Oracle takes E-business suite to mid-market

After several sales campaigns testing out the “dumbing down” and box-bundling of its enterprise software for the mid-market, Oracle has created a new version of its E-Business product specifically for mid-market customers, to be deployed exclusively by channel partners.

The vendor’s past sales campaigns have been used to test the water with mid-market customers, customers that have traditionally found Oracle’s software too complex and expensive for their needs. Director of business partners at Oracle Australia, Leigh Warren, said the vendor had surveyed those mid-market customers that had deployed its E-Business Suite in the past and assessed which modules and functionality such customers used the most.

“We have taken the 15 most popular modules, packaged them into a new product [named Oracle E-Business Suite Special Edition] and will take it to market as an off-the-shelf solution,” he said.

The new product was pre-configured to run on the Linux operating system and features a wizard-based configuration tool which allows mid-market customers to cut down implementation times to within 10-40 days, Warren said.

It is priced at US$35,000 – a price that includes the software, hardware, support, reports and most importantly – the implementation. Oracle has trained and certified mPower (now owned by Oakton), Igatech and Red Rock as implementation partners for the product. It would now assess opportunities among its downstream sales resellers, Warren said.

But these resellers may soon find stiff competition from direct sellers such as Dell and IBM, who are also in discussions with the software vendor about taking the product to market.

“Dell is looking to deploy the solution on their hardware and sell it through their [direct] sales channel,” Warren said.

“There is a lot of noise coming from our competitors around mid-market solutions,” he said. “But we intend to steal a lot of mindshare being first to market. Rather than just a sales campaign, this product has the pricing and channel policies to support it.”

Warren said the bundle was a “volume-play” and the vendor expected an aggressive take-up among Australia’s 6000 mid-market organisations.

The product will be launched on the September 15/16 in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively.

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