Betting on the cloud and collaboration


Are you still a cloud skeptic? Love those on-premise servers and equipment? Do you laugh at your competitors who are engaged in cloud-based services? Maybe Oracle CEO Larry Ellison can change your mind.

What about your voice services? Do you consider voice as a tool for collaboration? Do you even think about enabling effective collaboration within the organization? Better get on board because many of your voice service providers are no longer focused on just voice.

Oracle buys RightNow

Permira paid $1.5 billion to Alcatel-Lucent for only the Genesys unit. That’s about the same dollar amount paid by Ellison to acquire RightNow Technologies, a SaaS CRM provider. What does this say about cloud computing? Well, Genesys has been around longer and RNT was only started in 1997 (went public in 2004). Yet both valued similarly by the market. Well done, Greg Gianforte.

It’s safe to say that by now Ellison is a convert of cloud services. He may have been slow on this whole cloud thing (after witnessing the tremendous success of companies like Salesforce.com and RNT), but he can make that up by spending money to buy cloud enablers. Kind of like what Microsoft did to correct its path to compete on the World Wide Web. Oracle Public Cloud was just unveiled during OpenWorld a few weeks ago, and today Oracle has a cloud CRM offering with RightNow.

How smooth will the transition be? This is a gigantic Silicon Valley tech company with a big CEO personality gobbling up a young Bozeman, Montana outfit. All I can say is, Don’t mess with Ellison.

Avaya wants to lose its voice

Avaya is making it clear that it values channel partners who can sell collaboration solutions more than the traditional voice service sellers. This is a much needed strategic progression not only because of better profits but because it’s the demand of customers. Customers want solutions that increase productivity and efficiency, and not just some tech that’ll make a call from A to B. And with its recent acquisition of Aurix, Avaya is making a move to provide a more complete collaboration solution to its customers.

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