Oracle drive aims to boost sagging sales

Oracle is launching a number of sales and marketing initiative to boost sagging applications licence sales.

Oracle is launching a number of sales and marketing initiative to boost sagging applications licence sales.

Oracle claimed a sales reorganisation and the rollout of new applications could be installed and would quickly deliver a return on investment by slashing operational costs and improving efficiency.

Oracle showcased its Business Flow Accelerators, which are packaged offerings that deliver to customers specific workflows such as procurement. Users can buy the software at a fixed price for a fixed time and "come out of it with an automated business process", said Mark Jarvis, chief marketing officer at Oracle.

Jarvis said Oracle would offer software via a hosted monthly subscription service aimed primarily at customers with revenue of between $10m (£6.2m) and $25m (£15.5m) and with up to 25 users. The price for configuration would start at about $5,000 (£3,107) a month.

Oracle urges users to consider outsourcing their applications and running the E-Business Suite on Linux, which is a viable way of boosting performance and radically slashing hardware costs over Windows-based and Unix platforms.

Although Oracle has been faced with a decline in new licence sales, executives boasted that the number of conversions to the company's 11i E-Business Suite continues to grow, with about 53% of its 13,000 applications customers live and another 25% doing the migration. Jarvis noted that users of 10.7, slated for de-support in June, will still have access to support services after the deadline.

Oracle chief financial officer Jeff Henley struck a note of cautious optimism regarding the company's finances, saying he believed the worst of the IT doldrums have already passed, with 2003 seeing a spending rebound.

The Oracle sales force is being reorganised. Overall account management will virtually cease and salespeople will sell either database and other infrastructure technology or applications. Henley acknowledged there would be some disruption in operations but hoped it would not be extensive.

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