Saturday, February 9, 2013

Eloqua and Oracle

It was announced on Friday that Oracle has closed the purchase of Eloqua.  So what does it mean for us Eloqua users?  Naturally, we hear grand plans and promise of great things to come.  I think we're all a bit skeptical or maybe it's just me.  It seems that when a behomouth like Oracle buys a relatively small company like Eloqua, the software gets absorbed or even lost amongst the huge offering of the big company.    Oracle already purchased Market2Lead a while ago.  What happened to that one?  Adobe bought Omniture.  IBM bought Unica, TeaLead and CoreMetrics.  Microsoft bought CoreMetrics.

Is it possible that Oracle swallows Eloqua into one of their other systems and now, instead of paying $50,000 per year, we are paying $500,000 per year to keep the same technology?  One thing we may be sure of is that Oracle didn't buy Eloqua to benefit Eloqua users, they bought it because they foresee a way to leverage the technology to make more profit.  Oracle is not interested in the SMB market.  It's likely that Oracle isn't going to continue offering Eloqua as it is offered today.  There's just not enough volume or profit in it to be of interest to Oracle.  Oracel with it's $37 billion dollar revenue stream is not interested in maintaining Eloqua and it's relatively meager $95.8 million dollar revenue stream.  You can be sure some other plan is in the works.

The effect on existing Eloqua users will occur at some point.  The question is how much will it cost us and when will we get the bill.   Cynical?  Perhaps.   Realistic?  We'll see.

Oracle, Adobe, SAP and their ilk aren't really interested in the SMB market.  Perhaps the consolidation that seems to be occurring will force small and medium size companies to the likes of Marketo or Genius for example.  Or, perhaps this opens the door for salesforce.com to bring in a full marketing automation suite.

One thing is sure, it will be interesting.