Oracle builds on BlueKai acquisition with Data Cloud

Let us do the heavy lifting when it comes to delivering consumer data, Oracle says

Oracle is combining its BlueKai consumer data aggregation platform with other parts of its catalog to create Oracle Data Cloud, a data-as-a-service offering aimed at companies that want to reach customers and prospects across multiple channels.

As part of Data Cloud, Oracle is offering two services. The first is Oracle DaaS for Marketing, a subscription-based product that provides access to large pools of anonymized user data.

Oracle is also introducing DaaS for Social, which "delivers categorization and enrichment of unstructured social and enterprise data, providing unprecedented intelligence on customers, competitors, and market trends," according to a statement.

The Data Cloud announcement comes several months after Oracle acquired BlueKai, which serves as a front door to more than 200 consumer data marts. With Data Cloud, Oracle intends to weave BlueKai's capabilities throughout its application portfolio, while also keeping its data streams open for use with third-party products.

Pricing wasn't disclosed for either service.

By pulling in consumer data from outside a company's IT infrastructure and enriching it with information from internal systems, "we believe applications can be much more useful," said Thomas Kurian, executive vice president of product development, during a webcast.

Kurian cited some obvious benefits, such as improved targeting for marketing campaigns and sales offers. But Oracle's data service can be useful in other areas as well, such as by helping an enterprise examine its supply chain and determine which companies would be best to partner with given their reputation among consumers, he said.

While every business can benefit from using consumer data in their operations, they're struggling to do so given difficulties such as verifying data quality and navigating increasingly complex legal, commercial and privacy issues, said Omar Tawakol, general manager and group vice president, Oracle Data Cloud.

While still in its early days, DaaS presents an opportunity for companies to "forklift this challenge out" to a third party with a demonstrable track record and expertise, said Tom Pringle, an Ovum analyst who participated on the webcast.

Oracle's platform provides access to more than 1 billion profiles and 700 million social messages each day from 40 million websites, according to a statement. It ingests data, extracts the key values from it, handles rights management and privacy issues, and then delivers it to customers for use in applications, Oracle said

The average user profile has about 50 attributes, Tawakol said. "It's incredibly rich data."

While other vendors have long collected business contact and user profile data, "this is real time," said Steve Miranda, Oracle's executive vice president of application development. "The traditional services collect it and at some point, end of month, end of quarter, [they] pass it along."

Oracle's approach also provides much more accurate targeting. Rather than providing lists of prospects who might be generally interested in electronics or vacations, users can find people who are not only interested in those products, but actively shopping for them, Miranda said.

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

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