Last month, Oracle Team USA staged an amazing comeback—winning eight straight races—to capture the 34th America's Cup against challenger Emirates Team New Zealand. The way Oracle CMO Judith Sim sees it, the event was just as much a branding victory for the company.
“It's the best hospitality experience,” she said. The event provided for up to 4,000 weekly VIP tours of the America's Cup Pavilion in San Francisco and Oracle's AC72, a new class of boat featuring wing sails and hydrofoils, and capable of reaching speeds in excess of 45 knots. Beyond that, the company got to show off its technology by equipping the boat to be a nautical Exadata Database Machine, wired with sensors that transmitted 26,000 data points every second “to help the team figure out how to sail faster,” Sim said.
The high-profile regatta overlapped with Oracle OpenWorld, giving the projected 60,000 attendees a chance to partake in the festivities.
Sim said overall attendance at its conferences this year is up 10%. The number of line-of-business decision-makers, such as directors of sales and marketing and HR directors, is up 58%.
Events promoting its cloud-based technology, which became a billion-dollar business for Oracle this year, have been key, Sim said. The company has signed up 500 new cloud customers this year, including eBay, Intuit and Yahoo.
Oracle continued to promote its Engineered Systems line, which includes the Exadata Database Machine, in The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers and magazines. It also integrated new acquisitions, such as Eloqua Inc., a provider of a suite of marketing automation services.
Personalizing the user experience has been a company goal this year, Sim said. For instance, Oracle concierges with iPads have met conference attendees to direct them to seminars based on their specific interests, and its website and blog revamp is serving up more content based on a user's prior interactions with the company.
“We're big customers of our own products,” Sim said.