European users are being slow to buy into Oracle's hype surrounding its applications and ebusiness offerings despite its continued focus on such products.
Pier Carlo Falotti, Oracle's executive vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), said that although the rate of acceptance for ebusiness products was accelerating, European businesses were not being as quick to pick up on the message as their US counterparts.
"We have to move faster than we're used to, but I think that as Europeans, we can think of better ways of implementing ebusiness," he said at the database supplier's European user group meeting in Paris today.
A core part of Oracle's ebusiness strategy is to build internet based trading exchanges and marketplaces. But while this initiative has enjoyed success in the US, with the firm winning contracts such as the Ford Auto Exchange, few such deals have been done in Europe.
Sergio Giancoletto, senior vice president of EMEA for Oracle's business solutions unit, said: "Europeans don't buy vapourware. IT departments are more conservative and the tendency is to defend the status quo."
The company's Business OnLine application hosting offering is still also contributing a "miniscule" amount to revenue, according to Ray Lane, the firm's president and chief operating officer, while Giancoletto said that acceptance in Europe was "disappointing".
Oracle has also seen sales of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) application slow considerably in Europe and is likewise meeting resistance to its customer relationship management (CRM) packages.
One analyst suggested that Oracle's ERP sales growth in Europe is stagnant, and while Giancoletto did not disagree, he said revenue growth in EMEA slowed last quarter to seven per cent, down from 41 per cent in the previous quarter.
Rick Powles, Oracle's UK director for CRM products, said: "Two years ago, we weren't really competitive. Today we're much better, but the release of 3i's integrated suite due this May will propel us forward."
He added that in Europe, demand for CRM products remains heavily centred on the sales force automation element where Siebel Systems is market leader.
But Nigel Rayner, research director at GartnerGroup, claimed: "We haven't seen Oracle on any of our clients' shortlists. It's way behind on functionality - very weak."
Zag Asghar, an executive at Oracle implementer, Fulcrum Solutions, also attested: "We're cautious - we want to assess what is coming soon and what is blue sky. Oracle has to prove there is something worthwhile or customers will not buy."
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