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Stellent! Oracle's ECM Plan Unveiled

Oracle  today divulged its plans for assimilating the products of Stellent, which the company bought last December to flesh out the enterprise content management (ECM) aspects of its Fusion Middleware portfolio.

The software maker expects Stellent's Web image and document management products will help it better compete in the market with comparable portfolios from IBM , EMC , Open Text  and Interwoven .

But before it can get there, Oracle has to prove it can properly insert the Stellent assets into its vast middleware line, which includes security and business process management products. In doing so, the company aims to build on its ECM customer base of 6,000.

Oracle's Enterprise Content Management Suite includes Oracle Universal Content Management, Oracle Universal Records Management, and Oracle Imaging and Process Management. The suite has been designed for customers who want to standardize their ECM assets on one architecture, said Greg Crider, Oracle's senior director of product marketing.

"We plan to market it very aggressively and it will have some very attractive pricing associated with," Crider said in an interview.

Universal Content Management is a Java application that lets businesses run Web content management, document management, digital asset management and records and retention management software from one platform across several company sites.

Crider said this product will be previewed at the AIIM 2007 ECM conference in Boston this week. Customers can expect tighter integration with Oracle's database, application server, portal, search and security products later this year.

A records management system, Universal Records Management, will let customers apply records and retention management policies to content sitting in file systems, content management systems and e-mail archives.

The Imaging and Process Management product supports imaging applications and reduces the opportunity for errors by automating tasks, such as invoice and claims forms processing. The software boasts certified integrations with enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, such as Oracle's E-Business Suite, J.D. Edwards, and PeopleSoft Enterprise.

Information Rights Management suite, Stellent's former security product, encrypts documents when they leave a repository to keep the information from prying eyes. The product includes policies for viewing, editing, printing, and copying sensitive information; when the content or user is no longer valid, rights are revoked.

Rounding out Oracle's ECM portfolio, Oracle Content Database Suite leverages Oracle's 10g database software to support high volumes of data in an enterprise content repository that supports global file server and archive consolidation.

Crider said Oracle's ECM products will be "hot-pluggable," the company's philosophy for software that can work with third-party products out of the box, even those from Oracle competitors. This practice is designed to attract users with the assurance that their existing investments will be protected.

Oracle plans to roll out new releases for all of its content management products within the next 12 months, with pricing to be announced upon release.

Oracle's swift integration of Stellent's assets follows a pattern and precedent the company has set to grab big shares of multi-billion-dollar markets.

For example, Oracle has purchased applications giants PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems, and recently won approval to acquire Hyperion, a leader in the business-intelligence market.

Oracle's ECM news also comes a day after the company hosted a major on-demand software launch, with products designed to compete with those from Salesforce.com  and others in the burgeoning software-as-a-service space.