Users looking forward to Oracle OpenWorld

PeopleSoft takeover scenario 'a pretty foggy picture' - analyst

With uncertainty remaining about the fate of its multibillion-dollar hostile bid for rival Peoplesoft, Oracle intends to unveil updates to itscontent management and business intelligence tools, as well as other functions.

Oracle executives plan to detail the new features at this week's Oracle OpenWorld conference. Oracle OpenWorld begins today in San Francisco.

In the area of content management, the company wants to help users deal with large amounts of unstructured data, such as emails, which are becoming increasingly important, particularly for companies seeking to comply with new regulations. Without offering specific details, Rich Buchheim, senior director of Oracle content management, said Oracle will be improving the scalability, management, security and usability of its software.

"To deal with the deluge of information, information has to be handled in a more intelligent way," he said.

The company has also hinted at improvements to data integration in its E-Business Suite 11i, as well as grid computing enhancements to help manage technology in the data centre.

Several users say they're interested in evaluating some of Oracle's new technologies. Arthur Meacham, computer-assisted dispatch systems administrator for the Caddo Parish 911 Communications District in Louisiana, said he plans to attend sessions on XML, database performance and the Oracle portal application. The agency, an Oracle portal and database shop, currently runs Oracle Portal 9i and intends to upgrade to Version 10g early next year. Meacham said that in particular he will be looking for tips on the execution path.

He said he's also hoping to learn how to use XML for tasks such as consolidating relevant data between the databases of different government law enforcement systems. Since Caddo Parish runs its emergency management operations on Intergraph applications, Meacham said he doesn't foresee the potential Oracle-PeopleSoft merger affecting his network.

David Rudzinsky, CIO at medical instruments maker Massachusetts, said he's focused on new business intelligence capabilities. Hologic runs Oracle ERP and CRM software, as well as Oracle's Daily Business Intelligence reporting product. While Rudzinsky likes the application, he said it's too rigid to allow anything but the views and reports that Oracle has predesigned, and he said he wants to see the new options in the next version of the Daily Business Intelligence.

During the conference, Oracle's main goal will be to preview its next generation of its business applications, 11i.10, according to John Moore, an analyst at ARC Advisory Group in Massachusetts Moore also predicted that Oracle will explain to customers in private sessions what might happen if the PeopleSoft bid succeeds. As of now, he said, that scenario is a "pretty foggy picture."

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