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Oracle Integrates Front and Back Office with Applications 11i

Written By: Predrag Jakovljevic
Published On: September 29 1999

Event Summary

On September 27, Oracle laid out the details of its Oracle 11i application suite, which adds new application modules and integrates enterprise resource planning, customer-relationship management, supply-chain, and E-business applications in a single database. The new release, unveiled at the Oracle Applications User Group conference in Orlando, will do away with the company's separate releases for ERP and CRM. By linking all applications together, Oracle claims that companies can now get a complete view of company operations and customer interactions. Coupled with order management is an enhanced supply-chain management suite. The suite pulls together applications that have traditionally addressed only individual links of the supply chain, such as demand planning, logistics, and manufacturing resource planning.

The vendor also announced a business intelligence suite revolving almost entirely around customer-relationship management, including Marketing Intelligence, Customer Intelligence, Sales Intelligence, Call-Center Intelligence, and E-commerce Intelligence. The suite will analyze sales and marketing campaign success, customer cost and profitability, sales pipelines, and customer service, allowing companies to not only track what customers have done, but also why they did it. Despite the new features, the enthusiasm was tempered somewhat by the timing of the release. It was originally intended for a fourth-quarter release, but has slipped to the first quarter for financials, projects, human resources, supply chain, and manufacturing, and the second quarter for the CRM and order-management applications.

Market Impact

Should Oracle's new ambitious product suite perform as it claims, it would give the Company a leading edge position in the enterprise application market, given that no vendor, with the possible exception of SAP and Baan, has made this degree of progress towards application integration. Oracle had a head start on most of its competition pertaining to Internet applications, and the Company still leads the ERP pack both on product technology vision and execution. However, Oracle had suffered initial setbacks as it moved its entire enterprise product line to the Internet and was losing customers that were not ready to buy into the vision. However, we believe that Oracle's far-sighted strategy will pay off in the future through increased sale of its enterprise applications beyond its core ERP product.

User Recommendations

Since the release of the new product suite will not take place until 2Q 2000, customers in the middle of an acquisition should not alter their plans. However, organizations that are in an early stage of evaluating Oracle Applications should be wary of the marketing hype and expect application integration problems, particularly in the case where a broad group of disparate applications is bundled together.

 
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