Oracle adds 'new leg' to business with BI

Oracle hopes to make a major push into business intelligence software with three bundles of products, the vendor announced Wednesday.

Oracle is making a major push into business intelligence (BI) software with three bundles of existing products. The company anticipates ramping up its BI software presence in the same way that it built up its middleware business, according to Oracle president, Charles Phillips.

"We are adding a new leg to our business," Phillips said. The bundles include analytics software Oracle acquired through its approximately $US6 billion purchase of Siebel Systems, completed earlier this year.

The three software bundles are branded Oracle Business Intelligence Suite and include the company's database, its Fusion middleware and analytics software, according to Phillips.

The entry-level Standard Edition One bundle was a volume product designed to pit Oracle against Microsoft, Phillips said. The software was limited to two processors and prices started at $US25,000.

The Standard Edition bundle was aimed at existing Oracle users and includes the company's Discoverer tools, while the Enterprise Edition was for users working in heterogenous environments, he said.

When Oracle first announced its intention to acquire Siebel in September 2005, executives said the purchase's primary driver was the company's presence in the customer relationship management (CRM) software market.

Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, said that adding Siebel's CRM customers and products to Oracle's CRM business would let the company overtake market leader SAP.

Phillips said that Siebel was also a strong player in BI, with the company deriving 25 per cent of its revenue from analytics.

Oracle has formed a specialised sales force to sell Oracle Business Intelligence Suite and will provide lifetime support for all the products in the bundles, according to Phillips.

"We will invest in these products in perpetuity," he said.

Oracle hoped to model its move into BI on its push into the middleware market two to three years ago, Phillips said.

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