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Oracle hopes a better supply-chain management offering will help its sagging applications business, where license revenue has declined for five straight quarters when compared with year-earlier sales.
The vendor next month will release Oracle Supply-Chain Management 11i, release 8, which company officials say has received thousands of improvements focused on better business-process automation, business-to-business collaboration, and real-time data analysis.
Oracle also will tap capabilities in its 9i database to make it easier to deliver hourly or daily performance reports from the supply-chain applications. The report templates are tailored for 12 job categories, from top executives to inventory managers. It's a cheaper and easier alternative to a dedicated data warehouse, Oracle senior VP Don Klaiss says.
Ametek Inc., a diversified manufacturer, deployed parts of 11i's self-service procurement module last year, saving the company up to 45% on supplies by consolidating purchasing, CIO Bill Lawson says. However, he's not ready to endorse 11i's business-intelligence features, "We're anxious to see how flexible it's going to be over time," he says.
Alcatel's eBusiness networking division deployed Oracle's Advanced Planning module earlier this year to support a major strategy shift to use more contract manufacturers. Director of IT applications Allen Fox says Alcatel is interested in adding Oracle's Collaborative Planning module.