Oracle is attempting to reposition itself as an ebusiness company and is tripling its advertising budget to $150 million over the next fiscal year to try and ram home its message.
The move follows the database supplier's failed attempt a couple of years ago to brand itself as the network computer (NC) company. The aim here was to generate pull-through sales in the corporate market by having consumers associate its name with NCs in a similar way to Microsoft with its Windows brand.
Thomas Kurian, vice president of Oracle's ecommerce programme office, which was set up a month ago and currently has 35 staff, said: "This is part of our push to brand ourselves as an ebusiness company. We've not pushed it aggressively to date, but this is the start of it. We're making our marketing crisp and clear and we've tripled our advertising budget to $150 million."
He continued: "We believe there are two kinds of players in this market - people that are doing ebusiness in this space and people that are selling the infrastructure to ebusiness to do their businesses. We fall into the latter category, but we've not done a great job of articulating that."
He added that over the next six months, the firm would come out with clear stories on ebusiness intelligence and how it could help customers Internet enable their customer relationship management (CRM) systems using Oracle packages.
It also plans a worldwide TV and print advertising campaign to deliver its message of being the company that provides ebusinesses with the infrastructure to undertake their ebusiness, and will provide seminars showcasing these companies success stories.
But to back up its ebusiness claims in product terms, Oracle also attests it is the only supplier that can provide users with a fully browser enabled product set that spans its enterprise resource planning and CRM applications, its database and development and business intelligence tools, and Web specific offerings such as its application server.
The firm is also introducing a raft of initiatives such as its Fastforward scheme for ebusiness. This is a fixed price and fixed time bundle, which includes Oracle consulting services and software licenses running preinstalled on Sun or Hewlett-Packard hardware, and is aimed at Internet enabling organisations in the small to medium business sector.
The company also claims its Business Online (Bol) applications hosting service has just come out of pilot and will become generally available over the next couple of months.
It has just signed a deal with Qwest Communications to become its preferred network infrastructure provider, and Qwest will host its applications at its US and international Cybercenters, although Oracle will still manage, support and sell its own software.
Mark Jarvis, Oracle's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, concluded: "This is the culmination of three years of effort and we're betting our business on the Internet. Ebusiness will be the entire focus of our marketing over the next year and virtually 100 per cent of our business is now driven by the Internet."
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