Asia to surpass North America

Oracle Corp expects up to 20 percent of its applications business in Asia Pacific (including Japan) to be delivered via in the fiscal year ending May 2002.

SINGAPORE--Oracle Corp expects up to 20 percent of its applications business in Asia Pacific (including Japan) to be delivered via in the fiscal year ending May 2002.

Through, customers can pay for Oracle's e-business software--including Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management and Supply Chain Management--over a two- or four-year period, and at a fraction of the full license fee.

Oracle provides application hosting, technical support, maintenance, education and consulting on a "pay-as-you-go" basis as part of its overall online service offerings. Collectively, this is branded as

The upbeat prediction was made by president Timothy Chou during a conference call from Redwood Shores, California, this morning.

Chou also expects the take-up rate for in Asia Pacific to surpass North America this year. His rationale? The shortage of in-house IT skills among Asian companies, and the fact that companies here tend to look to the vendor for implementation and support.

For the year ended May 2001, Oracle's applications business totaled US$99.7 million, or 12 percent of its total license sales in Asia Pacific. The company declined to specify's contribution to the region's sales.

However, Chou noted that more than 10 percent of the company's North America applications business was delivered as an online service for the year ended May 2001.

Other new offerings
As reported earlier today, Oracle also said it would give customers the option of housing their applications servers internally or outsourcing the hardware management to a third party other than Oracle.

Before the new delivery option, dubbed "Oracle E-business Suite Online Any Place", was introduced, customers wishing to use Oracle's e-business software "had to buy hardware management services from Oracle as part of the package", the company said in a statement.

Compaq Computer Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc and Hewlett-Packard Co have partnered with the database software giant to provide hardware support for Oracle's customers.

While Compaq has configured servers to automatically support Oracle software as an online service, Sun servers will be available within 30 days and HP within 90 days.

Oracle also announced "Oracle Small Business Suite", a new suite of online services aimed at small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and US$50 million in annual sales.

The suite, which aims to help companies manage and automate their sales, customer services, manufacturing and financials activities among others, is available immediately for an introductory price of US$99 per month.

Accessable through, Oracle Small Business Suite is only available in the US now. The company could not reveal the rollout date in Asia Pacific, but indicated that there are plans to expand the service to companies in the region.

Oracle is working together with NetLedger to provide Oracle Small Business Suite. NetLedger, which is partly backed by Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, specializes in providing small companies with business management software over the Web.