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Oracle Unleashes New Apps for E-Business Suite

Enterprise software maker Oracle Tuesday added three new products to its software arsenal in an attempt to keep its E-Business suite fresh.

At its Oracle Appsworld confab in London, which drew around 8,500 attendees, the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company said its Oracle Project Management, Oracle Project Collaboration, and Oracle Project Intelligence platforms are designed to piggyback off of its Oracle E-Business Suite 11.5.9, while adding functionality.

"We focused these tools not just on managing people and budgets, but also on sharing information," Robert Fleming, senior director of applications marketing for Oracle EMEA told Internetnews.com.

Oracle Project Management includes Web-based tools to track projects with one team or among several. Users can access schedules, progress reports, staffing plans, documents and other information necessary to oversee a project; it also connects to financial information within other E-Business Suite applications. A graphical "dashboard" lets managers map and compare key project performance metrics such as progress to plan and cash flow.

Oracle Project Collaboration provides role-based access to information within the Project Management application. Team members can view relevant information including work plans, change orders, and status reports, and also communicate and share documents with others on the team.

Oracle Project Intelligence provides a business intelligence dashboard that lets users graphically map different metrics to get a visual understanding of how parts of the business are performing. While there are already business intelligence modules within E-Business Suite, this new app focuses on metrics a project manager would need.

Oracle also introduced Advanced Product Catalog, a tool for handling product and component information. The new modules bring the E-Business Suite offering to more than 100 modules.

On Wednesday, the company will announce Oracle Outsourcing, a leasing model in which Oracle will manage applications for the enterprise, patching, fixing and upgrading them on a daily basis. Companies taking advantage of Outsourcing can have Oracle either host their licensed apps on Oracle servers or manage those on company servers remotely. Fleming told Internetnews.com, "We're seeing significant momentum in the U.S. and abroad for this model. Incremental upgrades and problems that may come about are resolved much more quickly." Outsourcing clients will be charged a monthly management fee which is a fixed percentage of the license fee.

There are a number of different pricing options for these new applications, according to Fleming. The project management tools will be included with the latest version of E-Business Suite or can be licensed individually. Fleming said a typical European license for the Suite costs 99 Euros per user per month with a three-year contract. In these hard times, Oracle will even provide financing for cash-strapped enterprises.