Oracle confident Asia customers will go for 9i

Database software firm Oracle Asia Pacific is confident that existing customers will adopt the latest version of its flagship database software, Oracle 9i Database.

SINGAPORE--Database software firm Oracle Asia Pacific is confident that existing customers will adopt the latest version of its flagship database software, Oracle 9i Database.

According to Oracle Asia Pacific vice president for marketing Chris Hummel, most of the company's 9i sales would come from the US-based company's 250,000 customers worldwide.

Hummel could not provide a breakdown for Asia Pacific or estimate the percentage of new sales that would come from existing customers as the company is currently in a quiet period. However, Oracle Singapore managing director Keith Budge noted that the company has a base of 1,100 customers in Singapore.

Another basis for Oracle's confidence in converting its existing customers to 9i rests on an Asia Pacific survey it conducted on 30-odd customers and partners (system integrators) who tested the beta version of the product. (No further information were provided on the survey participants.)

According to the survey, 81 percent said they would implement Oracle 9i within the next six months.

Note, however, that the answer options provided to the question "Do you have any plans to deploy 9i?" included only "simultaneously (now)", "within three months" or "within four to six months".

Eighty-one percent chose the option "within four to six months", with the remaining 19 percent leaving the question unanswered. Oracle did not comment on its survey methodology by press time.

Besides targeting existing customers, Oracle will be looking at firms running database applications on a mainframe system, Hummel added. He admitted, however, that the number of firms running on mainframe systems "is significantly smaller in Asia Pacific compared to other parts of the world".

Oracle 9i will also be targeted at the Application Service Provider market, which is expected to see the highest growth rate compared to the other two market segments, he noted without providing further details.

The Oracle 9i enterprise edition is priced at US$40,000 while the standard edition is priced at US$15,000. The former version comes with additional options like partitioning, OLAP or Online Analytical Proccessing, real-time clustering, datamining and two security features, said Oracle Asia Pacific director for Oracle 9i marketing Peter Thomas.

According to a spokesperson, existing customers need only pay 15 percent (per annum) of their last licensing fee for the upgraded version, or 22 percent per annum for the upgrade and technology support.