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January 6, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 10:52am

DaaS play brings Oracle into a cloud leadership role

News: Acquisition of AddThis could see Big Red finding a way to challenge in the public cloud market through Data as a Service offerings.

By James Nunns

Oracle has made its 96th acquisition, this time focusing on expanding its offerings in cloud marketing technology.

AddThis offers sharing features that you will no doubt have seen on many sites, they allow you to share stories to sites such as Facebook and Twitter – you can see it in use on the CBR site.

The real benefit of this to Oracle is that AddThis has activity data for 1.9 billion monthly unique visitors and over 15 million mobile and desktop web domains. With Oracle saying that it will continue to serve AddThis customers, it means that Big Red will have access to a very large data source.

This plays to the company’s Data-as-a-Service business, selling anonymised data to help them run their marketing campaigns.

So the acquisition of AddThis helps to strengthen its offering and follows similar buys of BlueKai and Datalogix.

Neil Sholay, Head of Digital, EMEA, Oracle, told CBR: "We have a billion data profiles, we will sell that data, anonymised, to you at Unilver for example, and you can use it one off or you can have a constant service.

"Companies like American Express, Procter and Gamble buy this data in real time and use it to affect their campaigns."

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This data can be fed into analytics and increase audience insight, measurement and reach.

While Oracle appears to have a strong proposition in this field, it is far from alone. Public data sets are made widely available through cloud providers such as AWS and Google.

From AWS for example you can access data sets from NASA, the Human Microbiome Project and Enron Email Data.

Where Oracle trumps this is with the customer data, giving marketing teams insight into the audience.

Unsurprisingly, it isn’t the only company offering this, one company, BDEX, offers services to both buy data and to sell your data.

UK company DataSift is another company that offers a form of DaaS. The company provides a combination of data and technology and has a major partnership with Facebook, giving marketers data that helps them to better understand how to engage with people on social platforms.

Oracle hasn’t disclosed the figures of the deal to buy AddThis but Omar Tawakol, SVP and GM of the Oracle Data Cloud talked up Big Red’s strength in the market: "Oracle Data Cloud is the fastest growing global Data as a Service (DaaS) business, operating the most accurate data ID Graph to enable understanding of consumer behaviour across all media channels."

On the whole, Oracle is offering quite a diversified offering with its data sources; BlueKai features behavioural data while Datalogix provides a view into offline data and now AddThis should deliver audience insights.

Another acquisition by Oracle, this one Maxymiser, a company that provides digital marketing insights, helped to bolster the data science element of the DaaS offering.

Oracle has certainly been busy in building up its DaaS cloud business and it could be one of the areas where it can forge a leading position in the cloud market.

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