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March 9, 2009

Oracle goes SaaS with sourcing

Monthly charge for on-line sourcing hub

By CBR Staff Writer

Oracle Corp today said it would start to offer its procurement and sourcing management programmes on-demand, with a software service that would cost as little as $5,000 to set up and cost around $850 a month to use.

OracleSourcing On Demand uses software that is already part of the Oracle E-Business Suite Release 12, and comes pre-configured and packaged to tie in with applications such as Oracle Purchasing, to help ensure that procurement professionals have all the right information to hand.

Oracle will host the service for customers.

Explaining the company believes that the economy is right for SaaS options, Oracle senior VP Cliff Godwin said, “We think that the time is right for a solution that can drive big cost reductions without requiring extensive capital expenditures or additional IT resources. The current environment presents a unique opportunity to drive mammoth savings from strategic sourcing. Sourcing capabilities can deliver immediate impact to an organisation’s bottom line, helping offset the effects of shrinking revenue.”

The vendor’s sourcing suite includes features for online collaboration and negotiation that can be used by participants from buyers and sellers to exchange information, conduct bid and auction processes, and create agreements. 

By allowing professional buyers and suppliers to exchange information online sourcing cycle times can be slashed the supplier said, but it also makes sure that there is a complete and auditable trail of supplier commitments.

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A study produced by SPG Media showed that online business-to-business procurement constitutes a significant proportion of Forbes 2000 corporations’ annual expenditure.

“Business-to-business portals offer business professionals supplier information in a concise and digestible format, and are key tools” the company said. Online channels increasingly factor in the procurement process, the company found, with most senior level personnel believing the online procurement activities of their organisations will increase significantly over the next five years. 

Oracle’s service helps steer procurement professionals efficiently through sourcing stages with a range of templates and flexible document styles as standards for creating RFIs, RFQs, RFPs and reverse auctions. 

Reusable invitation lists, reusable pricing elements and reusable negotiation styles capture knowledge of which event type and bidding rules have yielded the best value in the past.  

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