Oracle Collaboration Suite Release 2 available

Oracle quietly released the second version of its Collaboration Suite e-mail and collaboration software at the end of June, a company executive said Wednesday.

Release 2 of Collaboration Suite was made available through Oracle's Web site on June 27, though the public announcement and marketing campaign kick-off are planned for July 21, said Chuck Rozwat, Oracle's executive vice president for database technologies at a meeting with financial analysts at Oracle's Redwood Shores, California, headquarters.

Oracle announced Collaboration Suite Release 2 at OracleWorld in November last year and said the product would be out in the first half of 2003. The first version of Collaboration Suite shipped in August last year and Oracle claims to have sold it to 500 customers in its financial year 2003, which ended May 31, 2003.

The upgrade has a host of new features including Oracle Web Conferencing, which Rozwat expects will be key in driving sales. Oracle Web Conferencing includes online meetings, co-browsing, desktop sharing, white board, and other real time collaboration features, Rozwat said. Other new features in Release 2 include support for nine more languages and BlackBerry mobile e-mail devices, he said.

Collaboration Suite competes with products from Microsoft and IBM. Also included in the new version are improved tools to migrate from Microsoft's Exchange and IBM's Lotus Notes to Collaboration Suite and to make the Oracle product "co-exist" with Microsoft's or IBM's software, Oracle said.

Rozwat repeated Oracle's pitch that Collaboration Suite is cheaper and more secure than the competition, plus that it works with many user interfaces and offers certain benefits because it is integrated with a common database. These benefits include complying with regulations that require retention of all kinds of electronic communications, Rozwat said.

Oracle Collaboration Suite Release 2 costs US$60 per named user for a perpetual license or $15 for an annual license per named user, according to an Oracle spokeswoman. Oracle Web Conferencing can also be licensed separately for $45 per named user.

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