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SunGard challenges Oracle in public sector

Oracle may want a bigger slice of the public sector applications market, but it will have to get through SunGard first.

Oracle is facing tough competition from

Both Oracle and SunGard expanded their presence in the public sector through acquisition. Last November,

More on Oracle in the public sector:

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"The public sector is a space that Oracle really wants to get their feet into," Wang said. "The SunGard products are a lot more specialized, though. They have the finance products and they've got the human resources stuff. But SunGard also has things like student billing, registration and accounting. And they've got other things, especially for local governments."

Wang said that another player to watch in the public sector applications market is

All city departments that deal with land use SunGard-HTE systems, including the building and permits, occupational tax and licensing, utilities and codes enforcement departments, she said.

SunGard-HTE's utilities suite makes up the core of the city's utility billing system, and it allows citizens to do things like pay bills and apply for inspections and permits online, Owen said.

The SunGard-HTE systems are integrated with the Oracle E-Business Suite Financials applications that cover general ledger accounting and enterprise resource planning. The city, which also uses Oracle E-Business Suite Human Resources applications, went live with Oracle Financials about two years ago. Some of the other financials modules that the city uses cover payroll, purchasing, iProcurement, accounts receivable and accounts payable.

"When we went through the [Oracle ERP implementation] there were lots of challenges with the interfaces," Owen said. "I think there are always interface challenges. But it's working well now."

Owen said her group considered the possibility of standardizing on either Oracle or SunGard, but decided that it wouldn't work out.

"Oracle couldn't do the parcel-based information -- the land-based systems," Owen said. "Oracle just couldn't do it."

Oracle and SunGard square off on support

With few exceptions, SunGard has been good on the technical support side of things, but Owen can't currently say the same for Oracle.

"[Oracle] support is problematic at best," she said. "A lot of times the poor guys on the other end of the support lines don't know what the sales guys are selling."

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