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Oracle Creates Advisory Board

Oracle Tuesday began preparing for the next version of its "Procurement" platform by initiating a Supplier Advisory Board (SAB).

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based software giant said the goal of the Board is to help it develop applications that improve supplier relationship management (SRM) processes and include both the buyer and supplier's perspectives.

Oracle Procurement is part of the company's E-Business platform. The software helps automate business flow from procurement to payment. The Procurement software is bundled together as a set -- Oracle iProcurement, Oracle Purchasing, Oracle Sourcing, Oracle iSupplier Portal, Oracle Purchasing Intelligence, and Oracle Payables.

The company has been very patient for the return of massive enterprise software spending especially for its Application Server business, but that hasn't stopped the company from preparing for its next move.

To help its cause, Oracle has assembled some of the biggest names in the IT industry to give it guidance. Founding members include: Boise Office Solutions, Dell Computer, Grainger, Hewlett-Packard, Kelly Services, McCormick & Company Inc., Newark Electronics, Relief Printing, SHI, Software Plus, Software Spectrum, Staples, Toshiba, Trodat Marking Products and Wallace. "When seeking to maximize business process improvements, organizations should depart from a strictly internal or insular focus," said Gartner Group research director David Hope-Ross. "As companies adopt SRM, there will be increasing recognition of the need to improve cross enterprise purchasing processes and foster supplier collaboration. This will require more formal processes, structures, and feedback mechanisms to capture supplier's requirements, insight, and input."

Hoping to establish a collaborative environment where Oracle and SAB members work together, the No. 2 software maker said the SAB uses a direct communication channel between members and Oracle's development team to map critical supplier processes and influence product direction for SRM applications.