July 12, 2012

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

My nature is to quickly jump to conclusions. I like to think of it as my excitement for life, though I know that I need to slow down and evaluate all the facts first. I was ready to jump to conclusions when Teradata announced that it was purchasing eCircle. Instead jumping to a “WOW” conclusion, I took some time to really understand the benefits of this acquisition. With any acquisition there is much to consider how it will benefit customers and how it will benefit the company purchasing another organization.

Teradata states that the benefits of the combination of the Teradata, Aprimo, and eCircle offering will include:

  • An Integrated Marketing Management (IMM) solution that provides access to all marketing applications from the cloud – including digital, campaign and operational – thus enabling faster time to market, higher ease of use, and less IT complexity;
  • Ability to easily create targeted, personalized digital campaigns that are among the world’s most robust in their compliance with security and privacy regulations;
  • A digital messaging platform for social, mobile, web and email that can scale to support hundreds of billions of messages a year;
  • Multi-channel data management, advanced segmentation and optimization,
  • Access to digital marketing services such as messaging, content creation, best practices and lead generation
    delivered by Aprimo digital marketing experts;
  • Big Data analytics from Teradata and Teradata Aster that turns content from social, mobile, web and email
    channels into actionable insights; and,
  • Unified reporting.

I thought that the merging of Teradata and Aprimo accomplished all of the above already. I instead wish that Teradata would have focused with more detail on two areas that will benefit marketing departments; improved cloud functionality and social media management, monitoring and reporting

eCircle dominates EMEA with cloud functionality. I personally like the idea of removing the complexity of IT. I admit I like method and process and if the cloud allows me flexibility to improve that side of marketing without obstacles of serious coding and backend bureaucracy, I am a fan. I also think that it provides Marketing and IT the opportunity to become better business based solution partners. Besides my process obsession, I can see other benefits. In quick fire style these are my hopes that the eCirlce cloud strength will bring to the Aprimo solution:

  • More well rounded MCM, MRM, social and reporting solution
  • Lower price point to that true IMM capabilities can be shared by many, rather than the high end financially able
  • Stronger could customer service from Aprimo
  • More plug ins with other cloud software offerings

Social media management, monitoring and reporting are available in various point solutions. You either purchase software solutions or build internally. eCircle will not bring a single GUI solution, but in the IMM world it will get us much closer than before. The below screen shot is directly from the eCircle website. This is one of those moments that Teradata can take a step ahead if they dutifully work on getting all that social functionality into the Aprimo GUI.

Here is what you get with the eCircle social and my hope that all this functionality is brought into both Aprimo Studio and OnDemand.

You can manage and monitor these sites in their tool:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Myspace
  • Hyves
  • Slideshare
  • Blogger
  • WordPress

Users can use the below search tools from within the GUI:

  • Google Blog Search
  • BoardReader
  • Bing
  • RSS feeds
  • Network searches
  • Google

eCircle can integrate with these social media reporting tools:

  • Bit.ly
  • Google Analytics
  • Social Mention
  • Sysomos
  • Crimson Hexagon
  • Radian6

How does this benefit Teradata and Aprimo? There are short and long term benefits. In the short term eCircle has a large EMEA install base become more of a global presence that allows for EMEA based cross and up selling opportunities and eCircle is an expert in the cloud –Aprimo will be able to provide better cloud infrastructure and customer service expertise. I view the long term benefits as a strategic decision for Teradata and Aprimo to heavily consider; if the focus of this acquisition is on filling in the gaps of the Aprimo solution (cloud and social) the benefits will naturally become an internal corporate benefit by default by increased new sells, cross sells and up sells.  The second long term benefit is focusing their cloud solution on smaller accounts that need world class EMM, but was originally out their reach.

With all of this I am in wait and see mode. I look forward to the announcements that are sure to come as we get closer to the Aprimo Summit in February 2013. I will patiently be waiting to see IF the eCircle product is incorporated into Aprimo to allow marketers to manage all operations and if Aprimo will be expanding their cloud capabilities.