Oracle Releases E-business E-valuator

SAN MATEO (03/07/2000) - Oracle Corp. on Monday announced availability of an online interactive tool called Oracle e-valuator, which consolidates the company's consulting processes into a software program designed to assess where e-businesses are in their maturity level and to determine needs and opportunities.

"You can use the tool to help do two or three primary things: One is to assess where the customer is on e-business maturity," said Pam Click, regional vice president of U.S. business consulting at Oracle "[For example], do they just have static Web sites? Do they have one-way interactive Web sites? Do they have two-way? Do they have a fully integrated and collaborated, personalized kind of e-business set of processes?"

According the Click, e-valuator can then help define what value would be created by moving up from fairly immature, static sites to broadcast sites, for example.

Oracle e-valuator assesses five different areas: customer relationship, supply chain, enterprise, procurement, and technology. Procurement was given its own area because some service industries use different views on supply chains, Click said.

Click described the assessment tool as useful for both established companies and companies seeking venture capital and some means of showing prospective investors the potential value of the startup.

"Sometimes ... the venture capitalist would want to understand more around what are the benefits with going -- and putting in a sophisticated customer solution. Or what would be the benefits of moving to Internet procurement. So we've used it in that case. We also used it with large companies where they are saying where am I in Web enabling my business," Click said.

Oracle claims 1,500 companies have gone through its evaluation process. One such company, Millipore, a developer and manufacturer of purification products for the biopharmaceutical and microelectronics industries, has used e-valuator to convince upper level management of the value and impact of e-commerce to the company, said Fran Lunger, COO and executive vice president at Millipore.

"It was an easy way to get across to our senior management the benefits of things like e-commerce, or changing to the Web-enabled Oracle systems," Lungar noted.

Millipore has also used e-valuator to assess which geographical areas should be prioritized for growth and has found that the e-valuator is ballpark accurate, which Lungar said is good enough for this sort of tool.

An analyst had a different perspective on the product.

"It sounds like just another tool to drive people to consulting solutions, a way to put their methodology out there, [and put] best practices into software.

It's a continuing trend, to put this stuff into software. It works sometimes, but sometimes you really do need a more individualistic assessment, you need some brain work there," said Shawn Willett, analyst at Current Analysis.

Oracle Corp, in Redwood Shores, Calif, is at www.oracle.com.

Geneva Sapp is an InfoWorld reporter.

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