the B2B advertising firm Demandbase, which works with Oracle and other marketing cloud platforms. “With the level of competition in the space, Oracle isn’t going to put Marketing Cloud on cruise control anytime soon.”

But there are legitimate questions about the direction of Marketing Cloud since its regime change last year. Oracle spent more than $3 billion in acquisitions (Vitrue, Eloqua, Responsys, BlueKai and others) to put it together.

Is it still a stack that Oracle believes can drive value standing on its own, or does Oracle plan on using it as a means to sell other software clouds within its suite?

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