Oracle has again changed the pricing terms for its E-business Suite 11i, this time with the hope of attracting more small and medium-sized businesses to the product.
The company has eliminated a requirement that customers spend at least $250,000 (£158,800) to be eligible to purchase the suite. It has also reduced from 20% to 10% the minimum proportion of an organisation's employees that must be licensed to use the software, said Jacqueline Woods, Oracle vice-president for global practices.
At the same time, however, Oracle "streamlined" the core suite by cutting out certain applications. In general the applications that have been deleted are "self service" applications such as Self Service HR. Buyers of the suite who want those applications must now license them separately, she said.
The new pricing and configuration for the application suite is called Oracle E-Business Suite 2003.
Existing customers can continue to use the E-business Suite and purchase additional modules under the terms of their existing contracts. As before, customers still have the option of buying individual applications and modules rather than the entire suite.
The changes are intended to make the suite more attractive to small and medium-sized businesses that may have been put off by the minimum entry requirements. Woods also said the new pricing model is simpler to understand.
"We did what everybody wanted, which was to consolidate the suite down to the core set of products people really want for enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management. The incremental functionality that's more specialised, like iSupplier Portal, that not everybody uses, you can buy separately," she said.
"We think this is a more flexible option and should drive adoption. The threshold we had on the minimum number of users was more than the market could handle under the current economic conditions."
Analysts said the change is intended in part to make Oracle's software more competitive with that of PeopleSoft, which they said has been gaining ground among customers.
E-business Suite 2003 costs $3,995 (£2,538) for a professional user licence. Most of the self service applications are now sold separately from the suite under what Oracle calls an "employee user" licence. Self Service HR, for example, is priced at $35 (£22) per user.
Oracle said customers can find more information at www.oracle.com/corporate/pricing