Oracle e-mail product gets BlackBerry support

IDG News Service

Oracle Corp. has partnered with a small Canadian software company to allow users of its Oracle Collaboration Suite e-mail product to access their mail on BlackBerry handhelds.

St. John’s, Nfld.-based Consilient Technologies Corp., has been named exclusive partner for BlackBerry connectivity by Oracle of Redwood Shores, Calif., Consilient President and Chief Executive Officer Trevor Adey said Tuesday.

BlackBerry support will give Oracle extra ammunition in its battle with Microsoft Corp. for customers in the messaging market, Adey said. Oracle has aimed its product at Microsoft Exchange 5.5 users who are faced with an upgrade to Exchange 2000 or the new Exchange 2003 because support for Exchange 5.5 will end next year.

“There are many enterprises and government agencies that are considering moving from Exchange to Oracle Collaboration Suite and one of the important components is connectivity for executives to the BlackBerry platform,” Adey said. “It is a big box that Oracle can check off now that they are going head to head with Microsoft.”

Consilient’s product, called Consilient2, is built on top of the BlackBerry Enterprise Server sold by Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM). In its first release, Consilient2 pushes only e-mail to BlackBerry devices. Support for calendaring, tasks lists and address book is planned for early next year, when Oracle will also update its Collaboration Suite, Adey said.

Consilient2 costs about US$100 per user, with volume discounts available, and works with Oracle Collaboration Suite Release 2, Adey said.

RIM sells software that supports BlackBerry for Exchange and IBM Corp.’s Lotus Domino e-mail products.

Oracle shipped the first version of its Collaboration Suite in August last year, followed by Release 2 in June. It claims to have sold Collaboration Suite to 500 customers in its financial year 2003, which ended May 31, 2003.