Oracle picks up platform sale to Austar

Oracle has chalked up the first significant Australian sale of its interactive TV platform software - Oracle Media Interactive - through a deal with Austar United Broadband. The platform will be used to provide two-way interactivity for Austar customers by way of services like e-mail, home shopping, interactive advertising, interactive banking and tiered games.

An Oracle spokesman said OMI is an end-to-end processing solution that is middleware independent. It provides interoperability for applications below the middleware layer and allows operators to standardise commercial applications in order to provide hosting capabilities.

"The beauty of OMI is that as a total solution it gives maximum flexibility to develop new services with minimal ongoing capital outlay," claimed Dana Strong, managing director of Austar. "Unlike other operators who have launched interactive television with customised development, we will deploy a fully-supported, off-the-shelf Oracle product that enables a fully integrated service with no need for expensive customisation and upgrades.

"Oracle's strategic approach to this initiative enabled us to manage deployment costs effectively. This was achieved through the development of a scalable business model designed to benefit both organisations as the Austar subscriber base grows," she explained.

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