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Oracle Lands U.K. as Partner

Oracle cozied up to the U.K. Office of Government Commerce (OGC) Thursday with a three-year strategic partnership that will give U.K. public sector organizations discounts on Oracle's software.

The deal is similar to alliances the OGC has struck with Microsoft , Sun Microsystems and IBM .

Previously, individual public sector organizations have made their own arrangements with Oracle. The new deal brought all those organizations together collectively to negotiate, leading Oracle to offer U.K. public sector organizations the same software pricing it offers the U.S. government.

"Support from the whole of the public sector was critical in developing a strong position for our negotiations," said Peter Gershon, chief executive of OGC. "Transparency is an essential part of this approach. Oracle's new pricing customer guide structure will ensure that the public sector achieves maximum value for money on all products with Oracle.

The OGC estimates that U.K. departments will save about 11 percent on Oracle software.

the deal will also allow any U.K. public sector organization to standardize on Oracle's Unbreakable Software Infrastructure, a bundle which includes the Oracle9i Database and Oracle9i Application Server.

The agreement extends from Feb. 1, 2003 to March 31, 2006.