Oracle has bought cloud-based Configure, Price and Quote solution provider BigMachines, which will make Software as a Service CPQ tools available to its enterprise customers.
BigMachines is Oracle’s latest in a string of SaaS developers including Eloqua, RightNow and Taleo.
BigMachines’ CPQ Cloud essentially automates and streamlines the sales order process for product complexity or pricing complexity. Price quotes and order fulfillment information can also be integrated with CRM software to give account managers crucial information and back-end business suites the information they need to fulfill orders.
BigMachines co-founder Godard Abel said in a phone interview, “Oracle is now catching up in SaaS and in the cloud by buying companies.” Oracle previously had on-premise CPQ tools, but not a cloud-based solution. This acquisition, he said, will likely give them cloud CPQ capabilities faster than if they’d have had to develop them themselves.
While competition has heated up in the CRM space with the emergence of next-gen mobile cloud CRM challenging leaders like Salesforce.com, he said the inherent complexity in CPQ has stopped new players from entering and succeeding in the market. “It’s a bit harder to disrupt,” he said.
“Compared to implementing a CRM solution, CPQ solutions are more complex,” said Abel, who as CEO until 2011 oversaw the implementation of very complex cloud-based CPQ solutions by large customers like HP, Symantec, and GE. Abel is currently CEO of G2 Crowd, a business software and services reviews website he co-founded.
Oracle and BigMachines will create an end-to-end smarter selling cloud solution that combines Oracle’s marketing, sales, social, commerce and service clouds. In a statement, BigMachines CEO David Bonnette said, “Together with Oracle, we expect to provide a complete cloud solution to manage sales processes and deliver exceptional customer experiences.”