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Eloqua Marketing Software Review

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Eloqua Review—Technology and Hosting

Software Technology

Eloqua 10 is a native thin-client, browser-based Software as a Service (SaaS) application hosted on a SQL Server database and does not require client side downloads, except for the Outlook plug-in. Somewhat surprising for a cloud delivery model, Eloqua is not a multi-tenant application. The application shares servers and IT infrastructure but each client operates on an autonomous database.

The designer tools permit marketers or administrators to include features which add intelligence, error trapping and system integration to marketing assets. For instance, while form field validations by default only validate the schema for the telephone and email fields, users can create similar logic and error handling on any field.

Custom fields can be added to tables other than the lead database using what Eloqua calls Data Cards. The system then permits users to insert custom fields on forms which upon data capture may optionally populate database tables other than the lead database. This can be helpful for storing data such as event registration or survey responses.

At an architectural level, the primary objects and database tables are companies, contacts and leads. Lead activity streams are tracked separately and linked to the lead record when the lead becomes identified. Custom database tables and columns—Data Cards—can be created and joined to either the company or lead records. Custom data fields can then be populated from marketing forms, batch imports, CRM synchronization, programmatically using the API or manually.

A system administrator possesses the highest level security permissions. Campaign owners govern rights for campaigns and may assign (read, edit, delete, full) permissions by group or individual. Permissions to marketing assets may also be assigned by group or individual and are typically designated by asset type.

Eloqua Hosting and Software Delivery

Eloqua hosting operates within a Tier 4 MCI data center using a Tier 1 Verizon network. The company has averaged over 99.9% uptime, excluding scheduled maintenance windows, over the last two year period.

Eloqua was the first marketing automation hosting provider to secure a SAS 70 Type II certification and also possesses a TRUSTe certification as well as European Union and Swiss Safe Harbor Framework compliance.

Data center reliability is enforced with redundant telecom (diverse fiber), power (including backup generators) and claimed (N+1) equipment redundancy. Complete protection against all single points of failure could not be verified.

Eloqua information security consists of the normal industry security procedures for physical infrastructure (i.e. purpose built infrastructure, guarded parameter, multi-factor access credentials, video surveillance), data in transit (i.e. VeriSign digital certificate, SLL encrypted traffic) and data at rest. The company performs internal and third party network assessment testing and Eloqua staff participate with the FBI InfraGard thereby keeping abreast of new security threats.

As part of its theme of transparency, Eloqua publishes both data center system uptime and average daily transactions on its Trust site. The benchmarks are displayed for more than a year and audited by Gomez application performance management. We wish more software as a service marketing vendors would do the same.

The company provides a sandbox environment with its Enterprise version, or makes sandbox environments available for purchase with lesser versions.

Next - Eloqua Implementation Review >>

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