Establishing market differentiation within an increasingly competitive field of experts stands tall as a leading priority for all technology specialists in Australia, hamstrung by an industry jam-packed with consultants, integrators and service providers.
Such a stalemate - shaped by a ‘same-same’ landscape - is triggering a change in ecosystem behaviour across the country, motivated by a desire to create unique intellectual property (IP) to better serve customer requirements via the cloud.
In essence, forward-thinking partners are spinning off to succeed through launching independent software vendors (ISV) to outpace market growth, evident through the creation of Match Cloud.
First rolled out as a managed platform on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2017, the application - specialising in automated data management - is the brainchild of Melbourne-based Ekulus, which operates as a leading Oracle specialist across Australia and New Zealand.
“Over many years we have developed unique data management processes, methods and algorithms specifically designed to better cleanse, manage and synchronise customer information,” outlined Marcelo Scalia, managing director at Ekulus. “Match Cloud’s unique IP enables all features of the data management lifecycle to be fully configurable using a business friendly declarative approach.”
As explained by Scalia, the offering enables customers to execute digital business strategies by leveraging data that typically resides in siloed business systems.
“Match Cloud correlates data from a variety of sources into a single version of truth, providing a 360-degree view of customers and products that can be leveraged by business processes and customer-facing channels,” Scalia added. “By accessing a purpose-built platform, our clients lower the risk profile on digital investments which have a high reliance of accurate and up-to-date data.”
The application most recently deployed on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace effective 1 September 2020, allowing Ekulus to “sell, deploy, manage and support” the platform via Oracle Cloud.
“This enables Ekulus to provide a superior data management platform that performs and scales better than other cloud deployment options thanks to Oracle’s unmatched performance capabilities for Match Cloud,” Scalia said.
The path to ISV status is seldom straightforward for the channel however, with partners often challenged by an inability to shift mindset from consulting and servicing to building and creating.
“As soon as you say the word ‘applications’, partners think they have to hire 50 developers and a fridge full of Coca-Cola to become competitive,” observed Mark Iles, executive analyst at Tech Research Asia.
During the inception phase of Match Cloud however - and to create an internal mindset built on creativity - Ekulus established a dedicated team of data management experts, deploying resources capable of building an application at speed and scale, while aligning to customer demands.
“The offering is the result of decades of master data management and customer data quality experience,” Scalia acknowledged.
Now available as a hosted solution on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Match Cloud houses pre-configured data integration into Oracle Cloud CX solutions, in addition to third-party and legacy applications. The aim is to deliver a “single customer view” through advanced matching and cleansing rules, supported by graphical and customisable reports on customer interactions.
“With the support of the Oracle ISV team, we also conducted a very rigorous and extensive evaluation process on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure,” Scalia said. “Oracle provided us with access to proof-of-concept environments and support from their expert team which we needed to help us validate what we can achieve.”
According to Scalia, the application is tailored towards organisations seeking to create a consolidated repository of “quality data from existing data sources”, targeting the provider’s key customer base across financial services, higher education and government.
“Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will provide superior performance to meet the most demanding requirements from our enterprise clients,” he added. “For over a decade, Ekulus has leveraged Oracle technology to help our customers build insights around their data and leverage Oracle offerings to deliver better products and services.
“However we intend to continue supporting our clients to deploy Match Cloud on their cloud of choice or on-premises depending on their preferences and needs.”
As revealed by ARN, Ekulus has recently been making waves in the customer experience (CX) space, winning awards from Oracle for CX efforts in 2018 and 2019 across Australia and New Zealand. In going to market on both sides of the Tasman, the business is supported by offices in Melbourne and Sydney as well as offshore hubs in India and the Philippines.
“The cloud represents a huge opportunity for our partner community,” said David Hicks, vice president of Worldwide ISV Cloud Business Development at Oracle. “The commitment from Ekulus to innovation with the Oracle Cloud and quality execution will help our mutual customers receive cloud-enabled data quality solutions ready to meet critical business needs."