Oracle turns on to wireless

Oracle has joined a long line of vendors to announce the wireless-enabling of its application suite.

Oracle has joined a long line of vendors to announce the wireless-enabling of its application suite.

The database firm has teamed up with companies such as Compaq, Motorola and Palm, all of whom will provide Oracle customers with personal digital assistants on the purchase of the wireless version of the Oracle E-business Suite.

However, Oracle has refuted charges that it is just another company getting into the wireless arena. "Everyone is doing this," said Jeremy Burton, Oracle's senior vice president of product and server marketing. "It is just that some people are doing it to a greater extent than others."

According to figures from the analyst organisation Datamonitor, the mobile customer relationship management market alone is expected to account for $1.7bn (£1.19bn) worth of annual revenue by 2005. Burton also points out that research carried out by the investment bank Morgan Stanley shows that spending on wireless is number four on a list of things that are least likely to be adversely affected by the economic slowdown.

Customers signing up to the new version of the Oracle E-business Suite, which began shipping last week will have access to wireless. However, customers using older versions will either have to buy the new suite or call in Oracle's consulting services to wireless-enable their systems.

Burton claims users such as warehouse operatives will see massive productivity gains by using wireless versions of their applications. Instead of continually having to visit a PC before collecting an order and locating the stock, they can access the same information via a handheld device.

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