Today in Cloud

Unsurprisingly, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison used yesterday’s keynote to take his company — at least partially — into the cloud. With Oracle Public Cloud, the company is offering access to a set of subscription-based software solutions to address requirements such as customer relationship management and human capital management, as well as a Chatter wannabe in the shape of Oracle Social Network.  Oracle has been heading in this direction for some time, with the effort to unify various acquisitions to form ‘Fusion Applications’ having dragged on for over six years. Sun hardware is driving some of this cloud, but it’s not immediately clear how much of Sun’s cloud thinking has survived to become the Oracle Public Cloud infrastructure itself.

Focusing social platforms for community marketing

One of the things social media marketing will need if it’s going to live up to its aggressive $5 billion spending forecast is more differentiation between marketing and collaboration platforms. Companies like Jive Software, Lithium, Mzinga and Telligent offer social network platforms aimed at both employees and customers. They may not be able to have it both ways much longer.

Today in Social emerges as the acquirer of buzz-monitoring company Radian6. This appears to be a good match for the future mining of social media big data in support of CRM and enterprise business intelligence. Matthew Ingram runs down the deal, and notes the trend of enterprise software socialization. Some observers wonder at the price, as Salesforce says the acquisition will add $45 million in incremental FY sales. Others see this as competitive with a previous Salesforce investment in Seesmic. But Seesmic feels a lot more consumer-y or small-business-ish, while Radian6 appears more like an enterprise toolset. Seesmic front-ends and plug-ins should complement to the Salesforce offering. Meanwhile, another company in the enterprise social media space, Jive, is beefing up its board. Could an IPO be coming?

Salesforce Integrates Jigsaw — Refining Contact Data today announced Jigsaw for Salesforce CRM, a crowd-sourced business data service exclusive to Salesforce CRM customers. Initially Jigsaw was a standalone product that leveraged crowdsourcing via its member community to create a highly accurate contact list of business throughout the world.