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Oracle Boosting Its Sales Cloud with BigMachines Buy

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: October 25 2013

In a matter of days, the cloud-based configure, price, quote (CPQ)/quote to order (Q2O) market has lost its leading vendors to bigger software companies: PROS Holdings, Inc. acquired Cameleon Software, Infor acquired TDCI, and CallidusCloud acquired Webcom Inc. Now Oracle has announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire BigMachines, the cloud-based CPQ market leader.

Like its peer products do, BigMachines’ CPQ Cloud accelerates the conversion of sales opportunities into revenue by automating the sales order process with guided selling, dynamic pricing, and a simple workflow approval process, accessible anywhere, on any device. Companies that use sales automation technology often rely on manual, cumbersome, and disconnected processes to convert opportunities into orders. This creates errors, adds costs, delays revenue, and degrades the customer experience.



BigMachines’ CPQ cloud extends sales automation to include the creation of an optimal quote, which enables sales personnel to easily configure and price complex products; select the best options, promotions; and deal terms; and include upsales and renewals—all using automated workflows. In combination with Oracle’s enterprise cloud solutions, including Marketing, Sales, Social, Commerce, and Service Clouds, Oracle and BigMachines plan to create a more complete, smarter-selling cloud solution.

More than 275 organizations of all sizes across a wide range of industries rely on BigMachines' CPQ Cloud to streamline their sales processes. With its revenues estimated to be close to $100 million in 2013, BigMachines was dwarfing most of its direct competitors. More than half of BigMachines' customers are also customers of salesforce.com. Oracle already offers several on-premises CPQ solutions, but as with other customer relationship management (CRM) market segments, demand is shifting toward cloud-based offerings.

BigMachines and Oracle are long-standing partners, so BigMachines' software nicely complements Oracle's existing cloud CRM software offerings. The merger represents Oracle’s attempt to better compete against salesforce.com, whose flagship Sales Cloud sales force automation (SFA) offering has been rapidly taking share from Oracle and SAP's on-premises CRM solutions.

The purchase comes shortly after Oracle acquired cloud content marketing software vendor Compendium. The purchase was the latest in an array of cloud marketing-related acquisitions by Oracle, which is competing in this space with salesforce.com's Marketing Cloud, as well as offerings from Marketo, SAP, Adobe, Teradata, and IBM.

It is interesting that salesforce.com invested in BigMachines last year, and more recently took a stake in rival cloud CPQ vendor Apttus. It responded to Oracle's recent acquisition of Eloqua by buying ExactTarget; salesforce.com could turn its sights on Apttus or another rival of BigMachines (e.g., Selectica or FPX) as a potential acquisition. But that choice is rapidly narrowing, and it will also be interesting to see if Microsoft makes any move regarding Miscrosoft Dynamics CRM, given its lack of strong native CPQ capabilities.
 
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