Oracle clarified its intent to make a serious assault on Sybase?s traditional financial services stronghold this week, when it gathered together 300 bankers and analysts in New York to pitch to them.
The database company announced that over the past 18 months, it had persuaded 180 third party developers and consultants to create Oracle-based financial software products and services.
Steve Rogers, Oracle?s regional manager of financial services, said: ?Our aim is to have a structure that targets global rather than localised markets by industry sector. But you don?t break into markets overnight, particularly not financial services, which is relatively conservative and which has players like Sybase that have been there for a long time.?
He added that Oracle UK had spent the past year trying to build up appropriate skill sets to make inroads into the financial world. It had doubled its number of consultants in this area to 100 and increased its sales team from 30 to 50.
But, there was no intention to introduce the US-only initiative, 'Sybase Swap', into the UK in the forseeable future, he said, because the market was ?not as advanced as that of the US?. Under the scheme, existing Sybase users are offered a 35 per cent discount on Oracle products if they wish to migrate.
But Andy Bellinger, Sybase?s database marketing manager, retorted: ?It?s an old ploy and it doesn?t surprise me, but I wouldn?t say any corporate would move on Oracle?s say-so if they weren?t planning to already. You can?t just move applications around like that, it?s not that easy and it would require a high degree of Oracle consultancy to do so. If you?ve a high degree of Sybase skills inhouse, what real benefits would you get from migrating anyway??
However, Oracle also intends to beef up its Financials accounting application suite to make it make it more relevant to the financial community.
Oracle Financials 10.7, which is due in the middle of February, will not only be Year 2000-compliant, but also offer multicurrency support.
The product will have an optional browser interface and the general ledger element will be integrated with Oracle?s Express online analytical processing software to faciliate financial analysis and reporting.
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