Is Oracle Doubling Down on Unseating Salesforce.com?

By Jon Winsett

CEO, NPI

November 26, 2013

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The rivalry between Oracle and Salesforce.com has always been spirited. But, in recent months, the fierce factor has grown considerably. Despite the signing of a nine-year partnership this past summer – one that will integrate the vendors’ cloud computing environments – the competition is more heated than ever before as the vendors battle it out…often in the same enterprise.

So, what’s Oracle’s strategy? A look at their acquisitions over the last two years sheds light on the answer.

Oracle has been gobbling up companies that provide solutions for enterprise marketing and sales. These acquisitions range from social intelligence and analytics to email campaign management and include companies like Vitrue, Collective Intellect, DataRaker, Compendium and Eloqua.

When it comes to unseating Salesforce.com, it appears that Oracle is forgoing a rip-and-replace strategy for a surround-and-pounce play. Surrounding marketing and sales with Oracle-owned applications, positions them to displace Salesforce.com with Oracle SFA, CRM and marketing management solutions.

Additionally, the word on the street is that Oracle is beefing up its sales team. According to NPI’s sources, Oracle is recruiting hundreds of new account executives in North America, targeting the best and brightest in the IT industry.

Will Oracle’s game plan be successful? It’s hard to tell. Many sales and marketing organizations have a zealous devotion to Salesforce.com, and it’s integrated across the enterprise in a way that few other applications can rival. But, with added brawn and leverage, Oracle’s mission can’t be ignored.

Meanwhile, customers (new and old) may be in for a treat. Competition breeds incentives and incentives breed leverage when it comes to contract renewals and negotiations.