More Bargains From Oracle

SMB Oracle database server

The new bundle of Oracle Database 10g Standard Edition One and Application Server 10g Standard Edition One costs just under $8,000 per processor, a discount from the nearly $10,000 they would cost if bought separately. (That database and application server typically list for $4,995 each.)

This is one way for VARs to more easily install a chunk of Oracle's software stack into smaller companies, observers said. The company already offers a $2,000-per-user version of its E-business suite into this market.

Oracle's grand plan going forward is to reach beyond its enterprise database roots into applications even as it tries to move down market into SMBs.

It has spent billions in past months acquiring PeopleSoft (and J.D. Edwards) and now Siebel Systems to further the applications push, and has launched an array of pricing / licensing moves to make its software more attractive to smaller companies.

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As for this latest promotion, "this was a way to come down market," said Jacqueline Woods, Oracle's vice president, of global pricing and licensing strategy. "Coming down means a few thingswe needed a product that is quote unquote channel ready and what we've done now is a bundle of database SE and app serve SE packaged as a nice package of infrastructure. When you buy them together you get 20 points off," Woods said.

It was unclear if there might be a more integrated actual bundle in the future.

"We'll have to see how this bundle goes, but from a product stand point, there are already strong synergies and common infrastructure, all pre-tested," said Bhaskar Roy, senior principle product director for technology marketing for Oracle.

Roy also noted that the bundle could give VARs specializing in the database now incremental sales in the app server realm.

On another database front, Oracle on Friday announced general availability of a free visual database development tool, code-named Project Raptor. The new Oracle SQL Developer makes it easier to build and debug SQL and PL/SQL code,the company said.

In other Oracle news, some of the company's top execs including co-president Charles Phillips and channel chief Rauline Ochs, met with 390 global Siebel Systems partners this week to brief them about integration plans. Oracle completed its acquisition of neighboring Siebel Systems on February 1.

Siebel consultants, ISVs, and VARs can participate in the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) concurrently with their Siebel program and if they enroll in OPN by June, the fee will be waived.

The goal was to show that Oracle is committed to Siebel CRM development, sales, marketing and channel programs, Ochs, group vice president of channels and alliances told CRN on Friday.

Ochs reiterated Oracle's go-forward market plan which is to field three sales teams. Siebel's CRM sales team will remain intact, and Siebel CRM will be the lead CRM offering into new accounts, she said.

The applications sales team sells Oracle E-business suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise and JD Edwards Enterprise One applications. The technology team will continue to sell Oracle 10g database, application server and collaboration server.

"When you think about it, Oracle not only bought all those applications, it bought all those channel programs. It's not an easy task to put all that together," said one long time Oracle partner.