As part of a wider strategy to supply software to vertical markets, Oracle Corp is developing several integrated software application suites. It is focusing on seven market sectors and will develop applications for them by building, buying or partnering, it says. The sectors, are: world-wide government and higher education; pharmaceuticals; energy – which includes oil and gas; telecommunications; banking; consumer packaged goods; and industrial, which includes flexible manufacturing and maintenance, repairing and overhaul. Some of the suites and modules have shipped already. Oracle CPG, for the consumer packaged goods segment, deploys scanner-based sales and marketing management capability from Oracle’s recent Datalogix Inc acquisition (CI Nos 3,006, 3,077); in-house technology for process manufacturing, financial management, sales and marketing analysis and decision support; as well as kit from a number of other vendors: demand, supply and transportation planning and manufacturing scheduling from supply chain software vendor Manugistics Inc; order management and logistics from Industri- Matematik International Corp; as well as plant maintenance and asset management software from TSW International Inc.
Demand forecasting functionality
CPG will include promotion planning and demand forecasting functionality in the next release, to be licensed from Information Resources Inc. Oracle Pharmaceuticals and its first module Oracle Clinical, was built in conjunction with Swiss pharmaceutical giant Roche Holding Ltd’s Syntex Corp unit which, incidentally, waived intellectual property rights to the jointly- developed software, according to Nimish Mehta, senior vice president for industry applications development at Oracle. Oracle is also looking for three additional partners with in- patient/out-patient software and health insurance and private healthcare administration system expertise to develop further modules for the US market. This could involve acquisitions of companies with good technology but not necessarily a high installed base, said Mehta. Oracle Energy’s Land module was developed with technology inherited from the acquisition of Apogee Opens Systems Corp, a Unix and Windows financial management systems vendor for the oil and gas industry, two years ago (CI 2,666). Oracle wants to extend the suite for downstream capability which includes crude oil acquisition, refining and trading and is seeking partnerships with oil companies for this. The Government and higher education suite has had modules shipping to the UK public sector and local governments for the last three years. It has one for US local governments and has developed a Federal implementation, but is still awaiting accreditation from the General Services Administration. It is also looking for partners to help complete the higher education modules. The Telecommunications, Banking and Industrial suites are still in development. According to Mehta, Oracle will set up business units to oversee the development and marketing of each suite; the company is hoping to formally launch the units as well as name the remaining development partners by June 1.