Oracle says it has moved into a significant second phase of business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce with three new products.
The products, Supply Chain Exchange, Transportation Exchange and Product Development Exchange, already have “a handful” of pilot users in New Zealand, says Oracle senior vice-president of worldwide marketing Jeremy Burton, including “one big household brand name” – which he declines to identify.
They will assist companies in the same supply chain to manage supply, transportation of components and raw materials (in association with transport and logistics companies), and collaboration on development down the chain, Oracle says. They utilise the company's B2B Marketplace Exchange.
However, Burton acknowledges that its large-scale competitors are probably not far behind the database company in their business-to-business efforts. SAP will be the main threat, Burton says, with a possible move from Microsoft, which recently acquired Great Plains, a company with significant presence in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software market.
Outside those large vendors already in many B2B market segments, customers have to look at what he calls emerging collaborations. "i2, for instance, has the supply-chain capability, but doesn’t have a CRM offering." Siebel is in the reverse position, he says. So they may complement each other in a collaboration.
Derek Williams, the new executive vice-president for Oracle Asia Pacific, sees particular benefit from the products to the small and medium-sized enterprises which make up a large part of the business world in New Zealand, Australia and Asia.
“The vast majority of them do not have automated software. We will [help] bring them together into a [larger and more effective] community.”