Oracle Buys Big Data Platform BlueKai to Extend Marketing Cloud

Oracle has signed an agreement to acquire BlueKai, a cloud-based big data platform that specializes in mobile marketing campaign personalization for online and offline campaigns by providing marketers with more actionable information on targeted consumers. With integrations for both the B2B and B2C solutions that Oracle offers, the acquisition has several implications for the vendor's position in the marketing automation space.

"Like for almost all enterprise software vendors, true big data capabilities have not been a part of Oracle's integral offering," Holger Mueller, vice president and principal analyst at Constellation Research, says. "With BlueKai, Oracle accelerates time to offering and time to market for one of the key spending areas of applications--marketing automation. This is key because it's the first step enterprises need to take as they transform into digital enterprises," he adds.

BlueKai's chief solution, its Data Management Platform, works by organizing a company's audience data within the cloud. Once the data is organized, the solution personalizes users' marketing campaigns across all channels and distributes them to customers. BlueKai appealed to Oracle because of the company's unique suite of offerings, according to Mueller.

BlueKai runs the world's largest third-party data marketplace, for example, and leverages the marketplace to supplement a company's proprietary customer data with actionable insight gathered from more than 700 million profiles shared within the marketplace. "There are few vendors that bring to the table what BlueKai can bring to Oracle to enable Oracle's digital marketing plans. With data management, mobile DMP and an audience marketplace, BlueKai is a key enabler next to the Eloqua capabilities Oracle acquired," Mueller explains.

Once the acquisition is finalized, BlueKai will be integrated with Responsys for B2C marketing automation and Eloqua for B2B marketing automation. Combined with Oracle's marketing and social solutions, BlueKai will provide customers with the ability to build rich user profiles combining information from first-party and third-party sources including media, advertising, social, and mobile sources, according to the company.

"Modern marketers require new ways of acquiring, centralizing, interpreting, and activating customer data across marketing channels so that they can enhance the customer experience and maximize the return on their marketing spend," Steve Miranda, executive vice president of applications development at Oracle, said in a company statement. "The addition of BlueKai to the Oracle Marketing Cloud enables marketers to act on data across both known customers and new audiences and precisely target customers with a personalized message across all channels," he added.

For customers of both companies, the transition should be a smooth one. One area of concern for BlueKai customers may be ensuring their contractual situation and securing any potential future roadmap items they may depend on, Mueller warns. Still, the outlook is positive: "In general, Oracle has a good track record of keeping acquired vendors customers happy," he says.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but BlueKai is currently valued at an estimated $350 to $400 million.

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