Oracle Corp. unveiled its E-Business Suite Monday, targeting the business applications to specific industries such as healthcare and manufacturing, while boosting supply chain and enterprise grid management features.
Version 11i.10, which will be shipped to customers in 60 days, is being showcased this week at Oracle Open World in London. The new set of applications will support radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and increase integration with Oracle's 10g DBMS improving application and grid management, said Jonathan Colehower, vice president of Supply Chain Management at Oracle.
"Our strengths are typically in manufacturing and financial services applications because we've really built out those core areas," Colehower said. "We're continuing to build out industrial manufacturing, but we're improving our health care and public sector offerings."
Oracle is extending its Warehouse Management application to provide improved inventory control and extended supply chain visibility, Colehower said. The move will support early RFID adopters.
"RFID has a long way to go before it is more broadly adopted and a lot of that has to do with the costs involved," Colehower said. "But we're seeing a push for RFID by channel masters like Wal-Mart and European retailer Metro as well as mandates from the government pushing enterprises to this area."
Oracle's support for early adopters includes a compliance assistance package, which walks a customer though the compliance process, Colehower said. The package supports the use of tags and readers and also includes a pilot kit for use out of the box in a warehouse.
Version 11i. 10 also integrates Applications Manager with Enterprise Manager 10g Grid Control in Oracle 10g DBMS. Colehower said the integration gives IT managers a single place to control and monitor the database and applications.
The single tool allows for diagnosing and repairing business applications, Colehower said. Companies can direct all system operations through a single, integrated Web portal.
Oracle is making the right move by beefing up support for RFID, said Michael Dominy, director of enterprise services with The Yankee Group. Companies will spend more than $4 billion during the next four years as they incorporate data synchronization, RFID and other technologies into the supply chain, Dominy said.
Dominy predicts that SAP and Oracle will continue to dominate the large enterprise SCM transaction market. Microsoft, he said, will also still dominate among small and medium-sized businesses, he said.
"Enterprises are seeing the value in SCM vendors, such as SAP and Oracle, and their costs are being reduced by extending the view of the supply chain," Dominy said.