Oracle wants to be the host with the most

When Oracle announced it was getting into the hosting business in a big way, it wasn't kidding. The company is turning into an outsource to be reckoned with. Oracle has cut the ceremonial ribbon for its 9i Database and Application Server hosting and managing services. The services, which are available now, were formerly only offered for 11i E-Business Suite.

When Oracle announced it was getting into the hosting business in a big way, it wasn't kidding. The company is

turning into an outsource to be reckoned with.

Oracle has cut the ceremonial ribbon for its 9i Database and Application Server hosting and managing services. The services, which are available now, were formerly only offered for 11i E-Business Suite.

For a fee, customers can leave the time-crunching and money-consuming hassles of installing, maintaining and troubleshooting software to "the big O."

There are several rental options available. Outsourcing costs include the software licensing fee plus 3% per month for Oracle to manage the applications at the customer's site (the @Customer option) and 5% per month if Oracle manages the software at its data center (the @Oracle option).

Paige O'Neill, Oracle's Senior Director of Online Services Marketing, says the hosting services free up enterprises that may not have the staff to monitor the systems and combat problems that may crop up. With the hosted option, Oracle watches and proactively fixes problems before the customer knows anything is amiss.

O'Neill predicts companies could save 20% to 40% by letting Oracle do the dirty work. She also says there's a peace of mind 24/7/365 that doesn't really have a price.

Oracle is depending on its hosting services to bring in $1 billion in revenue over the next five years -- revenue to pick up some the database sales slack.

At least one analyst, John Rubin of Gartner, has said it's doubtful many database customers will use the new hosted service unless they're also renting out the 11i E-Business Suite. Rubin thinks most businesses would rather keep their databases on site at the company.

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