Oracle upgrades software for small businesses

In an effort to reach more customers, Oracle said today that it has enhanced its software for small businesses.

The company said the latest version of its Small Business Suite will now allow small businesses to automate some customer support and sales functions.

Powered by San Mateo, Calif.-based NetLedger Inc., the online service helps companies manage key business operations, such as customer relationship management, ordering, purchasing, inventory and payroll, in a single, integrated system.

This summer, Oracle expanded its application service provider offerings to include this series of small-business applications. Larry Ellison, Oracle's chairman and CEO, provided NetLedger with its initial financing and is also chairman of the company, which tailors its applications to businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

"This is our most significant release ever," said Evan Goldberg, president and CEO of NetLedger, in a statement. "All of the key components -- accounting and finance, relationship management, Web presence and employee management -- are fully functional and deeply integrated to create the ultimate system for managing a growing business."

Goldberg said the suite will give businesses with up to 250 employees some of the same capabilities that NetLedger's larger customers have.

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