Oracle ships e-business sourcing software

Oracle has taken another step into the e-commerce software arena with the release of its first contract-sourcing product, Oracle...

Oracle has taken another step into the e-commerce software arena with the release of its first contract-sourcing product, Oracle Sourcing.

Designed so that companies can put out online requests for proposals and then score the responses, sourcing applications have been popular during the past year with business-to-business (B2B) software vendors such as Ariba and CommerceOne.

Oracle is a latecomer to the B2B game, but its latest offering sits on top of its e-business product suite and can be combined with purchasing intelligence and software.

Joseph Marino, an analyst at Current Analysis, said Oracle has leveraged some of the "many-to-many" functionality of its Oracle Exchange online marketplace to create Oracle Sourcing. "[Oracle has] taken that many-to-many functionality and made it something you can use in a private marketplace," he said.

Oracle's main pitch is that the software integrates well with its e-business suite and Oracle 9i Application Server, as well as with its portal, financial, supply chain and database products.

Tyler McDaniel, an analyst at Hurwitz Group, credited Oracle with building software that plays well with products outside its family, citing the 9i Application Server's increased Java 2 Enterprise Edition capabilities.

"[Oracle] really seems to be committed to supporting some open standards, which wasn't always the case," he said.

While Ariba and CommerceOne have taken financial hits this year, Marino said B2B software still offers an attractive return on investment for customers, adding that Oracle is wise to pursue that market.

Prices for Oracle Sourcing will be based on volume expectations. Users will pay $5,000 (£3,500) for every $1m in transaction volume pumped through the product, with a minimum $100,000 licence.

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