Oracle takes E-Business Suite on the road and apps to travellers

Conducting e-business away from the desktop is a pipe dream no longer with the recent announcement of the mobile-enabled E-Business Suite from Oracle Corp..

According to Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle, using the mobile-enabled Suite, customers can access key business applications including field sales, field service and customer intelligence from the desktop, the Web and an array of mobile and wireless devices. The company said that enabling the mobility of the E-Business Suite is the final component of Oracle’s strategy to offer mobile access throughout an integrated set of technology and applications products and services.

“The key thing that we are looking at is the ability for the users to work with the applications when they are not at their desktops,” said Barnaby Jeans, national solutions manager for Oracle Canada in Mississauga, Ont. There are certain situations where it is far more useful for a company or a user to work disconnected from the network or away from the desktop entirely.”

Jeans noted that with the mobile-enabled suite, field service employees can access information and feed it back to the business in real time rather than faxing or e-mailing in the information. The Oracle E-Business Suite uses the integrated wireless functionality of Oracle9i Application server to provide mobile access to business applications. Mobile access is available to applications such as field sales, field service, customer intelligence, property manager, Internet expenses, supply chain and warehouse management.

“We are starting to see that customers are investigating whether wireless is a benefit to them,” Jeans said. “We are trying to position ourselves as one of the first companies to offer an Internet-enabled suite of applications, and now we are taking this to the next logical step of saying, ‘Now you can access that (app) regardless of whether you are tethered to the network or not.'”

Stephen Drake, research manager, wireless and mobile enterprise access with IDC in Framingham, Mass., said that by enabling mobility, Oracle has established what he called “one-stop shopping for the enterprise.”

“The applications like CRM and ERP are…the most critical applications that are needed for your most important mobile workers,” Drake said. “Oracle is looking to leverage their use of different applications and…provide them for the wireless world.”

Oracle plans to enable mobile access to additional applications of the E-Business Suite by early 2002, including asset management, treasury management, receivables, time management and vertical applications for healthcare and pharmaceuticals.

“Oracle is obviously focusing on a number of different users,” Drake said. “The way we see it, there are a number of verticals that are certainly creating the need to get (mobile) access to these resources. We do see that this is an opportunity and what we see as really important in this market right now is education.”

The mobile-enabled Oracle E-Business Suite is available now. Visit Oracle on the Web at for details.

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