Oracle seeks more SMB, industry and compliance business

Looking ahead, Oracle's putting in place measures to try and win more SMB, industry and compliance business

Oracle is positioning itself to try and attract more small to midsize businesses (SMB) as well as customers that have specific industry requirements and those with particular governance or compliance needs.

The highly fragmented SMB market presents opportunities for large and small applications vendors to increase revenue if they can attract customers to adopt their ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) software. Both Oracle and its main rival SAP regularly come out with new initiatives designed to win more SMB hearts and minds.

Oracle already believes it has done a lot of work to make it easier for SMBs to install its applications, according to President Charles Phillips. "Our next investment will be around distribution," he said Wednesday at Oracle's launch of new versions of its E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft and Siebel applications.

Within the next few weeks, Oracle executives will begin a "world tour for SMBs" stopping in 20 cities and looking to sign up additional partners, Phillips added.

Industry-specific applications is "a wide-open area," Phillips said, where many customers have previously used customized software they built themselves.

On the industries side, Oracle has established four key business units to meet the needs of retail, communications, financial services and utilities customers.

"It's a new concept for Oracle," Phillips said. Each unit has its own general manager and is responsible for its own profits and losses.

Establishing the business units was vital to retaining the key management executives Oracle gained through the acquisitions of companies with industry-specific expertise, he added. These include retail software vendor Retek, communications software firm Portal, and most recently in November utilities applications provider SPL WorldGroup, as well as the 82 percent stake Oracle holds in Indian financial software vendor i-flex Solutions.

"It was something of a lessons learned story," John Wookey, senior vice president of applications at Oracle, said in an interview. He referred back to the company's experience in 1997 when it acquired Treasury Services, a profitability and risk analysis software provider.

When Oracle completed that deal, it moved the Treasury developer team over to Oracle's development operation and mapped all the other Treasury staff including sales and marketing over to the equivalent organizations within Oracle. Over time, while Oracle was able to retain most of the Treasury developers, very few of the skilled sales organization who were educated on the Treasury software remained with the company.

"When we did the Retek acquisition, we didn't want to lose that expertise, so we created the retail unit and most recently the utilities unit for SPL World," Wookey said.

Oracle may look to set up additional industry business units, he added. The vendor already has a public sector group that is separately organized from the general applications sales operations.

Another business unit Oracle has recently put in place is a governance, risk and compliance organization, Wookey said, which was formed after the vendor acquired enterprise content management vendor Stellent in December.

Along with content management, Stellent also provides compliance and records management software and expertise to help customers manage enterprise risk across their entire organizations. The GRC unit will be home to that part of Stellent as well as internal controls software that's featured in E-Business Suite and in PeopleSoft, respectively, Wookey said.

In May, Oracle's arch-rival SAP announced its plans to establish a GRC business unit after acquiring compliance software vendor Virsa Systems.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

China Martens

IDG News Service
Show Comments





Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?