Oracleworld: Oracle offers hosted productivity apps

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Oracleworld: Oracle offers hosted productivity apps

Oracle has introduced on an outsourcing service for its recently launched suite of productivity applications, Oracle Collaboration Suite.

Oracle said Collaboration Suite Outsourcing is designed to give users the option of having Oracle manage and maintain the suite's e-mail, calendaring and other programs on its own servers or at the customer's premises which, it claimed, could reduce the cost of using the software.

The products will compete with Microsoft's Exchange and with IBM's Lotus Notes and Domino.

For customers who host the service on Oracle's servers, Collaboration Suite Outsourcing is $10 (£6.30) per user per month for the full suite of applications, or $8 per month for e-mail or file services only. If hosted at the customer premises or at a third-party location, the price per user per month is $6 for the full service or $5 for the files/e-mail only service.

The first version of Collaboration Suite was launched in July. Customers who install the product rather than outsourcing it pay $60 (£37.75) per named user, plus $5 per user for support.

Oracle also planned to release an upgrade to the product, Oracle Collaboration Suite Release 2, early next year. The upgrade features a set of functions called iMeeting, including instant messaging, online meetings, co-browsing and other "real time" collaboration features. Co-browsing lets project workers in separate locations work on documents simultaneously using a browser.

One feature lets users access voicemail messages at their PCs through the e-mail inbox. The feature is available for companies that have a private branch exchange (PBX) on-site.

Customers with 3,000 or more users will realise the most savings if they switch to Collaboration Suite from Microsoft Exchange, Oracle claimed.

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