Oracle Chips in For Utility Applications

Oracle  added more pieces to its
applications puzzle today with the purchase of software maker SPL WorldGroup from
private equity funds managed by GFI Energy Ventures LLC.

SPL WorldGroup makes applications that manage assets and revenue
for the utilities industry. SPL also makes a tax management application for
government agencies.

Specifically, SPL’s enSUMIT suite includes customer care and billing for mobile
workforce management; and outage and distribution management applications to
help electric, gas, water and services companies lower risk, reduce costs
and improve performance.

SPL’s Enterprise Tax Management Modules is the public sector tax management
application, providing a way for a governmental group to manage the
financial relationships it has with its constituents.

Oracle President Charles Phillips positioned SPL’s applications as a
reprieve from the custom software some customers feel they have to build for

“Conventional, customized solutions have proven inefficient, inflexible and
costly,” Phillips said in a statement. Oracle is putting utilities in
control to enable greater business insight, increased service profitability
and customer loyalty. In addition, SPL’s tax management solution solves the
revenue management needs of public sector enterprises.”

Oracle said SPL’s management and employees will form a dedicated global
utilities business unit within Oracle, but will continue to make tax
management software for the public sector. SPL CEO Larry Hagewood will lead
the unit as general manager.

Terms of the deal were not made public.

SPL is more of a snack for Oracle, compared to its bid
yesterday to acquire content management software power Stellent for $440

While Stellent fills a major content infrastructure gap for Oracle, the SPL
buy proves that Oracle is still filling gaps in the wake of its blockbuster
purchase of PeopleSoft, Siebel
and Retek.

In 2006, Oracle purchased applications makers such as Demantra
for supply chain management and Portal
, which makes billing and management software for
telecommunications companies.

Oracle hopes to eventually become as formidable in the enterprise applications business as SAP

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