Social collaboration: Oracle

Having first entered the market in June 2013, Oracle Social Network is a social collaboration solution for internal collaboration scenarios that integrates tightly with Oracle’s cloud-based business applications.

Top takeaways

OSN provides a social collaboration layer on top of Oracle’s business applications

Designed for internal use cases, Oracle Social Network (OSN) aims to support social collaboration in the context of an organisation’s application-based activities. A well-rounded solution, its capabilities are focused around interactive conversations, microblogging and social networking, and the product is available for free to customers of Oracle’s cloud-based business applications.

Weaknesses in analytics and task-based collaboration capabilities

Though Oracle has invested in its analytics capabilities in the latest release of OSN, there remains plenty of room for improvement in the way the product leverages analytics, both from the perspective of an adoption manager or community manager looking for insights about how to drive increased activity, and also from the perspective of enriching the user experience to help users better navigate and handle the information that is available to them. Given its focus on supporting collaboration in the context of businesses processes (driven by application integration), there is also scope for Oracle to invest more in the relationship between unstructured conversation and task-based activity within OSN.

Lack of revenue incentive and referenceable customers suggests Oracle will not lead in this space

Although the product has been in market for almost two years, Oracle is still unable to provide reference customers for OSN – something that will offer little confidence to customers and prospects about the vendor’s commitment to the long-term viability of this product. Oracle insists that it does believe that social capabilities are essential to the success of its business applications, and that investment in OSN development will continue to drive that. However, because OSN is only available to Oracle Cloud Application customers and not as a standalone service, this is a different market proposition to those of many other social collaboration technology vendors. The lack of revenue incentive associated with the product means that this is inevitably not a high priority for the vendor from a marketing perspective, and that Oracle is unlikely to be leading the market from an innovation standpoint.

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