Oracle Targets Midsize Companies With Expanded 'Accelerate' Program

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Under the Accelerate program, launched three years ago, Oracle sells applications for midsize businesses with annual sales of less than $500 million. Oracle said it has added 7,000 midsize customers since the program began, expanding its base of midsize customers to more than 25,000.

Accelerate has become a key initiative for some Oracle channel partners. While some Accelerate sales are direct, more than 90 percent are through Oracle channel partners, according to Mark Johnson, vice president of Oracle Accelerate applications marketing and business development.

While the applications sold under Accelerate are the same ones the company sells to larger companies, the program adds what Oracle calls "Accelerators," including customer evaluation tools, application templates and best-practice implementation methodologies for deploying the software. The Accelerators, which Oracle has spent tens of millions of dollars developing, Johnson said, are available to channel partners for free.

The Accelerate program also offers financing options tailored for midsize businesses.

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Until now, Oracle has offered its E-Business Suite applications, as well as some applications it acquired from J.D. Edwards and PeopleSoft, through Accelerate. Now the company is expanding the program to include the Hyperion business intelligence and enterprise performance management software, Agile product life-cycle management software and the Siebel CRM, Oracle Transportation Management and Demantra demand planning applications.

"This is becoming a big part of our business," said Don Landrum, sales vice president at Atlanta-based CD Group, one of Oracle's largest resellers. He said customers today are increasingly asking for the kind of preconfigured applications with fixed-fee deployments the Accelerate program provides: CD Group has even developed some of its own add-on software using the Accelerate brand.

The expanded Accelerate program should increase CD Group's opportunities, Landrum said. "It gives us more exposure in the marketplace and makes it easier for customers to find us," he said.

In another Accelerate expansion, Oracle has created a portal targeting customer prospects for the program.