Oracle to Buy Retail Software Smarts


Oracle agreed to acquire ProfitLogic, which makes a type
of business intelligence software that gauges customer patterns to help
retailers boost profits.


Financial terms of the deal were not made public but Boston-based
ProfitLogic applications and 250 employees will be integrated into Retek’s
merchandise planning and optimization teams. Oracle expects to close the
deal by the end of this month.


The deal should provide the third leg of a comprehensive retail tripod for
Oracle, which outbid giant
SAP for retail applications maker Retek earlier this year
and has long made its own database software for back-end systems.


Duncan Angove, general manager of Oracle’s Retek global business unit, said
on a conference call the combination of Oracle, Retek and ProfitLogic will
create the first business intelligence-driven platform for retailers.


“What that means is the automation software that Oracle and Retek have will
now be infused with insight from the ProfitLogic software,” Angove said. “It
builds on a shared vision the companies have that customer insight should be
the foundation for all the decisions a retailer makes.”


ProfitLogic current customers include some of the biggest names in retail:
American Eagle Outfitters, Ann Taylor, Bloomingdale, JC Penney and
Nordstrom, among others.


Oracle shares many of the same customers as ProfitLogic and over 90 percent
of ProfitLogic customers run Oracle databases. But Oracle said it will still
pad its client base of over 1,900 retailers with the purchase.


Scott Friend, co-founder and president of ProfitLogic, said companies will
win the retail battle not by besting Wal-Mart in efficiency, but by devoting attention to customer relationships.


“The combination of Oracle, Retek and ProfitLogic gives retailers a new
level of customer intimacy into every decision they make,” Friend said.


Oracle has been on something of an applications kick since gobbling up
PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards in the last two years, attempting to tack on new
dimensions to its software business to better compete with German
applications leader SAP.


In related Oracle news, the Redwood Shores, Calif., company rolled out its
Oracle Application Server Standard Edition One, geared for small- and
medium-sized business customers.


The middleware will allow customers to build Web Sites using Web Scripting
Languages, such as PHP, PERL and Java Server Pages (JSP). Clients can also
build e-commerce applications using a Java development tool that supports
standards such as JSP, servlets and Enterprise JavaBeans.


Along with per-processor pricing, the package is available with named user
licensing at $149 per user with a minimum of five users.

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