Oracle Boosts Application Efforts With Business-Intelligence Acquisition - InformationWeek

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Oracle Boosts Application Efforts With Business-Intelligence Acquisition

In a bid to bolster its enterprise application offerings, Oracle said today it is acquiring Graphical Information Inc., a Miami-based software and consulting company specializing in business intelligence. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"This is a very interesting acquisition because it shows that the focus is now on business issues, and not just on technical issues," says Sam Wee, a research analyst with IT advisory firm Benchmarking Partners Inc. "The battle [in the enterprise resource planning marketplace] has moved from functionality to how well these applications can help companies see the bigger-picture issues and help them with strategic business improvements," he says.

Business intelligence is fast becoming one of the hottest areas in the ERP industry. Despite spending millions of dollars on ERP software packages from the likes of Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP, many companies still have trouble extracting timely business-critical information from the systems. Business-intelligence tools promise customers the ability to extract and analyze data from a host of enterprisewide systems, and then present that information to busy executives in a graphical, easy-to-understand format.

Today's acquisition supports Oracle's efforts to shed its identity as a database company and transform itself into a true applications vendor, a strategy the company discussed yesterday at the Oracle Applications User Group conference in Honolulu. Peter Dunning, Oracle's new senior VP of worldwide applications, went so far as to say Oracle "wants to pass [market leader] SAP within five years."

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