Oracle apps upgrade to ship within 60 days

Customers will be able to get their hands on the delayed version of Oracle Corp.'s E-Business Suite 11i.10 within 60 days, the company announced Monday, at the opening day of its OpenWorld conference in London.

"With the release of 11i.10, we are adding a lot more industry capabilities and a lot more cross-industry capabilities. Oracle is adding at least 2,100 capabilities to 11i.10," Charles Phillips, Oracle President, told attendees in his keynote speech.

Two new products that will be made available with E-Business Suite 11i.10 are Oracle Procurement Contracts and Oracle Services Procurement, both part of the company's Advanced Procurement family of applications, the company said.

The Procurement Contracts product includes a terms and conditions library tool for legal departments to create reusable terms and conditions; contract authoring, whereby users can search and use appropriate terms and conditions or templates for the contracts they are writing; and a contact deliverables and compliance feature for adding details of contract deliverables and then allowing users to monitor compliance, Oracle said.

The Service Procurement product is aimed at helping companies enforce corporate services procurement policies as well as helping managers to normalize service rates, limit over-billing errors and enforce contract terms, Oracle said. Features include New Line Service Types to allow companies to purchase, receive and match services based on amounts rather than quantity; Preferred Supplier Management to define approved suppliers based on service category; and Supplier Collaboration for managing profiles by, for example, viewing and responding to buyer negotiation documents, or viewing existing purchase orders.

Phillips said 11i.10 is part of Oracle's overall strategy to offer customers applications and infrastructure that work towards a single data model, rather than aggregating existing data into large data warehouses.

"We think that there is going to be a resynchronization of applications and infrastructure again," Phillips said. "As part of that, customers will be asking, which services belong on an application level and which on a server level? Oracle is in a good position to help determine those answers as we work in both businesses."

Phillips also stressed the importance of grid computing to Oracle's corporate philosophy. "Grid computing as we define it helps you to optimize against all machines rather than just the processors within individual boxes," he said.

Oracle representatives have stressed that grid computing is the core focus of Oracle's business, a topic that Oracle Executive Vice President for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Sergio Giacoletto focused on in his speech preceding Phillips. "We are with grid computing now where the intranet technology was in 1998," he said.

According to Giacoletto, the Oracle EMEA customer that is most advanced in the adoption of grid computing is the European Center for Nuclear Research, with over 1,000 computers on its grid. Deutsche Post, which has launched a grid computing pilot program, is Oracle EMEA's second most advance customer in the segment.

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