Infor inks integration, sales pact with Marketo

Infor's CRM suite will integrate with Marketo's marketing automation platform, allowing the two companies to jointly sell them to business customers.

Enterprise software firms Infor and Marketo have forged a new partnership around their respective sales and marketing platforms.

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Specifically, Infor's CRM suite will integrate with Marketo's marketing automation platform, allowing the two companies to jointly sell them to business customers.

In big picture terms, the partnership can be seen as a combined effort to take on the giants of the enterprise software space, including Salesforce, Oracle, Adobe, Microsoft, IBM and SAP.

Marketo went public in 2011 but was acquired by Vista Equity Partners last May for about $1.79 billion. The company has since focused on building an ecosystem of marketing technology via third-party ad ons and corporate partnerships.

As for Infor, CEO Charles Philips said the alliance with Marketo will offer something "better than anything else available." Philips spent seven years working for Oracle, a company known for its acquisition-based approach to platform expansion. The software vendor has become notorious for tapping into the expertise of smaller companies and stitching them together with the strongest bits of its software arsenal.

In 2012 Oracle spent $871 million to purchase Eloqua for its cloud-based marketing and revenue management technology. A year later Oracle dropped $1.5 billion on the marketing software maker Responsys, and in 2014 it bought BlueKai, a key provider of data management platforms, for an estimated $400 million. Most recently Oracle bought Maxymiser, a maker of cloud-based consumer personalization software.

And then there's Salesforce, which has acquired firms such as ExactTarget and MinHash in order to expand its portfolio of services for marketers. Infor and Marketo, meanwhile, are opting for B2B partnerships as a way to offer their products at scale.

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