Oracle Corp. is broadening its plans to become a one-stop-shop for cloud services beyond large enterprises to the midmarket with the launch of a new platform that bundles three of the top operational capabilities on the CIO’s wishlist under a unified contract. It’s touted as a simpler alternative to cobbling together disparate solutions from different vendors.
Ensuring consistency across the mission-critical workloads that Oracle is targeting is a major hassle even for its biggest customers, let alone midsize outfits that don’t have nearly as much resources to spare for manual integration. And that’s not even counting the other chores involved in such projects, most notably implementing the necessary security mechanisms.
The aptly-named Oracle Applications Cloud offers organizations to swap that hassle for a ready bundle of business services. The first item in the lineup is a customer relationship management system based on the database giant’s enterprise-oriented CRM on Demand suite that is positioned as an alternative to Salesforce.com.
The core value proposition is the same, down to the promise of helping to increase collaboration between marketing and sales teams. The main difference is the fact that the service comes fully integrated with the other items in the package: Oracle’s human capital management and enterprise resource planning offerings.
Salesforce.com likewise offers native workforce administration capabilites, but the company relies mainly on partners to provide the latter functionality through their own external services, which are a few degrees short of the level of integration that Oracle promises with its new platform. The database giant hopes that its edge will be enough to win over customers.
And sure enough, a number of midsize organizations have already jumped aboard the bandwagon. T.H. March, a U.K.-based insurance broker, claims to have realized “huge benefits in customer retention” thanks to Oracle’s services. But it still very much remains to be seen whether the vendor’s all-in-one offering will be able to attract enough customers fast enough to make up for the rapidly declining sales of its on-premise software.