Oracle pushes Special Edition with partners

Oracle is pushing out its scaled down Special Edition application suite to the region's mid-market customers at this year's Gitex. The vendor will be running a number of product presentations throughout the five day exhibition.

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By  Greg Wilson Published  September 29, 2003

Oracle is pushing out its scaled down Special Edition application suite to the region's mid-market customers at this year's Gitex. The vendor will be running a number of product presentations throughout the five day exhibition.

"Special Edition is a scaled down version of our E-Business Suite. It doesn't include all the modules of 11i and is targeted at the small to medium enterprise [SME] organisations," explains Ayman Abouseif, senior director of marketing, Oracle Eastern Central Europe, Middle East & Africa. "Special Edition contains financial accounting, sales order management, purchasing, inventory and cash management. It is designed to be implemented in just weeks, rather than months," he adds.

Key to promoting the Special Edition is the channel. At Gitex, Oracle has gathered a number of its partners to promote the slimmed down ERP suite. Since introducing the software suite, the vendor has been busy finalising its channel partners for Special Edition around the region. "We have almost finalised partner recruitment for the region," comments Abouseif. "Special Edition is a completely different sale than the full E-Business Suite. There are going to be a number of channel partner running demos from their stands in Open World," he adds.

The advent of Special Edition is likely to resurrect old criticisms that Oracle actively competes with its partners. In particular, Special Edition poses a credible threat to Oracle's significant developer community. Abouseif plays down the impact Special Edition will have on the local developers. "There will always be space in the market. These maybe smaller customers, but the opportunities are massive," says Abouseif.

Oracle is hoping to convert some of its existing developer partners into implementers for Special Edition.

Increasingly, argues Abouseif, the smaller development houses are finding it harder to keep pace with technological development. "We're looking to convert companies from developers to implementers," he says. Oracle is also planning to take advantage of the swing away from in-house developed systems towards package solutions. "Smaller companies are looking for more manageable soltutions," says Abouseif.

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