Oracle debuts FastForward for Oracle Financials

Promising a fully functional financial management system in five days, Oracle this week debuted its Oracle FastForward OnLine FinancialsRPM program for Oracle Financials at the Oracle Application Users Group (OAUG) conference in Philadelphia.

The FastForward plan is aimed at small and mid-sized companies, rapidly growing companies, and firms that are going through a merger or an acquisition, said Eve Milrod, senior director for Go to Market Strategies for Oracle. The major business need of these groups is rapid time to market, Milrod said.

"[These customers] want to become e-businesses at Internet speed," she said. These companies want a swift transformation," and fundamentally, to use Internet as effectively as possible," Milrod said.

The FastForward service will be offered in two ways: FastForward, a fixed scope implementation; and FastForwardRPM, which includes pre-configured models and a fixed time frame. Oracle can host FastForward Oracle software modules such as General Ledger, Payables, and Assets via Oracle Business online, or implement them at the customer site. Oracle Business online is Oracle's application-hosting service.

Included in the FastForward program are applications, consulting, education, and support, and for customers in the United States, a base price of $140,000 for 10 named users, officials said. Financing is available for qualified customers through the Oracle Finance Division.

The FastForward offer also provides implementation services delivered by Oracle Consulting, three days of onsite training, one year of Oracle-Silver 24x7 global telephone support, and regular account management reporting, officials said.

Oracle Consulting also plays a role in helping customers define their e-business needs, trying out different road maps before embarking on an engagement, Milrod said. "We have a set of practices that focus on that area," she said. This "i-discovery" is usually completed in days as part of the FastForward process.

"Initially, Oracle Consulting staff members will be the only implementers;" Milrod said. In a few months, Oracle's system integration partners will be able to offer FastForward implementation services, she said. "It's such a new offering that we want to make sure it's time-tested," she said.

The keys to speedy FastForward implementations are pre-configured applications running against standardized hardware platforms, Oracle officials said.

Eugene Grygo is an InfoWorld senior editor.

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