Finally, Oracle thinks we’re special

After being available for over a year in the U.S. and longer in Europe, Oracle Corp. is finally bringing the scaled-down version of its E-Business Suite to Canada.The Linux-based Special Edition (SE) of the suite will be ready for sale this month in English and French, said Rob Durnford, partner manager for applications at Oracle Canada.
The company expects to certify several VARs this month to sell and implement it.
“We’re looking at five (Oracle) partners who look to be very interested in building the capabilities. Other partners out there who feel they meet the criteria for selling Special Edition, we will think about them.”
He refused to say how many partners the company wants.
“We want to ensure the partners that invest in Special Edition are getting a return on their investment, and we’ll build out the channel as the demand is appropriate.”
Aimed at mid-sized organizations with annual revenues of up to $125 million, SE is going up against SAP’s All-in-One suite, Microsoft’s Axapta, applications from Lawson Software and others.
SE is preconfigured with tailored modules for faster implementation than the full E-Business Suite.
The modules include financials, order entry, inventory management, discrete manufacturing and purchasing.
However, according to Billy Maynard, a Gartner analyst who specializes in enterprise resource management applications, SE is limited to 50 users.
Pricing in the U.S. is $2,000 per user plus $440 in annual maintenance.
SE is particularly tailored for manufacturing companies, Maynard said. However, partners may have a problem selling it because Oracle is in the middle of merging the E-Business Suite and applications from PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards onto one platform in several years.
It isn’t clear if this new platform will have an SE version, Maynard said, or whether SE users will have to upgrade.

Has an edge
One U.S.-based Oracle SE systems integrator may have an edge over others here is Impac Systems of Vancouver, Wash., which has been trying to sell the application from its offices in British Columbia and Calgary.
“We see a significant opportunity, because it gives small business companies an opportunity to implement Oracle applications at a considerably reduced cost,” said sales and marketing manager Corey Johnson.
“We have more interest in Western Canada (in SE) than in the U.S.,” added Mark Overfelt, Impac’s SE account manager.
While SE supports all versions of Linux, it can be ported to any platform that Oracle applications run on.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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