Oracle outlines new business suite pricing scheme

Oracle has started to elaborate on the recently revised pricing scheme for its business suite, which it insists will deliver savings to users when compared with the current methodology.

The maker of enterprise software began today to spell out the implications of its new price methodology, first announced at its European AppsWorld conference in Amsterdam earlier this month. At that show, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison divulged that pricing for companies would be simplified from a wide variety of list prices to a direct formula: US$400 for casual users and $4,000 for power users.

But because details weren't offered at the time, the new pricing plan left many users confused about what they would be paying in the future.

Jacqueline Woods, vice president of Oracle global practices pricing, said the change is a logical progression of the company's strategy of simplifying the buying process for users. For the past 18 months, Oracle has been talking about its integrated Oracle E-Business Suite, which ties together enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications and "having that all work together.

"We needed a pricing scheme that was in support of the message we have out there," she said.

Perhaps most importantly, Oracle defined the two different classes of users. The $400 fee will apply to users of self-service applications such as those that handle online procurement and some human resources applications; the $4,000 fee applies to those who use the application professionally.

Woods also said that discounts would be available. Users of individual E-Business Suite applications, such as Oracle financials, who wanted to purchase the rest of the suite, would have the amount already paid for the financials module credited to the overall cost of the package.

She said there would still be "niche" pricing and "component" pricing for those customers who want them.

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