ORACLE HAS LAUNCHED a service to deliver data from the cloud collected from multiple sources in order to drive business intelligence and decision-making.
Initially the firm is delivering products using data from marketing and social media, letting enterprise customers use this information for business benefit without having to worry about its source or management.
Oracle's Data as a Service (DaaS) is a suite of offerings that are intended to provide data that can simply be plugged into any relevant application the customer requires. It is being delivered as part of the Oracle Cloud, alongside the firm's existing infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) offerings.
The first offerings are Oracle DaaS for Marketing, giving users access to a vast array of anonymised user-level data gathered from many sources; and Oracle DaaS for Social, which delivers enriched social media data providing intelligence on customers, competitors and market trends.
According to Oracle Data Cloud GM Omar Tawakol, the service enables customers to separate their own data from existing application siloes, enrich it with data from external sources, and then feed it into a variety of different applications to drive more informed decisions.
Takawol said the platform is based on Oracle's leading data products, combined with assets Oracle gained through its acquisition of data marketing firm BlueKai earlier this year.
"We believe this is the next revolution in how applications can become more useful, by being enriched with data not just from that application itself, but from others within the enterprise and from outside the boundaries of the organisation itself," he said.
But Oracle's proposition is more than just providing a raw data feed for customers to subscribe to: the firm claims that it can deliver cleaned-up data to comply with data-protection and privacy regulations across the globe, and can also aggregate social data by identifying the same users across different social networks.
In effect, Oracle appears to be offering a service similar to the US government's PRISM intelligence-gathering platform, but intended for business intelligence and marketing purposes.
Speaking at Oracle's launch event, Ovum analyst Tom Pringle said that the timing is right for such DaaS offerings to come to market, but warned that it is early days for this kind of service and that potential pitfalls lay in the way, such as privacy concerns.
"Data has moved out of the IT department and into the boardroom, so it is now front and centre for organisations around the world. As more and more business processes have shifted into becoming online services, DaaS becomes a natural extension of that," he said.
But privacy and legal rights are "growing in the public consciousness", Pringle said, and warned that any misstep over use of harvested public data could pose a "danger to the reputation" of the business involved.
"It's still early days for what is basically an entirely new category of service, and what path it will take is not clear," he said.
Oracle DaaS for Marketing is available now in a new subscription model, while Oracle DaaS for Social currently has limited availability, the firm said. Oracle did not specify pricing for the new services, and had not responded to requests from The INQUIRER at the time of writing. µ