The Australian subsidiary of Oracle has entered a joint venture with
an American developer to construct the software back end for its ambitious
interactive television projects.
Oracle Australia will form a company called ICE Interactive in conjunction
with Liberate Technologies, a
specialist developer of content and applications for TV set-top boxes.
Oracle has been vocal in its support for interactive TV in Australia, most
notably when CEO Larry Ellison spilt the beans last year at a conference in
Geneva about the fact that the company was working with Australia’s largest
telecommunications carrier, Telstra,
on an interactive television project called Big Pond TV.
“By outsourcing this specialised part of its business to ICE Interactive,
Oracle will be able to continue to focus on its business-to-business
initiatives,” said Stuart McLean, GM of e-Business for Oracle Australia.
“The formation of ICE Interactive will still allow Oracle to play a part in
and benefit from the interactive TV explosion about to take place.”
ICE also has a third investor – Western Australian minerals explorer
Burdekin Resources – and is looking for a fourth investor to take up
another five per cent of ICE’s equity. Oracle said in a statement that the
fourth member would be “preferably a major company with a substantial
client base”, a set of conditions which Telstra would fill admirably.
Carl Braden will become managing director for the new venture. He was
previously a business development manager at Oracle.