Oracle offers free online apps to small business

Oracle New Zealand is trying to attract small businesses to its free software online service Oracle.com with a direct mail-out to 700 sales managers at local companies.

Oracle New Zealand is trying to attract small businesses to its free software online service Oracle.com, with a direct mail-out to 700 sales managers at local companies.

Oracle runs two sites – www.salesoracle.com and www.supportoracle.com - offering customer care and sales management applications via the web. The service is based from Oracle servers in California and runs in a browser at the client end.

Oracle claims 6000 companies now manage their sales activities with OracleSalesOnline.com which was launched last August.

According to Mark Jarvis, senior VP and chief marketing officer, last year 0.1% of Oracle customers were using Oracle applications online. Today this figure has increased to 11%.

Users are mainly in the US but there are some in India.

Oracle spokeswoman Jane Pritchard says there hasn’t been a large response to the service outside the US because “people have needed to feel that that is some local involvement.” Pritchard stresses that the service isn’t a full contact-management suite. She describes it as “opportunity management” where a user can enter sales leads, have views by reps and sales managers, and break leads down into simple categories.

For the same reason Oracle hasn’t offered its enterprise-oriented ASP service Business Online to users in this part of the world. However it has appointed a Business Online executive to start in the Asia Pacific region from June.

Business Online gives access to Oracle’s full range of e-business applications and is a paid service.

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