Oracle Set to Launch E-Government Initiative

SAN FRANCISCO (03/03/2000) - Oracle Corp. wants to do for governments what the company claims it already does for Ford Motor Co. and Sears, Roebuck & Co. The database and tools vendor wants to help governments overhaul their brick-and-mortar operations by moving their services to the Internet.

To that end, Oracle will conduct an event it's calling an "E-Government Leadership Initiative," Tuesday 11 a.m. PST at the company's Redwood Shores headquarters. The date purposefully coincides with "Super Tuesday," one of the most important days in the U.S. presidential primary electoral process, when several U.S. states, including California, will hold elections.

Oracle isn't talking about tearing down statehouses and office buildings.

E-government, as defined by the software vendor, simply promotes better public services and improved political discourse, Jack Pellicci, vice president of Oracle services industries, said today in a telephone interview.

"We can leverage the promise of the Internet, so we can truly help government to work better and cost less," Pellicci said. "Government can cut 10 percent of its costs by being online."

Oracle already obtains about one-fifth of its revenue, US$2 billion, from government sales, mostly in relation to the company's database software. Now, governments are ready to take advantage of business-to-business Net transaction software Oracle Exchange and related Web-based products, Pellicci said.

Individual states may be able to speed up services, such as the processing of tax returns. Groups of states might also work together to integrate services where appropriate, Pellicci explained.

Oracle's Internet-exchange strategy was on display last month, when the vendor announced the formation of an online purchasing marketplace with Sears, Roebuck & Co. and the French retailer Carrefour AG. Using standard Web browsers and Oracle software applications, the exchange allows members to buy, sell, trade or auction goods and services over the Internet. [See "UPDATE - Oracle, Sears, Carrefour to Team Up on B2B," Feb. 28.]Enhanced government services also hold the promise of attracting citizens who regard the political process as remote and alienating. Internet exchanges, otherwise used by business as marketplaces and auctions, can also function as clearinghouses for social debate and dialogue with public officials, Pellicci said. "One of the most important challenges facing us is how to get citizens involved in government," he added.

On Tuesday, a series of experts will talk about the promise of Internet technology. They include Utah Governor Michael Leavitt, chairman of the National Governors Association; David Agnew, executive director of the Governance in the Digital Economy Program at the Alliance for Converging Technologies; and Jay Nussbaum, executive vice president of Oracle services industries.

Oracle, in Redwood Shores, California, can be reached at +1-650-506-7000, or http://www.oracle.com/

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