Oracle looks to nab Microsoft mail server users

Looking to steal some business from Microsoft, Oracle announced a program Monday intended to lure customers from Microsoft's e-mail server software and onto Oracle products.

Switching from Microsoft to Oracle would bring customers increased levels of security and availability for important business applications, Oracle said.

With the Oracle E-mail Migration Service, customers continue to run their Microsoft Outlook e-mail application on client PCs but exchange their Microsoft e-mail servers for Oracle 9i in clustered configurations. Oracle claimed that one customer, Landis ICT Group, is in the process of migrating 44 Microsoft Exchange servers onto one installation of Oracle 9i, reducing software, hardware and administrative costs.

The program includes two services: an assessment service to measure the potential economic benefits of the change, and a set of tools and best practices for making the switch. The service is available now in the U.S. Oracle plans to expand the offering worldwide.

Oracle Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison is expected to talk up the new offering in his keynote speech here at Comdex this evening.

At a press conference here, Ellison acknowledged that Microsoft Exchange Server is priced far lower than Oracle's database but argued that large companies need 25 or even 50 servers with the Microsoft software to handle the same amount of traffic as Oracle 9i. "I'd say you need at least 10 Exchange Servers to do this, or you're too small to bother, " said Ellison.

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